In this remarkable report from the New York Times, Laurence Fink, the chief executive of investment firm BlackRock, responsible for managing over US$6 trillion of investments in the global economy, has stated that his firm will not support investment in companies unless they are able to prove they are making a positive contribution to society.

It is hard to understate the ripple effect of this pronouncement, and the approach espoused and soon to be practiced by BlackRock may very well change the face of capitalism altogether.

Society is demanding that companies, both public and private, serve a social purpose, Mr. Fink wrote in a draft of the letter. “To prosper over time, every company must not only deliver financial performance, but also show how it makes a positive contribution to society.”


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