Advocacy groups took a victory lap, having made BlackRock a target of protests last year:
• “BlackRock’s new initiatives match the size of the crisis we’re seeing in 2020 and are the direct result of an outpouring of pressure from the global climate movement,” said Diana Best, a senior strategist for the Sunrise Project, an environmental group.
• “This announcement is a major step in the right direction for BlackRock,” Moira Birss of Amazon Watch said.
But they said more needed to be done:
• Ms. Birss said BlackRock hadn’t pledged to stop investing in companies involved with deforestation.
• Ben Cushing of the Sierra Club was critical of BlackRock’s continuing investments in oil, gas and coal companies.
BlackRock says it can do only so much on climate change, since two-thirds of its assets are in passive index funds. But its huge influence can nudge investors toward funds focused on sustainability, Matt Levine of Bloomberg Opinion writes.
Banks had a great year. 2020 could be just as good.
JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup ended last year with something for their investors to cheer: brisk profits and the promise of more good news to come.
• JPMorgan reported a record $36.4 billion in net income for 2019, with strong trading results.
• Citi announced $19.4 billion in profits for the year, its best results since the 2008 financial crisis.