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Portfolio > Economy & Markets

U.S. Must Fix ‘Bipolar Economy’: BlackRock’s Fink

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Despite the strong results just posted by the asset management group he leads, BlackRock CEO Larry Fink is worried about problems in the U.S. economy  namely the problems facing small and midsize businesses due to the current pandemic.

“For our economy to be fully operational again it can’t be this bipolar economy,” Fink said in an interview with Bloomberg. “There’s been a lot of healing, and that’s what the market is reflecting, but there’s still a great component of our economy that hasn’t healed and is still struggling.”

The executive spoke with the media after the firm announced its second-quarter results on Friday, which included $100 billion of net inflows vs. $151 billion in the year-ago quarter and $35 billion in the first quarter. It said the latest short-term inflows mainly came from fixed income and “continued momentum in cash management.”

Long-term net flows were about $62 billion in Q2’20  vs. outflows of nearly $19 billion in Q1’20.

This is not the first time Fink has used the term “bipolar” to describe conditions in the economy or in the financial markets.

In early 2017, the BlackRock CEO said he was “pretty confused” about the markets due the “bipolar world,” referring to the split views over whether or not Congress and the Trump administration would move quickly to enact measures that moved the markets higher just after the 2016 election.

More Q2 Results

BlackRock’s adjusted earnings per share were $7.85 in the second quarter, up about 4% from last year; revenues were $3.65 billion, up nearly 23%; both results topped Wall Street estimates.

Total assets under management were up 7% from a year ago to $7.3 trillion.

Retail investors added some $16 billion to BlackRock funds in Q2’20 vs. withdrawals of about $1.5 billion in Q1’20.

Fixed income led all other types of product segments with $60 billion in inflows in the second quarter vs. withdrawals of $35.4 billion in the prior period.

Active funds brought in about $18.6 billion, while index products/iShares ETFs drew some $43.6 billion. Roughly $3.9 billion of iShares ETFs assets are held in advisory accounts tied to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York as of June 30.

“Clients are turning to BlackRock more than ever before as they face increasing uncertainty about the future … ,” according to Fink. “This is leading to deeper partnerships, and we’re seeing clients entrust BlackRock with a greater share of their assets.”

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