Archive for hedge funds

Hedge Fund Billionaires Lower Taxes by Sending Cash on a Bermuda Vacation

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Your Daily Dose of BuzzFlash at Truthout, via my pal Mark Karlin:

Bloomberg Businessweek (ironically owned by politician plutocrat and defender of the oligarchy Michael Bloomberg) just reported that "a hedge fund tax dodge uses Bermuda reinsurers" ... But the Bermuda based "reinsurers" are sometimes just little more than mail drops that serve as a vehicle for tax-evasion money laundering, with little concern being expressed by the IRS. [...]

Referring to three gluttonously wealthy hedge fund managers, Bloomberg Businessweek reveals:

The companies set up by Paulson, Cohen, and Loeb are all located within a half-mile of each other in the narrow streets of Hamilton, Bermuda’s capital and the global center of the reinsurance industry. The three put a combined $1.7 billion back into the fund managers’ hands last year.

Even the Murdoch-owned tabloid The New York Post jumped on the legalized theft from the public purse of this scheme...

Billionaire hedge-fund moguls are getting comfortable with a US tax loophole to fatten their already plump bottom lines. [...]

Hedgies like John Paulson and Steve Cohen are forming reinsurance companies in tax-free havens like Bermuda or the Cayman Islands — and then transferring cash from their funds to the reinsurance companies.

The cash, classified as insurance company reserves, is then transferred back into the funds as reserves to be invested for future claims.

Thanks to an IRS loophole, profits from these insurance companies aren’t taxed — until the stake in the fund is sold, and that could be years down the line.

And here’s the kicker: The taxes, when paid, are at the lower capital-gains rate and not as ordinary income. [...]

The more the rich get richer, the more they get a free pass from legal oversight.

Please read the entire post here.

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VIDEO: United Auto Workers, 6 more organizations file ethics complaint against Mitt Romney

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In a previous post, "UAW Charges Romney With Profiteering From Auto Bailout," Greg Palast's report that Romney secretly made millions, and his biggest donors billions, off the taxpayer funded auto bailout got some attention.

Palast had written about how Mitt and “Ann, personally gained at least $15.3 million from the bailout—and a few of Romney’s most important Wall Street donors made more than $4 billion. Their gains, and the Romneys’, were astronomical—more than 3,000 percent on their investment.” And the UAW and others listened.

Bob King, President of the United Automobile Workers pointed out that Mitt Romney was busy writing op-eds opposing the Detroit auto rescue, but was even busier making money with his Delphi investor group “off the misfortunes of others.”

In the video below, you'll hear King's first hand account of how the UAW and Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics (CREW) “have filed a formal complaint with the US Office of Government Ethics in Washington stating that Gov. Romney improperly hid a profit of $15.3 million to $115.0 million in Ann Romney’s so-called ‘blind’ trust.”

Here is Ed Schultz interviewing him on last night's "The Ed Show":

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

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UAW Charges Romney With Profiteering From Auto Bailout

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Greg Palast previously reported that Romney secretly made millions, and his biggest donors billions, off the taxpayer funded auto bailout. He wrote about how Mitt and “Ann, personally gained at least $15.3 million from the bailout—and a few of Romney’s most important Wall Street donors made more than $4 billion. Their gains, and the Romneys’, were astronomical—more than 3,000 percent on their investment.”

As Bob King, President of the United Automobile Workers pointed out, Mitt Romney was busy writing op-eds opposing the Detroit auto rescue, but was even busier making money with his Delphi investor group "off the misfortunes of others."

Greg Palast now has a follow-up at Truthout:

[Mitt Romney] has just learned that tomorrow afternoon (November 1) he will be charged by the United Automobile Workers (UAW) and other public interest groups with violating the federal ethics in government law by improperly concealing his multi-million dollar windfall from the auto industry bailout.

King said that the UAW and Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics (CREW) "have filed a formal complaint with the US Office of Government Ethics in Washington stating that Gov. Romney improperly hid a profit of $15.3 million to $115.0 million in Ann Romney's so-called 'blind' trust."

The UAW complaint calls for Romney to reveal exactly how much he made off Delphi -- and continues to make.  The Singer syndicate, once in control of Delphi, eliminated every single UAW job --25,000-- and moved almost all auto parts production to Mexico and China where Delphi now employs 25,000 auto parts workers.

More details here.

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Does Mitt Romney have an in-law problem? They "might try and capitalize on a Romney presidency" despite "embarrassing business, legal difficulties."

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Mitt Romney has a lot of problems, not just an in-law problem. Matthew Mosk (@mattmosk) joins Greg Palast in writing about the Romney family (and extended family) today, and all their little business antics.

In case you missed it, Romney secretly made millions, and his biggest donors billions, off taxpayer funded auto bailout.

Mosk reports:

Mitt Romney's rise in business and politics has served as a marketing bonanza for two of his wife's closest relatives, both Utah-based businessmen who have benefited from, and are said to have traded on, their connection to the presidential candidate even as they suffered a succession of embarrassing business and legal difficulties.

Ann Romney's brother Roderick Davies, who filed for bankruptcy in 2010, and nephew Ryan Davies, who oversaw a now-bankrupt green energy venture, have both been out on the campaign trail to offer support for Romney. But back in Utah, the two men have left a trail of unhappy business partners, a number of whom spoke with ABC News to express concern about how the two might try and capitalize on a Romney presidency.

The family that messes up together rarely fesses up together.

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Romney secretly made millions, and his biggest donors billions, off taxpayer funded auto bailout

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Bain Capital photo via Boston.com

One of my favorite investigative reporters is Greg Palast. He's got a new piece up at The Nation that is a must-read. For that matter, let's hope the so-called mainstream (corporate) media reads it and blows this story up (or maybe we'll have to do that for them), because it could make a difference in the election.

It turns out that the father of the angry young man who fantasizes about slugging our president made a whole lot of money off the the very auto bailout that he objected to (remember the November 2008 New York Timesop-ed, “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt”?):

In fact, as Greg writes, Mitt and "Ann, personally gained at least $15.3 million from the bailout—and a few of Romney’s most important Wall Street donors made more than $4 billion. Their gains, and the Romneys’, were astronomical—more than 3,000 percent on their investment."

Please read the whole thing, but in the meantime:

One of the hedge funds profiting from that bailout—
$1.28 billion so far—is Elliott Management, directed by 
Paul Singer. According to The Wall Street Journal, Singer has given more to support GOP candidates—$2.3 million—than anyone else on Wall Street this election season. [...]

One of President Obama’s first acts in office, in February 2009, was to form the Auto Task Force with the goal of saving GM, Chrysler, their suppliers and, most important, auto industry jobs. Crucial to the plan was saving Delphi [Delphi Automotive, a former General Motors subsidiary whose auto parts remain essential to GM’s production lines], which then employed more than 25,000 union workers.

Obama hired Steven Rattner, himself a millionaire hedge fund manager, to head the task force that would negotiate with the troubled firms and their creditors to avoid the collapse of the entire industry. In Rattner’s memoir of the affair, Overhaul, he describes a closed-door meeting held in March 2009 to resolve Delphi’s fate. He writes that Delphi, now in the possession of its hedge fund creditors, told the Treasury and GM to hand over $350 million immediately, “because if you don’t, we’ll shut you down.” His explanation was corroborated by Delphi’s chief financial officer, John Sheehan, who said in a sworn deposition in July 2009 that the hedge fund debt holders backed up their threat with “an analysis of the cost to GM if Delphi were unwilling or unable to provide supply to GM,” forcing a “shutdown.” It would take “years and tens of billions” for GM to replace Delphi’s parts. At that bleak moment, GM had neither. The automaker had left the inventory of its steering column and other key components in Delphi’s hands. If Delphi laid siege to GM’s parts supply, the bailout would fail and GM would have to be liquidated or sold off—as would another Delphi dependent, Chrysler.

Rattner could not believe that Delphi’s management—now effectively under the hedge funders’ control—would “want to be perceived as holding GM hostage at such a precarious economic moment.” One Wall Street Journal analyst suggested that Singer was treating Delphi “like a third world country.” Rattner likened the subsidies demanded by Delphi’s debt holders to “extortion demands by the Barbary pirates.” [...]

In their 2011 and 2012 Federal Financial Disclosure filing, Ann Romney’s trust lists “more than $1 million” invested with Elliott. This is the description for all of her big investments—the minimal disclosure required by law. (Had Romney kept the holding in his own name, he would have had to reveal if his investment with Singer had made more than $50 million.) [...]

To invest in Elliott is essentially a “Delphi play”: that is, investing with Singer means buying a piece of the auto bailout.

Please share this one with everyone you know.

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Cartoons of the Day- J.P. Morgan

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Via.

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