The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

BlackRock and the Bailout ... Again

May 18, 2020

In mid-March, the U.S. Federal Reserve responded to the worsening financial collapse with a mammoth bailout of the heavily indebted corporate and banking sectors, a bailout that will cost trillions of dollars.

To manage and run this bailout, the Federal Reserve turned to BlackRock, the global money manager. BlackRock is not well known; it is not a household name. But it is a company of massive power and reach. It manages more than seven trillion dollars for private speculators, institutions and pensions funds, an amount of money that is bigger than the entire German economy! It is the biggest investor of many of the largest companies in the world. It also holds massive amounts of government debt in the U.S., Europe and Asia.

As the manager of the Federal Reserve’s bailout program, BlackRock will decide what to do with trillions of dollars of debt. It will decide for the Federal Reserve what debt to buy up and for how much, as well as how much to sell it for. This includes untold billions in debt held by BlackRock itself! In other words, BlackRock will buy and sell its own financial instruments, using the money provided by the Federal Reserve!

This is not a new role for BlackRock. Back in 2008, when the Federal Reserve engineered an earlier corporate bailout in the midst of that financial collapse, it also turned to BlackRock to manage the bailout.

At the time, BlackRock was only said to have a little more than a trillion dollars under its own management. But after being hired by the Federal Reserve, other governments came knocking. The British Treasury, the Swiss National Bank, the European Central bank and the government of Greece all hired BlackRock as a key advisor and money manager. At the same time, BlackRock hired top former government officials and ministers, including George Osborne, the former British finance minister (chancellor of the exchequer), and Friederich Merz, the former head of the German ruling party and cabinet minister, greatly expanding the company’s influence and reach over the entire globe, in the private and public sectors both.

BlackRock’s spectacular rise shows just how much control over the entire global economy has become ever more concentrated and parasitical. BlackRock and a few big companies like it are little more than conduits for channeling the wealth produced by the working class worldwide into the pockets of a few big financiers. A tiny minority of financiers grow ever richer by impoverishing most of the working population, leading to growing social and economic rot and decline, as well as ever worsening crises and collapses.