Archive for 2011

Hedge Funds Best Investment – A Politician

George Soros - Crony Capitalist - Obama Insider

George Soros - Crony Capitalist - Obama Insider

 

Perhaps the best investment a hedge fund can make these days is not in a financial wizard but a politician. Hedge funds and financiers are becoming more political than ever before. And political figures and government appointees with no background in finance (former Vice Presidents Dan Quayle and Al Gore, and former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, for example) have launched their own investment funds.

“The former politician/investment guru fraternity appears to be growing,” noted one industry observer. And former politicians are finding a career that can be even more lucrative than lobbying: providing “political intelligence” to investment funds, based on private conversations with congressional staffers and sitting senators.

In the world of investment finance it is increasingly important to be well connected politically. These hedge funds, one’s that hired lobbyists and made campaign contributions, had a much better rate of return than those which were not. One study explained that “connected funds possess an informational advantage in trading politically sensitive stocks.” The study also found that when a given hedge fund switched from being apolitical to getting into the political game, it’s performance increased by an impressive average of 2% to 2.9% per month. Economists also discovered that the more hedge funds gave to political candidates and the more they hired lobbyists, the more they tended to invest in politically sensitive stocks that were influenced by government actions.

“Connected fund managers exhibit a bias towards politically sensitive stocks (both in terms of trading and holdings) and they outperform significantly in these political stocks.”

The simple fact is that politically connected hedge fund managers and billionaire financiers can make a lot of money based on information gleaned from politicians and government officials. And it is not illegal for a politician to share this information. If an official gets paid directly for it, however, he risks a bribery charge. Former Congressman Brian Baird warned that the financial states are so high, “the possibility of direct kickbacks [is] enormous.” So the payback must be subtle.

Elliott Portnoy, a lobbyist in Washington, says that the biggest field of growth for lobbyists is not in influencing legislation but in obtaining “political intelligence” for hedge funds and large investors.

“There are a lot of savvy investors who have realized that there is a lot of money to be made from what Congress does,” Portnoy said.

One congressional staffer was even more blunt when he told the Wall Street Journal,

“The amount of insider trading going on in these halls is incredible.”

Access to government information is critical. And being on good terms with the gatekeepers of that information – elected officials, political appointees, and bureaucrats – can make all the difference between getting rich and getting hammered in the market.

George Soros is perhaps the most visible investor in the world after Warren Buffett. He is famous for his currency trades as for his outspoken political views. And in a world where government actions and policies have such a huge effect on the world of finance, the two spheres are not so separate as one might think.

But as a review of the many ways in which he [Soros] made smart stimulus bets reveals, the lesson is clear: if you are a big investor, you are a sucker if you don’t play the Washington game. The symbiosis of politics and markets has become so blatant, the two realms have become so intertwined, that Washington is essentially putting its thumb on the scale of a massive portion of the American economy – and elite insiders are the ones who benefit most.

Source: Throw Them All Out by Peter Schweizer – How Politicians and their friends get rich off insider stock tips, land deals, and cronyism that would send the rest of us to prison.

Buy it, read it, then fight Congressional Insider Trading!

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Posted by Don Anastas - December 22, 2011 at 11:10 am

Categories: Investing, Law & Justice, Politics, U.S. Constitution   Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Barack Obama’s Unrestrained Ego On Parade

Obama's Massive Ego - Second to None
Updated after original post:

Maybe Barack Obama continues to be acquiring history lessons at the alter of Newt Gingrich. Obama’s latest self-assessment of his tenure in the White House challenges virtually any historical example which the past House Speaker in addition to college professor has developed, although Mr. Obama is also a university affiliate converted to politician.

Mr. Obama was most recently questioned by CBS’s Steve Croft on “60 Minutes” to reflect upon his time in office thus far, and the samples from the interview that broadcast this past Sunday have already been published online.

“The issue here is not going be a list of accomplishments,” Mr. Obama responded. “As you said yourself, Steve, you know, I would put our legislative and foreign-policy accomplishments in our first two years against any president-with the possible exceptions of Johnson, FDR and Lincoln-just in terms of what we’ve gotten done in modern history. But, you know, but when it comes to the economy, we’ve got a lot more work to do.”

You have to really like the “possible” within that phrase regarding FDR and Lincoln. Possibly Mr. Obama might have ditched the diminishing modifier in the event that old Abe had not taken so long in order to free the slaves or even win the Civil War. Additionally it is noteworthy that poor George Washington failed to earn the Obama list. Historians may possibly believe Washington to be this nation’s “indispensable man,” yet he by no means ever campaigned upon an assurance to lower sea levels.

Ego aside-or massive ego aside – Mr. Obama’s boasts tend to be instructional simply because they clearly push away any kind of link between his “accomplishments” together with the economic climate in which Americans elected him to repair. Might possibly Mr. Obama’s appetites for additional government – for significantly more LBJ-style accomplishments – have something related to the poor recovery?

The New York Times revealed in November that Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner advised Mr. Obama soon after the election in 2008 that “Your legacy is going to be preventing the second Great Depression.” Mr. Obama replied, “That’s not enough for me.”

The fact is, during his tenure in the White House, Barack Obama has voted – Not present! Obama beats out Jimmy Carter as worst ever. No contest.

Obama’s Massive Ego – Second to None

Update: On second thought maybe Carter is still number one as worst US President in history –>>Ex-President Carter sends condolences to Kim Jong-un

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Posted by Don Anastas - December 21, 2011 at 10:49 am

Categories: Politics   Tags: , , ,

Progressive Religion – Slandering Virgin Mary

Slandering Virgin Mary

Well, well the Liberals never fail to take the word “progressive” and bend it to their Marxist way of thinking. In New Zealand one Liberal Anglican church has gone as far as invoking the Virgin Mary.

We have the main stream media siding with the Anglican morons and decrying a Catholic activist who on Sunday damaged a billboard depicting the Virgin Mary looking at a pregnancy test kit, located outside the St. Matthews-in-the-City Church in Auckland, New Zealand. Yes, damaging the billboard seems to be the news down under not the immoral use of the Virgin Mary.

“Even people who aren’t Catholics know instinctively you don’t attack the Blessed Virgin who gave us the savior of the world,” the man responsible for ripping the image, Arthur Skinner of the Catholic Action Group told New Zealand television. “To see this at this time is an absolute abomination.”

St. Mathews vicar Glynn Cardy and associate priest Clay Nelson, invited people to offer their own thoughts.

“This billboard portrays Mary, Jesus’ mother, looking at a home pregnancy test kit revealing that she is pregnant,” they wrote when the billboard went up. “Regardless of any premonition, that discovery would have been shocking. Mary was unmarried, young, and poor. This pregnancy would shape her future. She was certainly not the first woman in this situation or the last.

“As in the past it is our intention to avoid the sentimental, trite and expected, to spark thought and conversation in the community. This year we hope to do so with an image and no words. We invite you to wonder what your caption might be.”

So being in the Christmas spirit and celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ means being provocative at the expense of religious beliefs according to the Progressives. The wish to “avoid the sentimental” and “spark thought and conversation.”

Catholic Diocese of Auckland spokeswoman Lyndsay Freer on Monday provided a statement, saying that the St. Matthews’ initiative:

“…ignores the gospel account of matters surrounding Mary’s pregnancy and the birth of Jesus, in which Mary is not a shocked solo mother, but a young woman who, despite any anxiety she may have had, has given her firm assent and trust to God, saying ‘Be it done to me according to your will.’”

Progressive’s often claim people who don’t like their broad interpretations and beliefs are simply “intolerant.”  St. Mathews Cardy and Nelson said:

“Frankly, we are tired of Christian intolerance – and embarrassed by it,” they said.

“When will we recognize that none of us have the whole truth?  When will we recognize that those who hold contrary opinions are not ‘of the devil’? When will we recognize that truth comes in many guises, often in unexpected ways?”

St. Mathews is a self-proclaimed “progressive” church that offers same-sex civil union ceremonies and hosts a Sunday evening service of the “Community of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered and Straight People.” Partly visible behind the ripped Mary poster is an earlier one advertising these all-inclusive services.

Tolerance, not in the name of Jesus Christ, but in the name of Vladmir Lenin.

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Posted by Don Anastas - December 20, 2011 at 11:15 am

Categories: Abortion, Family, Religion   Tags: , , , ,

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