CFOs considering rising prices and workers’ wages must balance the need for sustainable profits with the pressures of the worst inflation and labor shortages in decades.
Ongoing COVID-19 has slowed the job market recovery from the shutdown and boosted corporate wage costs. Fink noted that the layoff rate, or the number of workers leaving their jobs as a percentage of total employment, rose to 3% in November, a record first reached in September.
To satisfy employees, CEOs need to look beyond pay and work flexibility, Fink said. The coronavirus “has highlighted issues of racial equality, child care, and mental health – highlighting the gap between generations’ expectations at work.”
Fink also reiterated his support for “interested capitalism”, stating that “a company must create value and be valued by all stakeholders to deliver long-term value to its shareholders”.
“Stakeholder capitalism is not about politics. It’s not a social or ideological agenda. It’s not ‘agreed up,'” he said. “It’s capitalism driven by mutually beneficial relationships between you and the employees, customers, suppliers, and communities your business depends on to thrive.”
Most stakeholders expect companies to help “turn off” the global economy, Fink said, predicting that so-called sustainable investing will rise well above the $4 trillion total.
BlackRock has asked companies to set short, medium, and long-term goals for greenhouse gas reductions that are “critical to the long-term economic interests of their shareholders,” he said.
At the same time, “rejecting entire sectors – or simply shifting carbon-intensive assets from public to private markets – will not bring the world to net zero,” Fink said, adding that “BlackRock is not trying to extract oil and gas – not a company.” – like a policeman.”