Gangster government on the prowl?
Michelle Malkin writes of the abusive treatment the hedge fund industry is receiving at the strong arm tactics of Barack Obama. “He keeps taking their money. They keep getting publicly tongue-lashed.”
This week, AQR Capital Management LLC hedge fund manager Cliff Asness — at considerable risk to himself and his business — issued a striking manifesto responding to the president’s self-serving demagoguery and flagrant disregard for the rule of law. You can find Cliff’s essay and his other invaluable work at Stumbling on Truth.
Asness writes in this manifesto:
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. Clients of hedge funds include, among others, pension funds of all kinds of workers, unionized and not. The managers have a fiduciary obligation to look after their clients’ money as best they can, not to support the President, nor to oppose him, nor otherwise advance their personal political views. That’s how the system works. If you hired an investment professional and he could preserve more of your money in a financial disaster, but instead he decided to spend it on the UAW so you could “share in the sacrifice”, you would not be happy.
….. 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.
Michelle further writes:
Asness minced no words: “The President’s attempted diktat takes money from bondholders and gives it to a labor union that delivers money and votes for him…Shaking down lenders for the benefit of political donors is recycled corruption and abuse of power.”
Business as usual in the Era of Hope and Change. Perhaps demonized entrepreneurs will finally learn that when the dog you feed bites your hand, you don’t roll up your sleeve and give him your arm. You get a new dog.
Is the power grab over? I hardly think so, nor does Examiner Editorial (Washington Examiner.) writing of another in your pocket action of the President giving UAW something they never earned nor could earn for themselves, effectively ownership of Chrysler:
True, the union doesn’t get an explicit controlling majority of the board of directors, but who needs that when you’ve got the White House guaranteeing your work and the U.S. Treasury Department making sure you never have to worry about the bottom line. UAW President Ron Gettelfinger’s place in Big Labor’s Hall of Fame is now secure. He found a sugar daddy with an endless supply of cash. So UAW members and retirees can keep right on drawing those pay and benefits so excessively generous they made it impossible for the old Chrysler to compete with Toyota and Honda.
Hans Bader of OpenMarket.org writes:
Obama effectively gave ownership of Chrysler to the United Auto Workers Union (which spent millions electing Obama), rather than taxpayers (who have spent billions to bail out Chrysler) or the institutions that lent money to Chrysler based on the legal right and expectation that they would receive its assets before the UAW union would. Veteran political commentator Michael Barone also calls it “gangster government.” The UAW will also retain “lucrative” pension and health benefits, courtesy of the taxpayer.