Americans are paying sky-high electricity rates and companies like Vanguard are making the problem worse. This week my organization, Consumers’ Research, joined 13 state attorneys general in a complaint against Vanguard at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. With more than $7 trillion in assets under management, the Pennsylvania-based investment firm has publicly committed to pressuring utilities to lower their emissions. Vanguard appears to be not only putting America’s critical infrastructure at risk but violating its agreement only to control utility company shares passively. To protect U.S. consumers and safeguard national security, FERC should investigate the company’s conduct.
The three biggest asset managers—Vanguard, State Street and BlackRock—wield enormous clout over the companies in their investment portfolios. That influence is primarily exercised in board meetings and elections. The big three can cast nearly 25% of the votes in any director election at S&P 500 companies. That leverage means CEOs listen when asset managers make demands.
Read more on WSJ.org.