Laurence D. Fink, chief executive officer of BlackRock Inc., the world’s largest asset-management firm, said poor policy making from Washington is forcing companies to hoard cash in what he calls a “vast de-risking”.
“Our corporations have not been in this good a shape in tens and tens of years, they’re sitting with trillions of dollars of cash and they’re frightened,” Fink said Thursday at a Financial Times conference in New York. “The average CEO does not know how to plan out five years with this political uncertainty.”
Fink, 58, who co-founded BlackRock in a one-room office in Manhattan in 1988, said the behavior by politicians in August as they debated whether to raise the U.S. debt ceiling was “un- American and unbecoming.” Rising public debt and “greater policy-making uncertainty” prompted Standard & Poor’s to downgrade U.S. long-term debt to AA+ from AAA in August.
“This is a vast de-risking,” Fink said. “It is the default mechanism of a frightened outlook.”
BlackRock manages about $3.66 trillion in assets for institutions and individuals through separately managed accounts, mutual funds and exchange-traded funds.
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