The liberal Center for American Progress has released an attack on the “lobbyists” who have managed to get the scalp of William Donaldson, the resigned head of the Securities and Exchange Commission. In one of its daily newsletters, the center gripes about the “business lobby” that was “fed up” with Donaldson’s work as a tough regulator who tried to empower “average investors” and “demanded more accountability from top executives.” The center says that Donaldson “implemented a number of reforms that have clamped down on corporate wrongdoing, restored investor confidence and protected the public.” This is fascinating and newsworthy because the Center for American Progress is funded by convicted insider trader George Soros, who runs a mysterious off-shore hedge fund and was a critic of Donaldson.
Here’s what the Center for American Progress forgot to mention: One of the Soros companies is a member of the Managed Funds Association, which describes itself as “the global voice for the hedge fund industry,” and was actively fighting an SEC proposal to impose more regulation on hedge-fund managers. The MFA includes managers affiliated with the 50 largest hedge funds, which manages what it says is a “significant portion” of the estimated $1.1 trillion invested in hedge funds.
Donaldson’s move to regulate the hedge funds run by Soros and others was not a secret. But the Center for American Progress did not want to mention that. And the notion that only Republicans were critical of Donaldson for regulating hedge funds has no basis in fact.
As we noted in one of our Media Monitors from last year, some of the biggest supporters of Democratic Presidential candidate John Kerry were hedge-fund managers. They include Orin Kramer, a partner at Kramer Spellman LP, a New York-based hedge fund, and James Chanos, the President of Kynikos Associates. Chanos was one of several wealthy Kerry backers who attended a New York Kerry fundraiser in the Park Avenue apartment of Blair Effron, vice-chairman of UBS Investment Bank. The Wall Street Journal noted that Kerry was “courting” the super-rich while “using populist corporate-bashing rhetoric to woo the party’s liberal base?” The super-rich included Soros, a key funder of the Center for American Progress.
Now we know why they didn’t want to tell us that.