Two on (ugh) Blackrock

"Blackrock Discovers the Joy of Other People's Money".

The central Fink argument is that the market does not understand the risks posed by increasing atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases---or the business risks posed by potential climate policies attempting to reduce GHG emissions---but that he and Blackrock’s bureaucrats do, and that corporate managements are in a position to evaluate the science and politics of such future outcomes.

"Bad Day At BlackRock? ESG investing is already taking a toll on state pension funds—now it might transform the world’s largest private asset manager, too."

This shift in approach could have significant unintended consequences. Prioritizing ESG probably won’t be good for BlackRock’s clients. And if the firm’s stature encourages more public-sector investments in ESGs, the damage could be to more than just BlackRock’s bottom line.

"Chicago’s Walmart Plea"

Except for the fact that it would hurt a lot of innocent people, if I were Walmart I'd tell Chicago to take a long walk off a short pier.

Walmart spent years fighting local politicians to build new stores in Chicago, and it finally won approval in 2010 after paying off unions and liberal groups with a “community benefits agreement.” It now ranks among the largest employers in Chicago’s heavily minority south and west sides and throws off hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue for state and city politicians to spend. But after last week’s riots, Walmart seems to be having second thoughts about business in Chicago.

"'The Most Absurd Moment In The History Of Capital Markets': Hertz Plans To Sell Up To $1 Billion In New Bankrupt Stock"

In case you've missed it there's been a whole lot of really strange stuff going on in the stock market recently. Bankrupt Hertz is just one case in point.

See also this fine summary Twitter thread from TESLACharts.

Related: "Goldman's Clients Are Getting Angry That Teenage Daytraders Are Crushing Them," "Hertz: Bankruptcy Bull Run Will End in Tears," "Day traders are piling into Hertz, JCPenney, and other bankruptcy stocks despite the massive risks," "Low-information ‘investors’ rule the stock market — at least until they lose every cent," and this tweet:

Shares of bankrupt $HTZ are up 50% premarket on news that it might massively dilute its shareholders before canceling their equity and rendering it worthless. We are witnessing history folks

And also this one:

Chesapeake Energy has gone from $15 to $77 to $16. This week.

"No J in ESG?"

Go ahead, folks, invest in all the woke companies. I'll make money off the ones you don't like. And there's this:

The problem, Deluard suggests, is that ESG investing, intentionally or otherwise, rewards exactly the corporate behavior that is creating alarm. Companies with few buildings, few formal employees and a light carbon footprint tend to show up well on ESG screens. But allocating capital to them leads to a deepening of inequality, and intensifying the problem of under-unemployment. On the face of it, they aren’t the companies that should be receiving capital if employment is to recover swiftly.

"Art Pope’s Variety Wholesalers comes up Roses amid recent retail tumult"

A very nice story of a guy making an honest buck. A whole lot of bucks, actually. (Any resemblance to Amazon's strategy is purely coincidental, I'm sure.)

What’s noticeable about Roses, though, is how little it is changing. There is no e-commerce. No acquisitions since 2003. No newly constructed stores, only rehabs. No customer-loyalty program. Same CEO and same chief operating officer since 2006. The company headquarters is in the same downtown Henderson space where P.H. Rose opened his third store.

Moreover, the company’s strategy hasn’t changed (cheap, cheap, cheap!) enabling customers to “improve their lifestyles at a price they can afford,” Sawyer says. “If you focus on buying at the right price, controlling your costs and giving great value to your customer, you can be successful.”

UPDATE: Link added now.