The world’s largest asset manager was trending on Twitter Inc (NYSE: TWTR) Thursday, but it wasn’t under the stock or finance sections.
Buying Up Neighborhoods: On Thursday, publicly-traded BlackRock, Inc. (NYSE: BLK) was trending on Twitter under the politics section. And, there were two trending posts on Twitter that saw a surge in mentions for BlackRock.
“Homes are popping up on MLS and going under contract within a few hours. BlackRock, among others are buying up thousands of new homes and entire neighborhoods,” the tweet said.
The article in question pointed to an entire neighborhood in Houston built by D.R. Horton Inc (NYSE: DHI) that saw a bidding war. The article points to more than 200 companies and investment firms in the house hunt including BlackRock, Opendoor Technologies Inc (NYSE: OPEN) and others.
The tweet had more than 22,000 retweets, over 7,500 quoted tweets and more than 40,000 likes, all coming from an account with around 32,000 followers.
A response from conservative political commentator Ben Shapiro has also been seen by many, including his 3.4 million Twitter followers.
“I see many people are enraged at Blackrock. Blackrock is buying homes from people willing to sell them. If you don’t like what they’re doing, target the loose governmental policy incentivizing this sort of investment,” Shapiro said.
Shapiro said BlackRock isn’t going to stop buying homes at above-market prices.
Related Link: BlackRock CEO Larry Fink On ESG Investing
Political Ties: There is an article from Business Insider circulating connecting the current Cabinet under President Joe Biden to BlackRock.
Brian Deese, who leads the National Economic Council, served as an investment executive at BlackRock. Adewale Adeyemo was chief of staff to BlackRock CEO Larry Fink and now works as a top official at the U.S. Treasury Department.
BlackRock’s former chief investment strategist Michael Pye now serves as the chief economic advisor to Vice President Kamala Harris and previously worked for the Obama administration.
The relationships look like they work both ways with several former leading political executives now working at BlackRock.
Why It’s Important: Prices for homes on the market have increased and the reason why could be linked to increased buys from asset managers like BlackRock.
The story and the comments on Twitter likely won’t sit well with people that BlackRock could be buying up as many homes as possible and then reselling them later at higher prices or turning them into rental properties.
Some of these practices could keep homeownership out of reach for low-income and middle-income families.
BlackRock could become the villain in all of this and as a publicly-traded company could see pressure on its share.
BLK Price Action: Shares of BlackRock are down 0.27% at $868.60 on Thursday at publication.
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