Under Chris Christie Fees to Wall Street Tripled

By: Thursday August 28, 2014 11:30 am

According to a report by David Sirota for the International Business Times, fees paid out to Wall Street by the State of New Jersey have tripled under the administration of Governor Chris Christie, costing the taxpayers $3.8 billion. Governor Christie was already under scrutiny for the way he managed the pension system when it was revealed that he had given a multimillion dollar contract to a campaign contributor arguably in violation of New Jersey’s pay to play law.

 

Study: Hedge Funds Taking Over Pension Fund Investments, Increasing Risk

By: Wednesday June 4, 2014 1:06 pm

Recently Pando Daily broke a story about Governor Christie’s Administration violating pay to play laws by rewarding political donors with New Jersey Pension Fund contracts. The gist being that after General Catalyst employee Charles Baker donated money to the NJ GOP, General Catalyst received roughly $15 million to invest on behalf of retirees.

While the focus of the story was on violations of New Jersey’s pay to play laws, another facet of the scandal worth exploring is the increasing role alternative investment vehicles like General Catalyst – which is a venture capital firm – play in managing pension wealth. Private equity and hedge funds have begun to play an increasing role in pension investments as a recent Pew study points out.

The previously boring and safe strategy of buying government and top tier corporate bonds has been supplanted by the high flying big risk strategy of hedge funds.

SEC Deregulates Hedge Funds

By: Thursday July 11, 2013 11:10 am

The SEC is back to its old tricks, putting aside the public interest for private concerns. The latest maneuver involves lifting the ban on allowing highly risky investment vehicles known as hedge funds to advertise publicly for the first time. Yes, even in the bubblemania of the 1990s this was not done for fear people would lose their money in the riskiest part of the Wall Street casino.

FDL Book Salon Welcome Les Leopold, How to Make a Million Dollars an Hour: Why Hedge Funds Get Away With Siphoning Off America’s Wealth

By: Saturday March 2, 2013 1:59 pm

Leopold doesn’t technically explain exactly how to go into the business of making a million dollars an hour, or even the $842,788 an hour average the top ten hedge fund managers made in 2010. The closest this book comes to financial self-help is Leopold’s fascinating chapter on Jim Cramer, wherein the hedge fund manager and CNBC personality repeatedly hammers home the importance of breaking the law. But for all the wage-earning suckers who hadn’t figured out that critical “bottom line” of success in 21st century America yet, that’s a pretty good place to start.

NYT Reports on Investor Purchases of Foreclosed Homes for Rental Conversion

By: Tuesday December 11, 2012 1:50 pm

The same people who were present at the creation of the original bubble are driving the boat in this second incarnation.

Death By Twinkie: What the Hostess Liquidation Says About Labor and the Economy

By: Friday November 16, 2012 1:26 pm

This is an object lesson in how management looks at labor relations these days. Workers are expected to take their lumps, and if they protest, management will just blow up the company. And the owners will still make a profit. This is Romneyism and Bainism writ large.

GOP Campaign Manager, Hedge Fund Employee Responsible for Rumor-Mongering Pranks During Hurricane Sandy

By: Tuesday October 30, 2012 3:10 pm

So here’s an early contender for jerk of the year – a guy blatantly pushing out false Twitter notices of various catastrophes during last night’s Hurricane Sandy storm in New York City.

Romney Profited From Auto Bailout

By: Thursday October 18, 2012 9:00 am

The way in which the hedge fund syndicate secured these taxpayers dollars for Delphi sounds pretty much like blackmail. For example, according to Steven Rattner, the auto czar, Delphi demanded an immediate cash infusion of $350 million or they would stop supplying to GM. Oh, and Delphi promptly fired all the unionized workers at Delphi, cut health care for all their nonunion pensioners, and took the production jobs to China. Delphi employs less then 5,000 US workers, from a high of 25,000.

How do the Romneys figure into this? They have at least $1 million invested in Paul Singer’s Elliott Management, per their 2011 and 2012 financial disclosure. Based on that investment, they made at least $15.3 million on the deal, which involved ripping off the US taxpayer, shedding US jobs in favor of China, and using leverage created by the auto bailout to do it. Most of these profits have been kept offshore to avoid US taxes, of course. The Romneys protest that these investments are all held in a blind trust, but the executor of their blind trust is Romney’s personal lawyer.

Just another day in the life of a vulture capitalist, I guess.

News Leaks of $1 Billion Blackstone Investment in Foreclosed Properties… Just in Tampa Bay

By: Monday September 24, 2012 11:35 am

Investors, envisioning a bottom in the market and capitalizing on public policy to sell off the inventory, have pushed into this space in a big way in 2012, providing almost the entire margin of the modest recovery this year.

Big Banks Increasing Spread on Mortgage Profits, Not Funneling Cheaper Rates to Customers

By: Wednesday September 19, 2012 9:33 am

Banks are making more off mortgages than ever before, refusing to pass on lowered interest rates from federal policy, including the purchase of trillions in mortgage-backed securities by the Federal Reserve, to consumers. This isn’t really the enigma that the New York Times’ Dealbook makes it out to be. It’s simple collusion. Nobody offers 2.8% mortgage rates, so nobody gets them. As a result, the spread that banks capture on their mortgages widens.

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