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Woke agendas have cost Anheuser-Busch and Target billions in market value. However, major corporations are being pressured to push progressive causes by powerful investment firms, according to an ex-Anheuser-Busch exec.
Boycotts of Target erupted after the national retailer promoted Pride month with "tuck-friendly" bathing suits, LGBTQ onesies for babies, and products from a transgender designer promoting Satanism. The boycotts caused JPMorgan to downgrade Target's stock, and the retail chain's share price dropped 14%.
Dominant investment firms are strong-arming companies to promote progressive values despite alienating large swaths of their customer base says Anson Frericks – former president of Anheuser-Busch sales and distribution.
"You just have to follow the money," Frericks said during an appearance on "Jesse Watters Primetime." "You take a look at BlackRock, State Street, Vanguard – they manage $20 trillion worth of capital."
Frericks noted that these impactful investment firms manage massive pension funds, such as the state of California's pension fund – the largest in the country. Frericks said that California politicians wield influence on which companies these firms invest in.
"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," he said.
Frericks added, "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 he left Anheuser-Busch because large companies began engaging in politics and telling customers "how to live their lives."
He pointed to Georgia legislators passing election integrity laws, then BlackRock, Coca-Cola, Delta Airlines, and MLB publicly opposing the law that didn't directly affect them.
Frericks told Fox News host Jesse Watters, "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,' and they basically then had companies like Coca-Cola, like Delta and heck — even Major League Baseball, they canceled an All-Star Game over this."
\u201cFmr. Anheuser-Busch Exec. on How BlackRock, State Street, & Vanguard Force Companies to Go Woke\n\n\u201cCitizens 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\u2026\u201d— Chief Nerd (@Chief Nerd) 1685880006
Frericks warned that BlackRock, State Street, and Vanguard – known as the "Big Three" – are "proponents of what's called 'stakeholder capitalism,' which is a belief that businesses should be run not only to increase value to shareholders, but to serve all stakeholders, including government agencies, activists, and non-governmental organizations."
"The Big Three began to issue guidelines on how they expected their portfolio companies to honor this 'commitment' by implementing so-called Environmental, Social, and Governance, or ESG, targets, and scores," Frericks wrote in the Daily Mail. "To encourage compliance, the Big Three uses their power as shareholders to influence who sits on corporate boards."
He added, "The Big Three also wield enormous influence when it comes to executive pay. According to one study, a shocking 73% of S&P 500 companies now tie executive compensation to ESG measures. If a CEO doesn't weigh in on the latest social issue quickly enough, his or her bonus could be in jeopardy."
Frericks wrote that political and cultural issues "should be settled at the ballot box, not in the board room."
How TERRIFYING new ESG rules will transform the ENTIRE WORLDwww.youtube.com
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Paul Sacca is a staff writer for Blaze News.