‘Stakeholder capitalism is not about politics. . . . It is capitalism.” Or so BlackRock CEO Larry Fink claimed in his annual letter to America’s CEOs last month, in which he called on corporate chiefs to stay true to their own companies’ “purpose.”

“Putting your company’s purpose at the foundation of your relationships with your stakeholders is critical to your long-term success. . . . Your company’s purpose is its north star in this tumultuous environment. . . . It is more important than ever that your company and its management be guided by its purpose.” Mr. Fink’s four-page letter invokes the word “purpose” eight times.

But whose purpose, exactly? In the same letter, Mr. Fink also calls on CEOs to set “short-, medium-, and long-term targets for greenhouse gas reductions.” His demands are explicit: “We ask you to issue reports consistent with the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures.” BlackRock regularly makes demands such as these of its portfolio companies, requiring them to meet the standards of the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board.

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