Who owns the world? Well, I’m about to tell you – And no, it’s not Oprah.
Now I’m going to drag out the suspense of who owns the world for this entire – BLACKROCK! It’s BlackRock! (Damn it… Should’ve dragged it out longer.)
BlackRock is the largest asset management firm on the planet. It’s essentially a shadow bank. And I don’t know what a shadow bank is other than what my uncle would always say the Greek guy at his construction job had. (Seemed vaguely racist but I couldn’t put my finger on it.)
BlackRock is enormous! However big you’re picturing, multiply it by the size of, like, a Toyota Sequoia. …Side note: why are giant SUV monster trucks always named after the thing they kill? Your dumbest friend is always like, “Yeah, I own a Nissan Polar Bear. But I’m thinkin’ of tradin’ it in for the Chevy Our Grandchildren’s Future. It has 18 cup holders and two cub holders for any bear cubs you run over with it.”
BlackRock literally has more assets than the gross domestic products (GDP) of every single country except China and the U.S. So picture India with their 1.4 billion people. BlackRock has more than their annual GDP! It’s ridiculous. BlackRock holds somewhere around 9 trillion dollars. That’s a tenth of the whole world’s yearly economic activity.
Here, this will put it in perspective. If you make $60,000 a year (after taxes), then you’re doin’ pretty well. But in order to grab up $9 trillion, you’d need to work for 150 million years. You’d have to work for the entire length of the existence of the dinosaurs. (And that’s if your stegosaurus boss paid you on time, which, you know how they are.)
And BlackRock is by far the biggest wealth fund or shadow bank in the world. “The grand total of the sovereign wealth funds managed by over 91 such funds across the world is projected to be worth approximately 8.2 Trillion US Dollars.” That’s right, 91 other such funds don’t have as much as BlackRock has.
So what do they do with all this money? I’ll tell you what – they own everything. But especially horrible shit. They’re like that friend you have who always goes, “Man, if you get a prostitute, I’ll pay for it. Seriously.” But that guy’s not offering to pick up the tab for your kid’s daycare. No way. They don’t care about that.
BlackRock is a huge investor in oil and they hold $85 billion in coal despite their pledge to sell fossil fuel shares. About that pledge – BlackRock’s CEO and founder, Larry Fink – yes, his name in the dictionary literally means “an unpleasant or contemptible person.” (We’re living in a stupid simulation, and it’s not even trying to hide it anymore. The next president will be named Daniel Yourfucked and we’re supposed to keep acting like everything’s fine?!)
In a public statement, BlackRock CEO Larry Fink announced that he would begin holding the companies they invest in accountable for being responsible corporate citizens.
A responsible corporate citizen? That doesn’t even make sense. That’s like a fun STD.
But even so, that statement by Fink made some of BlackRock’s investments – companies that do things like pump fossil fuels to destroy the planet – nervous. They thought, “Oh shit. BlackRock might start funding good stuff, like electric public transportation, free community health centers, or bringing back Beanie Babies. Everybody loves Beanie Babies.
So BlackRock then wanted to reassure everyone they aren’t actually changing. They wrote a letter stressing their commitment to destroying our future. “In the letter, BlackRock reported… its investment in fossil fuel companies totaled $259 billion globally… [proudly touting] that it is ‘perhaps the world’s largest investor in fossil fuel companies.’”
For the rest of this analysis of the people who own the world, please watch the full video above.
Lee Camp is an American stand-up comedian, writer, actor and activist. Camp is the host of Behind The Headlines’ new series: The Most Censored News With Lee Camp. He is a former comedy writer for the Onion and the Huffington Post and has been a touring stand-up comic for 20 years.