It was billed as a debate over the merits of shareholder activism, with two lions of Wall Street facing off: Carl Icahn, the billionaire investor, and Laurence Fink, the CEO of BlackRock, one of the world’s largest money management firms.
The New York Times reports that then Icahn got on his soapbox and the gloves came off. The 45-minute debate quickly devolved into an often heated discussion over one of the most lucrative parts of BlackRock’s business.
'I think BlackRock is a very dangerous company', said Icahn, who has made a history of taking jabs at corporate chief executives when he does not like they way they are running their companies.
Icahn went into a long and sometimes rambling rant about why he sees some exchange-traded funds, a popular vehicle for trading baskets of stocks and bonds, as potentially dangerous to the market. Specifically, he singled out higher-yielding bond exchange-traded funds, or E.T.F.s, which he said did not create sufficient liquidity in the markets.
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