Ex-Anheuser-Busch exec. names and shames investment firms he says are behind ‘woke’ corporate governance

Huge corporations such as Anheuser-Busch and Target have learned the hard way the meaning of “Go woke, go broke,” in recent months, but why it took nationwide boycotts for their marketing machines to realize it’s probably not a good idea to push drag queens to beer drinkers or to clothe children in LGBTQ+ apparel remains somewhat of a mystery to many.

According to Fox News’s Jesse Watters, it’s enormous investment money management firms such as BlackRock, Vanguard, and State Street — companies that “own major stakes in Target or Disney”  — that are pressuring companies to adopt woke corporate governance policies.

(Video: Fox News)

“With all that shareholder clout, they can force these companies to do whatever they want,” Watters said in his intro to a “Jessie Watters Primetime” segment with former Anheuser-Busch executive Anson Frericks.

And as Watters showed via a clip, BlackRock CEO Larry Fink is just fine with “forcing behaviors.”

“You have to force behaviors,” Fink stated. “At BlackRock, we are forcing behaviors.”

In total, BlackRock, Vanguard, and State Street manage roughly $20 trillion in capital, Frericks stated. The money doesn’t belong to them — it represents the investments of Americans’ mutual funds and state pension funds, including California’s, the largest in the nation.

That means progressive politicians, such as those in the Golden State, also get to dictate corporate governance terms to the firms in which they so heavily invest.

“In California, for example, they recently have mandated those large pension funds that they divest from things like fossil fuels and oil and gas, and then when Bill de Blasio, [former] mayor of New York, was there, he did the same thing.,” Frericks explained. “But they also tell BlackRock, State Street, and Vanguard if they’re going to manage their money, they have to commit to things like ESG — diversity, equity, inclusion — and adopt firm-wide commitments that they therefore then force onto all the major companies in corporate America.”

Frericks said that he was living in Atlanta in 2021 when the Georgians voted for voter I.D. cards.

“It seemed like a pretty logical law,” he said.

“But what was crazy to me was that after the fact, BlackRock came out and they said, ‘We’re against this law. We think this is bad for democracy. This is bad for society.,'” he continued. “And they basically then had companies like Coca-Cola, Delta, and, heck, even Major League baseball — they canceled an All-Star game over this.”

Getting involved in politics “is bad for these companies because they are alienating a lot of their customers,” Frericks said, pointing to Anheuser-Busch.

“But frankly, it’s bad for democracy as well,” he stated. “Citizens should be able to decide these things through free and fair elections, not necessarily with a small group of asset managers and CEOs that are telling individuals how to live their lives.”

“I remember when the left used to hate Wall Street, and now they love Wall Street because Wall Street is woke just like they are,” Watters remarked.

“It is true,” Watters concluded, “you just gotta follow the money. You can follow it every time to the truth.”


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Melissa Fine


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