A few months ago, an aggressive US pressure group called the Campaign for Accountability declared that it had a new target: the Wall Street behemoth BlackRock. Quickly, the American press picked up on this campaign against excessive corporate power. Soon we were reading about how BlackRock, like Goldman Sachs before it, ‘rules the world’.
Despite BlackRock’s supposed omni-potence, it is relatively unknown in Britain. It might be the biggest private manager of assets in the world but, in political terms, the company has existed in relative obscurity. That is, until last year, when it handed George Osborne a £650,000 contract for giving ‘advice’ one day a week.
In recent months, the firm’s political profile has been rising.