scorecardLarry Fink's annual letter to BlackRock investors was about getting back to basics
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Larry Fink's annual letter to BlackRock investors was about getting back to basics

Dan DeFrancesco   

Larry Fink's annual letter to BlackRock investors was about getting back to basics
Finance3 min read
BlackRock CEO Larry Fink    GettyImages / Eugene Gologursky

The weekend is nearly here! Dan DeFrancesco in NYC. Forget "Cocaine Bear." We've got cocaine hippos!

The ripples from Silicon Valley Bank's collapse are still being felt by the industry. San Francisco-based First Republic Bank is reportedly considering different strategic options, including a sale.

Today, we've got stories on what the hell is going on at Credit Suisse, the best airports in the world, and everything you need to know about March Madness.

But first, a letter from the CEO.

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1. Larry gets back to basics.

If you're looking for controversy in Larry Fink's annual open letter to investors, better luck next year.

The CEO and cofounder of investing behemoth BlackRock largely stayed out of the mud this year. Despite this year's letter clocking in at roughly 9,000 words — have you thought about getting an editor, Larry? — Fink largely avoided discussing a favorite, albeit controversial, topic of his: ESG investing.

As Insider's Rebecca Ungarino reported, this year's letter only briefly referred to "sustainability," and had no mentions of ESG or so-called "woke" investing.

It's an interesting pivot for Fink, whose letters have commonly leaned into controversial topics and, as was the case last year, even been defensive.

But then again, as Rebecca pointed out in her story, Fink has had a tough go of it over the past year, specifically from Republican politicians who have largely criticized ESG investing.

To be sure, Fink did not completely avoid firing off some hot takes. As Insider's Carla Mozée reported, he did comment on SVB's collapse, suggesting there could be "more seizures and shutdowns" of US banks.

Click here to read more about Larry Fink's latest annual letter that largely avoided hot political topics.

In other news:

Purdue's Zach Edey backs down Wisconsin's Steven Crowl.      AP Photo/Andy Manis

2. In one ear and out the other. Insider's Linette Lopez broke down the lessons that will be learned, or not, from the tech industry in the wake of Silicon Valley Bank's collapse. More on that here.

3. Credit Suisse saw the SVB madness and said "hold my beer." The Swiss bank's stock plummeted after its biggest investor said it would "absolutely not" invest any more in the beleaguered firm. (Strong show of confidence!) It's now set to borrow up to $54 billion from the Swiss central bank as it looks to shore up liquidity. Here's a complete rundown on why Credit Suisse is not having a good time.

4. Don't worry. It's not 2008 all over again. It might seem as if we are heading into another global financial crisis, but Moody's chief economist thinks differently. Here are four reasons we're not headed down the same path.

5. So about those Meta layoffs... You might have seen that the tech giant conducted its second round of layoffs in four months, cutting 10,000 more workers. We analyzed Mark Zuckerberg's lengthy Facebook post on the layoffs. These are the six big takeaways from what it all means.

6. If you want to build a startup, maybe take advice from this guy. Sam Altman, the CEO and cofounder of OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT, gave a lecture at Stanford in 2014 detailing what it takes to build a successful startup. Nearly 10 years later, his advice still holds up.

7. We've got some airport rankings! An aviation-ranking website released its annual list of the best airports based on passenger reviews. Surprise, surprise, there's not a bunch of US representation. Check out the top 20 here.

8. It's coming for the beaches. Beaches in Florida and Mexico are going to disappoint a lot of tourists and residents if this 5,000-mile blanket of seaweed has its way. More on why the "Great Atlantic Sargassum Belt" could ruin your next vacation.

9. Inside an antique collector's dream. Do you ever wake up and think, "I wish I was living in a Gatsby-inspired home?" Yeah, me neither. But in case you do, check out this California home that is almost entirely comprised of antiques. Here are lots of photos of the house meant to elicit "the era of Gatsby."

10. This is March. The NCAA men's basketball tournament kicks off today. (Sorry, I don't count the First Four games.) Here's the bracket, and a rundown on how to watch the games. And if you don't know which team to root for, check out this map showing each state's most popular pick to win it all.

Curated by Dan DeFrancesco in New York. Feedback or tips? Email, tweet @dandefrancesco, or connect on LinkedIn. Edited by Jeffrey Cane (tweet @jeffrey_cane) in New York and Nathan Rennolds (tweet @ncrennolds) and Hallam Bullock (tweet @hallam_bullock) in London.