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BlackRock is far from a household name, but it is the largest asset management firm in the world, controlling $4.6 trillion in investor funds — about a trillion dollars more than the annual federal budget, and five times the assets of Goldman Sachs. And Larry Fink, BlackRock’s CEO, has assembled a veritable shadow government full of former Treasury Department officials at his company.
Christopher Meade, former general counsel at the Treasury Department, who now serves in a similar capacity at BlackRock. Meade spent 2010 to 2015 at Treasury, with the last three years as general counsel.
Katheryn Rosen, a managing director at BlackRock, who cut her teeth in government as a senior policy adviser to Barney Frank on the House Financial Services Committee, helping to write Dodd-Frank. Frank is an adviser to the Clinton campaign. Rosen went from Frank’s office to a deputy assistant secretary position at Treasury in February 2011, working to build the Financial Stability Oversight Council, the Treasury-led super-regulator monitoring systemic risk. Prior to government work, Rosen spent 14 years as a managing director with JPMorgan Chase.
Kendrick Wilson, a vice chairman at BlackRock since 2010 who has ties to Goldman Sachs, Lazard, and the Treasury Department. He advised Treasury while it managed the financial crisis and its fallout in 2008 and 2009, before coming to BlackRock. At Treasury, Wilson brought his experience advising financial institutions to carry out hastily arranged crisis-era deals, like the merger of Bank of America and failed subprime lender Countrywide.
Michael Pyle, who was a senior adviser to Lael Brainard when she served as undersecretary to the Treasury for international affairs; he also worked at the White House for the National Economic Council and the Office of Management and Budget. He worked as a director at BlackRock until at least October 2015, though he apparently is now an economic policy adviser to the Clinton campaign.
Fink’s most telling hire, however, is Cheryl Mills, arguably Clinton’s most trusted confidante. Mills was Clinton’s chief of staff at the State Department, was deputy White House counsel in the Bill Clinton administration, and is on the board of directors of the Clinton Foundation. Fink hired Mills for the BlackRock board of directors in October 2013, in what observers mused was a ploy to insinuate himself into the Clinton inner circle.
Fink also opposes efforts to reinstitute the Glass-Steagall firewall between investment and commercial banks, as does Clinton.
In fact, Fink’s views on Wall Street are so similar to Clinton’s that it’s hard to see that as a coincidence. Most notably, Clinton’s financial reform plan is mute when it comes to regulating asset management firms as SIFIs.
... Clinton has mirrored this language to such a degree that the New York Times’ Andrew Ross Sorkin suggested that Clinton “could have been channeling Laurence D. Fink.”
American service members are confronting a potential haircut. Under a proposal the Pentagon outlined last week, new members of the armed forces would see their guaranteed retirement benefits cut by one-fifth if Congress approves the plan.
But if future veterans are being asked to make do with less, one key constituency stands to capture more: Wall Street.
Under the details of the Pentagon plan, the federal government would divert 3 percent of service members’ pay into a 401(k)-style plan that would be managed largely by BlackRock, a financial firm whose executives helped bankroll President Barack Obama’s election campaigns.
The TSP is a 401(k)-style retirement plan that invests money with private financial firms and does not guarantee a set amount of retirement income. The TSP currently invests more than 55 percent of its assets with BlackRock, according to the system’s financial statements.
Though the TSP discloses its overall fees, program officials declined to disclose how much it specifically pays to BlackRock, asserting that such information is proprietary. BlackRock did not respond to International Business Times’ questions.
The proposed changes to the military’s retirement system came from the president’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, headed by former Sen. Alan Simpson and private equity executive Erskine Bowles.
One of the leading proponents of the Simpson-Bowles proposals was Pete Peterson, President Richard Nixon’s former secretary of commerce and co-founder of the Blackstone Group. BlackRock was seeded by the Blackstone Group, and BlackRock’s original name was Blackstone Financial Management. In addition, BlackRock CEO Larry Fink is on the steering committee of a group founded by Simpson and Bowles to champion their commission’s recommendations.
"The District of Columbia's Rules of Professional Conduct strictly prohibit a lawyer from accepting employment in connection with a matter the lawyer 'participated personally and substantially as a public officer or employee.' This is an 'absolute disqualification' that 'carries forward a policy of avoiding both actual impropriety and the appearance of impropriety.'"
BlackRock, Inc. Investment Fund DE $3,333,333,333.00 $1,746,000,000.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $2,072,768.00 BLACKROCK CAPITAL MANAGEMENT INC POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTE (BLACKROCK PAC)
On Thu, Feb 12, 2015 at 4:38 PM, Eizenstat, Stuart [redacted by j&c] wrote:
I hope you are well. I have talked with Melanne Verveer and Huma Abedin about helping in the potential presidential campaign. Most recently, I met with Tom Nides at the World Economic Forum in Davos to ask him the best way to plug-in to the policy side. He told me that you would be heading the policy and issues side of the campaign.
As a result of my corporate boards (UPS, [BlackRock Funds, Alcatel-Lucent, Globe Specialty Metals), advisory boards (Christie’s, GML Holdings, and formerly chair of the Coca-Cola International Advisory Board), co-chairmanship of the Transatlantic Business Council (with some sixty U.S. and European companies), and joint projects with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, I could help the campaign as a liaison/spokesman with the U.S. business community.
Lynn Forester de Rothschild
LNG Holdings S.A.
Christie's International SA