Our media have treated us to
endless replays of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama attacking one another’s
corporate ties. Obama said Clinton had been a corporate lawyer on the
board of Wal-Mart, while Clinton countered that Obama did favors for
a slumlord who contributed to his political campaign. But there’s
more to this than charges and counter-charges and a desperate race for
the White House. It is apparent that both of these candidates are “corporate
Democrats” with substantial ties to the business community. But haven’t
we been told by the media that the Republicans are the party of Big
In fact, a review of the public
record for the 2008 election cycle shows that Hillary Clinton and Barack
Obama are in the top five of all politicians, on the presidential and
congressional levels, in receiving financial contributions from the
controversial, mysterious and secretive hedge fund industry. Overall,
data from the Center for Responsive Politics shows that hedge funds
prefer Democrats over Republicans by a margin of 79-21 percent. Democrats
have received $4.2 million and Republicans $1.1 million from hedge funds.
What the hedge fund operators want from the politicians is what all
of us desire-less taxation, regulation and oversight. But they have
the money to get their way, even though they can hold the fate of entire
nations and their economies in their hands.
It is significant that one
of the richest men in the world, billionaire George Soros, is a hedge
fund operator and convicted inside trader who pours millions of dollars
into the Democratic Party, its front groups and candidates. He has put
money into the coffers of both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. He
will be able to pull the strings if either is elected president.
The other Democratic candidate,
John Edwards, has not received money from Soros but actually worked
for a hedge fund before he started going around the country blasting
special interests. He is number five on the list of receiving hedge
One hedge fund pouring large
amounts of money into Hillary Clinton’s political activities hired
her daughter Chelsea. It is no surprise that Senator Clinton has balked
at supporting a congressional proposal to tax hedge funds.
Since my January 16 column, Soros Bets on U.S.
Economic Collapse, Soros has been in the news at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
Reporters have been anxious to interview him, as if he is some kind
of disinterested observer of the political scene. But he has a vested
interest in seeing the U.S. economy go down. A story from four years ago explained how
Soros even then was selling dollars and propping up the European currency,
Soros is telling the meeting
in Davos that the dollar may be out as the world’s reserve currency.
In this context, it is quite significant that Foreign Affairs,
the publication of the Council on Foreign Relations, published an article,
“The End of National Currency,” advocating that Latin America “dollarize”
its currencies in order to save the dollar against the Euro and a predicted
Asian common currency. But the ultimate “salvation” could come in
the elimination of the dollar by a common currency for the Americas.
It doesn’t take much of an imagination to conceive of a global currency
to further the process of globalization.
The author, Benn Steil, writes that “National currencies and global
markets simply do not mix; together they make a deadly brew of currency
crises and geopolitical tension and create ready pretexts for damaging
protectionism. In order to globalize safely, countries should abandon
monetary nationalism and abolish unwanted currencies, the source of
much of today’s instability.”
Coming across as concerned
about the meltdown, the Associated Press is quoting Soros as calling
for “a massive injection of regulation and oversight of financial
markets whose excessive freedoms” have led to the current financial
crisis. The AP reported from Davos that Soros is saying that “Authorities
ought to go in and examine the books” of financial institutions involved
in the subprime mortgage scandal. What about Soros’ books? What about
the books of the secretive hedge funds that are manipulating currencies
and economies and pouring millions of dollars into the political campaigns?
It is estimated that assets
under management by hedge funds are approaching $2 trillion. But nobody
knows for sure. The Securities and Exchange Commission currently oversees
and regulates mutual funds and many investment advisers, but it does
not regulate hedge funds.
Soros is clever at diverting
attention away from his financial and political manipulations. Through
his so-called Open Society Institute, he financed a “Global Integrity
was supposed to track corruption, openness and accountability in the
U.S. and other countries. Yet, Soros himself was accused of various election law violations
in 2004 by the conservative National Legal & Policy Center, which
also documented how Soros groups have received millions
of dollars in U.S. taxpayer money. Three years later, the Federal Election
Commission (FEC) still has not ruled on the complaint against Soros.
Soros seems to be above the
law and above media scrutiny.
As I noted in a recent column,
the Wall Street Journal reported that hedge fund operator John Paulson
got a visit from Soros after Paulson had made about $4 billion betting
on a housing market collapse. Soros wanted to know how he had done it.
But Soros wouldn’t talk to the Journal about his meeting with Paulson.
Why? How does he get away with a no-comment?
Soros plays it smart in many
ways. He pours money into journalism organizations, including
the Center for Investigative Reporting, the Fund for Investigative Journalism,
and Investigative Reporters & Editors, thereby guaranteeing that
they won’t investigate how and where he gets his money.
Rather than focus attention
on those who created and profited from an $8 trillion housing bubble,
there has been a terrible tendency by some in the media, including conservative
writers and bloggers, to blame average Americans for taking out loans
they couldn’t repay. This analysis ignores how the lenders made risky
loans they knew couldn’t be repaid. Those who have bought a home know
that you aren’t supposed to get a mortgage loan, even of the subprime
variety, unless the “experts” judge through a detailed analysis
of your assets and income that you were able to pay if the interest
rates went up. In a real sense, many were tricked into getting loans
they couldn’t handle. This was predatory lending. As a result, an
estimated 3.5 million homeowners could default on their mortgages in
the next 2 1/2 years.
The companies that made or
assumed those loans received top credit ratings from firms such as Moody’s.
Its stock is now in the $30 range, compared to a 52-week high of $76.
You know the U.S. is in trouble when the stock price of the firm that
is supposed to rate other firms for credit-worthiness and financial
stability is in sharp decline.
Now, Merrill Lynch is forecasting
nationwide U.S. home prices could decline 25-30 percent over the next
three years. This is a terrible blow to the middle class, who were counting
on their homes being a good investment for the future. Declining house
prices could cost people who hold on to their homes literally trillions
To make matters worse, this
scandal is leading to another problem-the invasion of the U.S. by
the so-called “sovereign wealth funds,” which are foreign government-controlled.
Some of them in the news are based in China and various Arab states.
They are investing tens of billions of dollars in the Wall Street firms
that are writing off their risky subprime mortgages.
So the firms responsible for
the problem get financial bailouts from abroad, America loses more of
its sovereignty, perhaps its currency, and Americans lose their shirts
and their homes.
Meanwhile, Democrats and Republicans
dicker about an economic stimulus plan that apparently will not address
the damage to America’s economic standing in the world and the dissipation
of our sovereignty.
We are witnessing, writes Lou
Dobbs in his new book, Independents
Day, the erosion of our rights “as global economic integration creates
a global interdependence that threatens to overwhelm our national identity.”
Dobbs takes direct aim at the “internationalists” who “seek the
demise of national sovereignty around the world, the end of borders,
and an integration of commerce and economies…”
His book, released last November,
cited the falling dollar and the rise of the Euro and predicted “there
is sufficient reason to expect that the economy may be a central issue
in the 2008 election…” He was right on the mark.
If the Republican presidential
candidates don’t understand the growing appeal of his message, then
they will lose in November to the Soros-backed corporate Democrats.