Jim Jordan Hits Major Financial Institutions With Subpoenas

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Nick Pope Contributor
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House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan issued subpoenas Friday to two of the largest financial firms in the world seeking information about the companies’ efforts to promote Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) goals.

The subpoenas, which target BlackRock and State Street Global Advisors, are a part of the House Judiciary Committee’s investigation into whether or not current antitrust laws can adequately address potentially collusive agreements between major corporations to advance politicized ESG agendas, according to the House Judiciary Committee. Friday’s subpoenas are a more forceful move by the committee to compel the financial titans to provide documents and communications that Jordan and his colleagues requested in July.

While the two firms have handed over some of the materials that the committee requested in July, each companies’ “overall response to the committee’s requests has been inadequate,” according to the House Judiciary Committee’s announcement of the subpoenas. (RELATED: BlackRock CEO Scales Back Emphasis On Climate Investing: ‘Not … The Environmental Police’)

Andrew Ross Sorkin speaks with BlackRock CEO Larry Fink during the New York Times DealBook Summit in the Appel Room at the Jazz At Lincoln Center on November 30, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

Jordan and the House Judiciary Committee issued subpoenas to Vanguard and Arjuna Capital, two other massive asset managers, on Monday for the same reasons.

“Corporations are collectively adopting and imposing progressive environmental, social, and governance (ESG)-related goals, and State Street Global Advisors (State Street) appears to have entered into collusive agreements to ‘decarbonize’ its assets under management and reduce emissions to net zero in ways that may violate U.S. antitrust law,” Jordan alleges in the State Street subpoena’s cover letter. The cover letter for the BlackRock subpoena alleges the same sort of activity in nearly identical language.

State Street has thus far provided the committee with 6,998 documents, a number that Jordan contends is smaller than the volume of documents provided by firms much smaller than State Street in the investigation’s purview, according to the cover letter. This figure suggests to Jordan that State Street is not being fully compliant with prior requests.

“We have cooperated fully with the Committee and will continue to do so going forward,” a spokesperson for State Street told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “We remain confident that we have not violated any anti-trust laws.”

Similarly, BlackRock has managed to produce 7,745 documents relevant to the investigation so far, which suggests to Jordan that the firm has not fully engaged with the committee’s requests for the same reasons he believes State Street has not, either, according to the subpoena cover letter.

“As a fiduciary, our only agenda is to act independently in helping our clients achieve their financial goals. This is why BlackRock is trusted to manage more assets than any other asset manager in the world,” a spokesperson for the firm told the DCNF. “We have worked cooperatively with the House Judiciary Committee to address their questions about the asset management industry, as we do with any government body. Having already produced more than 7,700 documents and 91,000 pages, a subpoena was not necessary but we understand this is the committee’s practice, and we will continue to cooperate.”

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