ICYMI: Sullivan: Americans Are Sick of Companies Blackballing U.S. Energy Workers While Propping Up the Chinese Communist Party
Senator Previews Legislation to Democratize Voting Power in Corporate Governance, Taking Power Away From Wall Street Firms That Control 88 Percent of S&P 500
WASHINGTON—In an interview on CNBC’s Squawk Box this morning, U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) called out Biden administration officials and Wall Street investment firms for restricting the American energy sector and harming American workers, particularly in Alaska.
JOE KERNEN: Would you say that they're [oil companies] responding to pressure from the government to enforce this ESGs? Where is it? Where is it actually coming from? If it's just AIG they can do whatever they want and if an oil company decides they don't want to drill they can do it because they don't think they can get their money back on it or it's not feasible. You could make an argument that those are market forces, but then again market forces are only as good as the regulations and the government oversight that are controlling. We know we've seen so many examples in the past how government can screw up free markets. What do you think it is?
SULLIVAN: Well, I think it's a combination of several things like I said, the federal regulators that the Biden administration's put forward, a lot having to do with finance, right? Comptroller of the currency, SEC chief, they're all putting out signals. I mean heck, some of them are just blatant: We want to bankrupt America's energy companies. That's what Omarova said before, she was yanked as comptroller of the currency. You know you guys did a lot in terms of what Raskin said. No they didn't get the job, but they're sending the signal, but let me continue. It's John Kerry and Gina McCarthy going to American financiers saying, hey, don't invest in American energy projects. I know for a fact that some of our recipients of American LNG, like in Japan, have been told by Kerry and others to be careful on buying American LNG. And then, of course, it's the whole ESG movement which again you're right Joe, AIG can do whatever it wants in terms of a free market, but I will tell you this, the American people are getting sick of it. Congress is getting sick of it when they see companies like that having no problem investing big money in China propping up the Chinese Communist Party and then they're gonna blackball American workers? Alaskan workers to produce American energy? You know, there's going to be a reckoning here
ANDREW ROSS SORKIN: Larry Fink is building a whole series of funds and marketing funds that effectively exclude these kinds of companies. There are now dozens of firms that are doing the same thing.
SULLIVAN: Well, look, I mean, one of the things I'm going to talk to Larry Fink about is legislation I'm getting ready to introduce that would take away passive investor [power from] firms like his and, you know, Blackrock, State Street, Vanguard. Look at the amount of capital and shares that they control. It's well over 15 trillion. They actually don't do any management.
SORKIN: What do you want to do to him?
SULLIVAN: I'm just going to say they shouldn't be able to vote those shares. This is just the next step in Dodd-Frank. You guys might remember when Dodd-Frank made it so that broker-dealers didn't have the right to vote, what was called in stocks that they held in street name. Why should these three companies that have monopoly power be able to vote all these shares?
SORKIN: The truth is that most retail investors don’t vote their shares. That’s the sad reality.
SULLIVAN: Well, I think I think we should make it clear that the retail investors, the people they hold the stock for, should have the ability to vote the shares. It has distorted the market, as you guys know, tremendously to have these three companies with massive, massive power. You know… they have 88 percent of the S&P 500. Those three investment firms have the highest amount of shareholdings. That is a distortion of capital markets. And I think that it reflects on the energy policies that we're talking about that are not supported by the average American. We need American energy and we shouldn't have a few Wall Street firms saying we don't.
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