I don’t think I’ve read a better summation of the President’s shakedown of the moneymen (“speculators” he called them) who hold Chrysler’s debt:
The President’s attempted diktat takes money from bondholders and gives it to a labor union that delivers money and votes for him.
Let’s also mention only in passing the irony of this same President begging hedge funds to borrow more to purchase other troubled securities. That he expects them to do so when he has already shown what happens if they ask for their money to be repaid fairly would be amusing if not so dangerous.
That’s indisputable. The numbers I’ve read suggest that the investors, who hold 30% of the company, had been asked (asked my ass—told, even threatened, is closer to the mark) to take scant pennies on the dollar (they offered to “compromise 50% of their first-lien position to help support the rehabilitation of Chrysler”, says their lawyer), while the United Auto Workers, which held a 10% stake, is to be given 55% of the company in exchange for a few concessions.
But it gets even better:
Last but not least, the President screaming that the hedge funds are looking for an unjustified taxpayer-funded bailout is the big lie writ large. Find me a hedge fund that has been bailed out. Find me a hedge fund, even a failed one, that has asked for one. In fact, it was only because hedge funds have not taken government funds that they could stand up to this bullying. The TARP recipients had no choice but to go along. The hedge funds were singled out only because they are unpopular, not because they behaved any differently from any other ethical manager of other people’s money. The President’s comments here are backwards and libelous. Yet, somehow I don’t think the hedge funds will be following ACORN’s lead and trucking in a bunch of paid professional protestors soon. Hedge funds really need a community organizer.
OH! That’s going to leave a mark.
This is America. We have a free enterprise system that has worked spectacularly for us for two hundred plus years. When it fails it fixes itself. Most importantly, it is not an owned lackey of the oval office to be scolded for disobedience by the President.
I am ready for my “personalized” tax rate now.
Who is this, Joe the Hedge Fund Manager?
Let us recall how candidate Obama spoke of hedge funds—versus how he acted:
Obama’s corporate-bashing rhetoric should, of course, come as no shock. During the campaign and continuing through his first 100 days, he has routinely attacked the “ethic of greed.” When Sen. John McCain publicized Obama’s wealth redistribution comments to Joe the Plumber, Obama snarked that McCain was “fighting for Joe The Hedge Fund Manager” and was “in cahoots with Joe the CEO.” First Lady Michelle Obama also singled out hedge fund managers for scorn, urging young people to turn away from unrewarding work on Wall Street for more fulfilling jobs in the “helping industry.”
But behind the public lashings, the Obamas were all too happy to pass the plate around the pews of the Church of “Greed.” According to the Center for Responsive Politics, hedge funds and private equity firms donated $2,992,456 to the Obama campaign in the 2008 cycle. Obama, vocal critic of the campaign finance practice known as “bundling,” accepted more than $200,000 in bundled contributions from billionaire hedge-fund manager James Torrey, more than $100,000 in bundled contributions from billionaire hedge-fund manager Paul Tudor Jones and more than $50,000 in bundled contributions from billionaire hedge-fund manager Kenneth C. Griffin, chief executive officer of Citadel Investment Group in Chicago.
No less than 100 Obama bundlers are investment CEOs and brokers: nearly two dozen work for financial giants such as Lehman Brothers, Goldman Sachs or Citigroup.
Somehow, “President” doesn’t feel like the right title for Obama. First Community Organizer is better. Or Shakedown Artist in Chief.
Jesse Jackson muttered those notorious words: “Barack… I want to cut his nuts off.” But I think Obama is the one wielding the rusty blade: he’s taken Jackson’s PUSH extortion tactics to a national scale.