Diversity Oaths, of a sort, have, as I predicted, spilled out of academia and into the boardroom.
Here’s the headline: Goldman to Refuse IPOs If All Directors Are White, Straight Men.
The ominous warning that starts the article: “Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Chief Executive Officer David Solomon issued the latest ultimatum Thursday from Davos.”
And what is that warning, pilgrim?
Wall Street’s biggest underwriter of initial public offerings in the U.S. will no longer take a company public in the U.S. and Europe if it lacks a director who is either female or diverse.
Female or diverse. Diverse? As in “Hi, I’m Trayvon and I’m Diverse.” Individual people are or aren’t “Diverse”. “Diverse” is a property they possess. Diversity, then, is the quest to discover the Land Without Whites. Like Zimbabwe. Since they are so Diverse, those Zimbabweans, they must be doing wonderfully on the economic front. Right?
It anyway follows that a gathering of men of no color, even men of exceptional ability, has no Diversity. A gathering of women of color is thus maximally Diverse. And maximal Diversity spells good corporate governance.
The mandate is the latest in a series of signals that non-diverse boards and management are unacceptable. BlackRock Inc. and State Street Global Advisors are voting against directors at companies without a female director. Public companies with all-male boards based in California now face a $100,000 fine under a new state law.
Not enough. Make it a million, or even ten million. Confiscate their whole damned businesses! No amount of money can cause enough of a sting so that non-Diverse businesses get it out of their heads Freedom of Association is dead. If we allow Freedom of Association, white supremacists could use it to create gatherings of white supremacists, who would then do typical frightening white supremacists things. Like inventing transistors.
“It’s what big investors are looking for these days,” said Fred Foulkes, a management professor at the Boston University Questrom School of Business. “If the board has all white males, that’s a big negative.”
Of course it is! A gathering of men of no color has the potential to do difficult and incomprehensible things! Things that Diversity would never understand! Unfair things, inequitable things, hierarchical things. Like building rockets to escape Diversity.
Goldman Sachs, and of course Solomon, have
acknowledged that “diversity” has other meanings around the world — including in Asia, where racial dynamics are different and gender disparities are sometimes even more glaring. The company said in a statement Friday that it intends to eventually expand its board-diversity mandate beyond the U.S. and Europe.
Don’t be silly. The Chinese will love and adore the introduction of identity politics into every aspect of their lives! Just as we do. President Xi was overheard saying—though I must emphasize this is only a rumor circulated on Weibo—“I wish a lesbian black transwoman was in charge.”
If Xi didn’t say this, Goldman Sachs, and of course Solomon, have the power to make him say it.
“Starting on July 1st in the U.S. and Europe, we’re not going to take a company public unless there’s at least one diverse board candidate, with a focus on women,” Solomon told CNBC Thursday. He didn’t mention Asia, which continues to lag behind other regions when it comes to board diversity…
“We realize that this is a small step, but it’s a step in a direction of saying, ‘You know what, we think this is right, we think it’s the right advice and we’re in a position also, because of our network, to help our clients if they need help placing women on boards,'” Solomon told CNBC. “So this is an example of us saying, ‘How can we do something that we think is right and help moves the market forward?'”
Forward into destiny!
Say, this makes it sound like Solomon and gang are the true owners, or at least true controllers, of businesses. Doesn’t it?
Solomon can bully American firms, or rather impose his views on them, but only because it won’t hurt his wallet. Trying to strong arm the Chinese isn’t his thing; at least, not yet. Not until Goldman Sachs, and of course Solomon, have better infiltrated the Middle Kingdom.
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