BlackRock’s discrete advisory arm drives little of the firm’s revenue. It has a small staff. But its value to BlackRock, the largest money manager, is priceless.


Jerome Powell appeared, gripping the lectern in front of a blue curtain. It was late July 2020, four months into the pandemic, and the

Federal Reserve
chief was addressing a screen of journalists probing him about the US economy.

One of the reporters noted that Powell’s public calendar showed calls with Larry Fink, BlackRock’s chief executive, in March, April, and May. The Fed had chosen BlackRock that spring to assist with its vast securities-buying programs, helping the central bank buy securities such as corporate bonds and, for the first time, exchange-traded funds exposed to corporate bonds.

The…

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