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How BlackRock Exploits Every Crisis, Including the Ukraine Conflict

Slava The Ukrainian Socialist

Dec 13, 2022

Former mayor of Chicago Rahm Emanuel once said, “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that is an opportunity to do things that you think you could not do before.” BlackRock, Inc. has seemed to heed this sinister advice. BlackRock plans to advise war-torn Ukraine on how that country can best attract international capital for its reconstruction. Ukrainian president Vladimir Zelenskyy and Blackrock CEO Larry Fink signed a Memorandum of Understanding in September 2022, making the investment platform available to the Ukrainian government.

Perhaps Larry Fink is just a Good Samaritan? This might be a plausible explanation if divorced from any context about who Mr. Fink is, or the history of Blackrock. But BlackRock is no ordinary firm. It has been hailed as The Secret Company that Owns the World by numerous outlets and for good reason. Many confuse BlackRock with Blackstone Inc. The CEO of Blackstone Stephen Schwarzman once explained that he and Fink had deliberately chosen a similar name. Larry Fink started what would become BlackRock in 1988 as part of Blackstone Financial Management. Fink’s hedge fund turned a good profit within months, quadrupling its assets in one year. At that point, Fink began to think about spinning his own company off from Blackstone. Schwarzman suggested a name with "black" to signal its Blackstone origins. After splitting with Blackstone, Fink embarked on his mission to build his company into the financial behemoth it is today as the world’s largest asset manager. When BlackRock went public in 1999 at $14 per share, it was already managing $165 billion in assets. BlackRock created its proprietary Aladdin enterprise investment system, which helped the firm acquire the mutual fund State Street Research & Management in 2004, merge with Merrill Lynch Investment Managers in 2006, and buy Seattle-based Quellos Group in 2007, bringing the total value of assets under its management to over $1 trillion. But BlackRock was just getting started. 

The Global Financial Crisis of 2007-2008 catapulted BlackRock to the position of financial dominance it has maintained ever since. But Larry Fink set the groundwork back in the 1980s before even starting BlackRock. In 1983 while working at First Boston, Fink helped the investment bank make billions by constructing the Collateralized Mortgage Obligation (CMO). Together with a team from Salomon Brothers, Fink created the subprime mortgage market that would fail so spectacularly in 2008. Instead of sending him to prison for the mess, his CMO had created, the United States government instead tasked Fink with helping clean it up. US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner consulted Larry Fink on no fewer than 49 separate occasions over an 18-month period of the financial crisis. The Federal Reserve similarly turned to BlackRock to assist in administering the 2008 bailouts. BlackRock played a key role in financing the $30 billion sale of Bear Stearns to J.P. Morgan, the $45 billion rescue of Citigroup, and the $180 billion bailout of AIG. Little wonder, then, that Bloomberg named BlackRock the ‘Fourth Branch of Government’. The  business plan seemed simple: pursue greed even at the risk of a financial crisis, then make even more money by later stepping in to “help.” 

And BlackRock's “successes” didn’t end there. In 2019, the World Economic Forum appointed Fink as a member of its Board of Trustees. The same year Joe Biden practically begged BlackRock to support him in his presidential contest against Trump. "I'm here to help," Fink reassured Biden. Fink’s help paid off after the election when three BlackRock executives took positions in president Joe Biden's cabinet.  Today, in nearly every major publicly-traded company in the world, BlackRock is either the first, second, or third-largest shareholder. It owns sizeable shares in CNN, FOX, and other mainstream media, meaning it can push bipartisan propaganda for endless wars and new conflicts around the world. BlackRock has billions invested in major weapons contractors including Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Raytheon, and General Dynamics. These companies are the top recipients of Pentagon contracts and billions in our tax dollars. As with the 2008 crash, BlackRock seeks to prolong the Ukrainian conflict until the firm can secure a new grift in its reconstruction. In this way, the company can both profit handsomely from weapons sales and create more work to be done in post-war Ukraine. The more ruined the country, the better for BlackRock. On November 29, 2022, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky announced that rebuilding Ukraine would require at least 1 trillion dollars. Kiev reportedly plans to entice Western countries into investing in reconstruction efforts by granting them ‘patronage’ over Ukrainian regions and cities. "We are already engaging dozens of partner countries in the process of rebuilding Ukraine,” said Zelensky, when presenting Odesa’s bid to host the 2030 Expo. He added, “We will become those whose potential in “green” energy will replace dirty Russian fossil fuel for Europe. 2030 is the time when we will be able to celebrate it. To celebrate it together with all Europeans.” It appears that BlackRock is “helping” Zelensky auction off Ukrainian lands to the highest foreign bidder. What can we expect to happen to this special “reconstruction” pot in the most corrupt country in Europe? It will likely end up like the 70% of weapons shipped to Ukraine that ‘disappear’ and never reach the troops. BlackRock experts helped banks and corporations during the 2008 financial crisis throw working-class people out of their homes. In Ukraine, as the country is destroyed and ordinary people there struggle to make ends meet, BlackRock is committed to helping Zelensky and his fellow oligarchs have their best year yet.

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