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Hedge fund leder blasts Obama for bullying and abuse of power


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Hedge Fund Leader Blasts Obama for "Bullying" and "Abuse of Power"

Posted May 06, 2009 07:38am EDT by Tech Ticker in Investing, Newsmakers, Recession, Banking Related: ^dji, ^gspc, GM, ARM, DAN, GT, XLFCliff Asness, whose firm manages some $20 billion of assets, has written an open letter blasting President Obama for his attack on the hedge fund industry in the wake of the Chrysler bankruptcy.


As you'll recall, hedge funds, which hold approximately $1 billion in Chrysler bonds, refused the government's offer to take approximately thirty cents on the dollar. Obama accused hedge funds of holding out "for the prospect of an unjustified taxpayer-funded bailout."


These comments have enraged many in the industry but few have spoken out publicly. Asness, whose firm doesn't hold Chrysler bonds, says the industry is genuinely afraid in the face of Obama's power. Stating that he himself is "fearful writing this," Asness still pulls no punches:


  • "Let’s be clear, it is the job and obligation of all investment managers, including hedge fund managers, to get their clients the most return they can. They are allowed to be charitable with their own money, and many are spectacularly so, but if they give away their clients’ money to share in the “sacrifice”, they are stealing."
  • "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 President's attempted diktat takes money from bondholders and gives it to a labor union that delivers money and votes for him. Why is he not calling on his party to "sacrifice" some campaign contributions, and votes, for the greater good? Shaking down lenders for the benefit of political donors is recycled corruption and abuse of power."
Henry discusses the controversy with hedge fund manager Jeff Matthews, of Ram Partners. (He's also author of the popular blog Jeff Matthews Is Not Making This Up.) Matthews says it's no surprise that Obama would favor unions over hedge funds and that there's no use in crying foul in the court of public opinion. But, says Matthews, expect the Administration's tactics to be challenged where they should be: the court of law. Here's the full text of Asness's letter, via Zero Hedge http://zerohedge.blogspot.com/



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Even though Cal is a goofball..er... once in a while, he did post something


important here. This is significant.

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they should be scared....


im not much concerned with the opinions of those that profiteered from our current situation.


"Let’s be clear, it is the job and obligation of all investment managers, including hedge fund managers, to get their clients the most return they can."



I suppose that includes packaging high risk securities as A+ and selling them to offshore banks?



oh woe is me....poor rich wall street assholes.

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I understand that. But these people are also responsible to represent


all those investors. The debt was 7 billion, and the Obama admin


wanted to order them to accept 2 billion. There are also representative


legalities involved.


They were willing to settle, but not that low. The Obama admin


was very dishonest in targeting them for not making consessions, that


was a lie.


But the union (votes heavily Dem, especially after this works for them) will end up

owning 55 percent of the company. What did they "sacrifice" ? What did they

"concede" ???


Nothing. But, they vote Dem, so they are Obama's admin "untouchables"

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With funding Acorn, and getting control of Chrysler, and giving 33% ownership of that co. to the UAW...


pressuring conservative talk radio for disagreeing with him, ...


he seems to be consilidating his power base for reelection already.


A lot of folks in this country don't like the direction, even if they


won't admit it .

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Plus dont forget that the Stimulus Bill has a whopping 4% of actual Stimulus out of the 787 Billion that has been earmarked to be spent.



Do the math, at 4% that leaves 31.4 Billion out of the 787 Billion to go towards new temporary job creation.


Thats Stimulating!




And with the $700 billion dollar Bank Bailout, how much of this money actually went back to consumers?


Oh' Im mistaken Timothy Tax Cheat Geither says that the Bailout Planwill be $2.5 Trillion and a Strong

and that was just in Feb. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/11/business.../11bailout.html I wonder what he proposes it to be today.




Then we have the New and Improved Obama Budget, of $3.4 Trillion


but Obama has decided to cut $17 billion from 121 government programs. Piglosi will be mad at him for taking away the condoms from her swamp frogs. :lol:




This is for all of those who cried that W was a big spender, what W spent is chump change to what Obama just put on America's credit card.


Oh' how could I forget, China wont make us any more loans so I guess we will just have to print up all of this monolply money.



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Obama did make some cuts to the budget. One of the cuts was the funding for housing illegal aliens in American

state prisons.


But, the amount of money Obama cut out of the budget was described by a financial expert, as


turning off one light in the Los Vegas strip.

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An article on why understanding the letter at the top of this thread is important:






May 11 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. President Barack Obama’s “bullying” of hedge fund managers may cost him their support for his plan to jump-start lending, according to Cliff Asness, managing partner of AQR Capital Management LLC.


Obama blamed hedge-fund “speculators” for forcing automaker Chrysler LLC into bankruptcy after they rejected government offers to buy their debt at a discount in April. A group of firms that had rejected Obama’s plan, saying it violated creditors’ rights, dropped their opposition last week.


Asness, who left Goldman Sachs Group Inc. 11 years ago and today manages $20 billion at his Greenwich, Connecticut-based firm, said Obama’s use of political pressure over Chrysler may deter the funds from investing in the government’s Term Asset Backed Securities Loan Facility. The plan to generate $1 trillion of lending for consumers and small businesses relies on getting private investors such as hedge funds to invest.


“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,” Asness said in a May 4 blog posting entitled “Unafraid in Greenwich, Connecticut.” “Useful programs, like those designed to help finance consumer loans, won’t work because of this irresponsible hectoring.”



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