Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Today is the LAST DAY of this Mid-Year Campaign. This is our hour of need.
If you value independent journalism, please support Common Dreams.

TODAY is the last day to meet our goal -- Join the small group of generous readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams free for millions of people each year.

For Immediate Release

Contact

Myriam Fallon, myriam@sunriseproject.org, 708.546.9001

Press Release

30 Groups Release Letter to Fed Raising Concerns Over Details of BlackRock Deal

The letter voices for concern over the lack of conditions on public financial support for industry practices that harm the public good and exacerbate climate change.
WASHINGTON -

Today, signaling concern over the Federal Reserve handing public money to a private corporation, 30 groups sent a letter to the Fed raising critical questions over the recently announced deal with BlackRock to handle the new multi-billion dollar debt purchasing programs on behalf of the U.S. central bank. The letter cites potential conflicts of interest, lack of transparency and oversight in the details of the contract, concentration of financial power, and lack of limitations on public financial support for industry practices that harm the public good. 

The letter also expressed concern that the deal does nothing to address the ongoing threat of catastrophic climate change, which represents a substantial exogenous risk to the financial system and could throw the financial system into further chaos even as COVID-19 is still being addressed.

"This move by the Fed gives BlackRock additional power and puts it even more squarely at the center of the financial system," said Ericka Taylor of Take on Wall Street. "What oversight will there be to ensure that while we help our economy through the current crisis of Covid-19 we don’t lock ourselves into future crises brought on by climate change?"

The letter pointed out that corporate bond-buying programs may become stealth bailouts for fossil fuel companies if adequate climate safeguards are not applied, and called on the Federal Reserve to not prop up industries destroying the climate, creating further risk to the financial system. Many of the organizations signed onto the letter will be asking Congress to take legislative action to prevent this.

"Helping our economy get through this global pandemic is vitally important, but we can’t afford to accelerate climate change in the process," said Diana Best, finance strategist with the Sunrise Project, "Companies that continue the expansion and production of fossil fuels are inconsistent with goals to manage the climate crisis and long-term financial stability; propping them up without clear Paris-compliant transition plans is unacceptable for any prudent fiscal policy."

The letter points out that BlackRock was also hired after the 2008 financial crisis, and while the asset manager profited massively from that, the American people never fully recovered. As a 2017 New York Times analysis found, while the average American household was still thirty-per-cent poorer, in net worth, than in 2007, the top ten per cent of households were twenty-seven per cent wealthier than before the crisis.

"In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, concentrating even more economic power in the hands of the largest asset manager in the world is risky and dangerous. The American people need fair economic policies that put our health and financial stability first, not line the pockets of Wall Street executives and the fossil fuel industry," said Rachel Curley, democracy advocate for Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division.

###

The Sunrise Project grows social movements to drive the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy as fast as possible.

Texas Supreme Court Allows Century-Old Abortion Ban to Take Effect

"Extremist politicians are on a crusade to force Texans into pregnancy and childbirth against their will, no matter how devastating the consequences."

Jake Johnson ·


'What's There to Even Discuss?' Omar Says Free, Universal School Meals Should Be Permanent

"We have an opportunity to prove that a government of the people, by the people, and for the people can still deliver big things. And we can feed tens of millions of hungry kids while we do it."

Jake Johnson ·


'Stark Betrayal': Biden Administration Floats New Offshore Oil and Gas Drilling

"This is the third time since November the Biden administration has announced new oil and gas leasing plans on the Friday before a holiday," said one climate advocate. "They're ashamed, and they should be."

Jake Johnson ·


As US Rolls Back Reproductive Rights, Sierra Leone Moves to Decriminalize Abortion

"I'm hopeful today's announcement gives activists in the U.S., and especially Black women given the shared history, a restored faith that change is possible and progress can be made."

Brett Wilkins ·


'Indefensible': Outrage as New Reporting Shines Light on Biden Deal With McConnell

The president has reportedly agreed to nominate an anti-abortion Republican to a lifetime judgeship. In exchange, McConnell has vowed to stop blocking two Biden picks for term-limited U.S. attorney posts.

Jake Johnson ·

Common Dreams Logo