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"Hogg reminds me of Benito Mussolini. He speaks, he shouts, he raises his fist."
Here’s how BlackRock tried to wash its hands of the issue in a statement to CNBC last week, “As a significant provider of index-based investments, we are required to replicate the holdings of particular indices. Third-party providers determine which companies are included in these indices.”That’s a total cop-out and not even completely true. First, nowhere in the typical index-fund prospectus does it say a fund is required to replicate exactly the holdings of an index. In fact, most small-cap index funds use sampling techniques and do not invest in every company in the indexes they are tracking.Second, to make its intentions all the more explicit, a BlackRock or a Vanguard could simply send a notice to shareholders that they are no longer investing in gun stocks in their index portfolios. Because of the sophisticated optimization techniques that passive managers already use, this would have no impact on the risk-return characteristics of the funds. Third, as some of the world’s largest asset managers, fund companies could require their third-party index providers to remove gun stocks.If the fund companies refuse to divest for these (supposedly) technical reasons, they still cannot avoid the issue because there is something else they can do that could be more effective than divestment. As major shareholders, they can actively engage with the gun companies urging them to stop standing in the way of the consideration of common-sense gun regulations, to stop making certain types of guns, ammunition, and accessories, and to tighten its distribution oversight to ensure that retailers selling its products follow background checks and other applicable regulations.
In Internet slang, a troll (/troʊl, trɒl/) is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting quarrels or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog) with the intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal, on-topic discussion, often for the troll's amusement.
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