BlackRock, the world’s biggest money manager, made headlines early this year when it pledged to prioritize climate change in its investments and pare down its coal holdings.

But environmentalists say the company has failed to make good on this promise in a series of shareholder proposals at annual meetings this year.

Led by influential Wall Street player Larry Fink and overseeing some $7.3 trillion in assets, BlackRock in January vowed to take action to address climate change and sustainable development, raising the hopes of environmentalists.

“We applauded BlackRock for its statement at the beginning of this year…. and we acknowledge that they have taken some steps in that direction,” said Ben Cushing, who leads the Sierra Club’s financial advocacy campaign.

“But clearly it has not translated into fast-enough, or bold-enough action.”

BlackRock CEO Larry Fink leads the world's biggest money manager, which has defended its record of pushing for greener policies in corporations BlackRock CEO Larry Fink leads the world’s biggest money manager, which has defended its record of pushing for greener policies in corporations Photo: AFP / Ludovic MARIN

Part of the skepticism comes from BlackRock’s response to shareholder proposals to require companies to take action on the environment.

BlackRock supported only 13 percent of the green-oriented resolutions in 2020, down from 20 percent in 2019, according to Proxy Insight, which tracks global shareholder voting.

A September report from non-governmental organization Majority Action said the New York financial giant backed only three of 36 resolutions on climate change in proxy votes of S&P 500 companies.

And though BlackRock signed on to Climate Action 100+, a global investor engagement initiative, the company supported just two of 12 resolutions presented by the coalition.

BlackRock holds shares in numerous large companies, including Apple, Facebook and Exxon Mobil, as well as ConocoPhillips and Nike.

Cushing said BlackRock could make a big difference if its actions match its rhetoric.

BlackRock has been criticized for not living up to its rhetoric on the environment BlackRock has been criticized for not living

“Systemic racism is a tragic part of America’s history,” CEO Jamie Dimon said.

JPMorgan Chase pledged $30 billion to help ameliorate the racial wealth gap in the U.S. and “reduce systemic racism against Black and Latinx people,” the firm announced in a statement Thursday.

The investment bank said the $30 billion commitment over the next five years will come in the form of loans, equity and direct funding to promote affordable housing, grow Black and Latinx-owned businesses, improve access to banking in communities of color, and build a more diverse workforce.

“Systemic racism is a tragic part of America’s history,” Jamie Dimon, chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase, said in a statement. “We can do more and do better to break down systems that have propagated racism and widespread economic inequality, especially for Black and Latinx people.”

“It’s long past time that society addresses racial inequities in a more tangible, meaningful way,” the chief executive added.

PHOTO: People walk inside JP Morgan headquarters in New York, Oct 25, 2013.

People walk inside JP Morgan headquarters in New York, Oct 25, 2013.

People walk inside JP Morgan headquarters in New York, Oct 25, 2013.

Brian Lamb, the bank’s global head of diversity and inclusion, added that he feels they have a “responsibility to intentionally drive economic inclusion for people that have been left behind.”

“The COVID-19 crisis has exacerbated long-standing inequities for Black and Latinx people around the world,” Lamb said. “We are using this catalytic moment to create change and economic opportunities that enhance racial equity for Black and Latinx communities.”

Black and Latinx workers have been disproportionately impacted by unemployment amid the COVID-19 crisis, data from the Department of Labor indicates.

Some of the highlights from the bank’s outline of how the $30 billion will be parceled include originating an additional 40,000 home-purchase

FILE PHOTO: International Monetary Fund logo is seen outside the headquarters building during the IMF/World Bank spring meeting in Washington, U.S., April 20, 2018. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Group of 20 nations must offer poorer countries a longer freeze in debt payments and other help to protect the global economy from long-term scarring inflicted by the COVID-19 pandemic, leading business and labor groups said.

Warning of job losses, increasing poverty, rising child mortality and high business failure rates in poorer countries, the groups urged G20 finance ministers, who will meet by teleconference next week, to take immediate action.

“The required contribution from the world’s leading economies is minute compared to the social and economic costs of inaction,” the International Chamber of Commerce, the International Trade Union Confederation, and Global Citizen, a group pushing to end extreme poverty by 2030, said in an open letter.

The G20’s freeze in official bilateral debt payments for the poorest countries should be extended through to end-April 2022 and broadened to include lower-middle and middle-income countries, based on their health and debt vulnerabilities, said the letter which was viewed by Reuters and will be published Thursday.

The groups noted a worrying ‘stimulus gap’ with high-income countries having spent some 8% of GDP in economic stimulus to mitigate pandemic’s impact, compared to just 1.3% for low-income countries.

They called for International Monetary Fund members to replenish the Fund’s Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust and allow the IMF to extend a freeze in debt payments by the poorest countries through April 2022.

In addition, they called for a reallocation of existing IMF Special Drawing Rights to benefit poor countries and a major issuance of new SDRs, a step akin to a central bank printing money that was backed by IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva, but

A women-run company led by investing titan Sallie Krawcheck, known as “the most powerful woman on Wall Street,” is taking on the ambitious role of narrowing the gender wealth gap.

“There have been two big drivers of wealth in our country: one of which has been real estate, which people of color have been redlined out of, the other of which has been investing,” Krawcheck told CBS News’ Michelle Miller. “And women and people of color have been kept out from that.”

The gender wage gap between men and women in the U.S. has been the subject of debate and countless campaigns for equality, and that wage gap is even steeper for women of color. That wage gap, coupled with women taking more time out of their careers to care for children and investing less than men, means that even women who successfully saved for retirement could find themselves with as much as $1 million less in assets than their male counterparts. 

“Women make 82 cents to a man’s dollar. It’s slowly getting better, but to be frank — it’s decades away from closing for White women, 100 plus years for Black women, and 200 plus years for Latinx women,” Krawcheck explained. 

The disparity then leads to a long term gender wealth gap, or “how much money we keep” versus how much is earned.

“That gender wealth gap is 32 cents for a man’s dollar, and just a single digit number of pennies for Black women,” she said. 

And unlike the wage gap, Krawcheck said the wealth gap is “moving in the wrong direction” and will take more than bigger paychecks to close. 

She realized it would take more than larger paychecks to close the widening gap — so in 2014, Krawcheck founded Ellevest, a digital investment platform designed

The latest Survey of Consumer Finances, a triennial look at American households’ financial condition, provides a detailed snapshot of the country just before it was rocked by a recession that arrived with hurricane force out of the blue sky of the longest economic expansion on record. 

It reveals low- and middle-income earners were finally starting to see some wage increases as unemployment dropped to 3.5 percent. And their average wealth climbed as home values and the stock market both gained value.

Yet the gains weren’t enough to make a dent in the wealth gap. The top 1 percent own about a third of the nation’s wealth, near the 30-year high for that population. The poorer half of the country, meanwhile, claim roughly 2 percent of the overall wealth.

The richest tenth of households have seen their share of the wealth increase over the past three decades, while the other 90 percent have seen theirs slide, the report finds.

The report underscores a point Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has sought to emphasize on the campaign trail: Economic inequality was already an intractable problem before it was supercharged by pandemic shutdowns disproportionately targeting lower-income workers. President Trump, meanwhile, has argued the portion of the expansion he presided over was delivering solid gains to minority populations before the pandemic hit.

But the report also highlights how White families enjoyed huge advantages even before the recession.

“Even during the boom-time final stretch of a record economic expansion, the typical White family had eight times the wealth of a typical Black family in 2019, and five times the wealth of a typical Hispanic family,” Rachel Siegel reports of the survey’s findings. “Last year, the median wealth for Black families was less than 15 percent that of White families … White families had