Thursday, October 27, 2016

How Billionaire Speculator/`Philanthropist' and 2016 Clinton Presidential Campaign Funder Soros Got Rich Revisited

Most anti-war Democratic Party voters don't think Wall Street speculators should be able to enrich themselves by profiteering from offshore hedge funds, from investments in weapons manufacturing firms, from endless U.S. wars abroad or from apparently violating Securities and Exchange Commission regulations and engaging in stock manipulation. Yet in his 2013 book Street Smarts, the former business partner of Billionaire Speculator/"Philanthropist" and 2016 Clinton presidential campaign contributor George Soros, a Wall Street speculator named Jim Rogers, wrote the following:

"...There were only two firms on Wall Street, small companies, that specialized in foreign investing, and Arnhold and S. Bleichroeder was one of them...I was hired at Bleichroeder to work with a vice president of the firm...Soros had grown up in Hungary, lived in the United Kingdom until his mid-twenties...We were managing a fund at Bleichroeder, the Double Eagle hedge fund...when due to...a new regulatory restriction, we were forced to split from the firm and go out on our own. Arnhold and S. Bleichroeder would remain our primary broker.

"We got a little office and created the Quantum Fund...a...offshore hedge fund for foreign investors--who were not subject to the interest equalization tax--incorporated in the Netherlands Antilles...

"...I jumped on a plane [in the 1970's] and started visiting defense contractors around the country. Lockheed...was famous for its Advanced Development Projects division, better known as the Skunk Works, located in California, where its engineers came up with sophisticated weaponry for the Pentagon. I investigated Lockheed and other companies, like Northrop. I flew to Washington and learned that even the doves in Congress--Democratic Senator William Proxmire from Wisconscin being one of those to whom I talked--were in favor of Pentagon spending on advanced electronic warfare...Defense stocks at the time were depressed--selling for a dollar, two dollars, some of them...We started buying a lot of those stocks...

"...Lockheed went up a hundred times over the next few years...In 1980...the Quantum protfolio was up 4,200 percent...

"By 1979...the Securities and Exchange Commission [SEC] investigated us over our investment in a company called Computer Sciences Corporation. The SEC claimed that my partner, George Soros, was engaged in stock manipulation. He was charged with selling the stock short, only to cover his short sales by buying shares back at a lower price on the upcoming public offering. He was given the opportunity to sign a consent decree, in which he and the firm...promised not to do it again. Why should we agreed to sign it? I asked him...Why let it be construed that we were manipulating the stock? I was taken aback by his answer--`Because that is what I was doing,' he said."

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Did Hillary Rodham Clinton Seek To Enrich Herself When Husband Held Arkansas Public Office?

Most Democratic Party voters don't think that the wife of a public official should seek to personally enrich herself and her family when her husband is supposed to be serving the public interest as a state attorney general or state governor. Yet in her 2003 book Living History (for which she was paid more than $10 million book advance and book royalties by the Viacom-CBS media conglomerate's Simon and Schuster book publishing subsidiary), former Arkansas Attorney General and Governor Bill Clinton's wife--2016 Democratic Party presidential nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton--wrote the following:

"...We lived in the Governor's Mansion [in the late 1970's] and had an official expense account that covered meals...But I worried that...we needed to build up a nest egg.

"...My friend Diane Blair was married to someone who knew the intricacies of the commodities market...Jim Blair whose clients included the poultry giant Tyson Foods...Jim had developed a system of trading that was making him a fortune...By 1978...I was willing to risk $1,000 and let Jim guide my trades walked away from the table $100,000 ahead...

"...In the spring of 1978...a businessman...named Jim McDougal approached us with Bill [Clinton] and I entered a partnership with Jim and his...wife Susan, to buy 230...acres on the south bank of the White River in...Arkansas. The plan was to subdivide the site for vacation homes, then sell the lots at a profit.

"...Bill [Clinton] had...made a...real estate investment with McDougal the year before that had turned a...profit...We took out bank loans to buy the property, eventually transferring ownership to the Whitewater Development Company, which we and the McDougals had equal shares...

"...I kept my name after Bill [Clinton] was elected to state office partly because I thought it would help avoid the appearance of conflict of interest...

"I was helping...defend a company that sold and shipped...logs by railroad. As a shipment was unloaded at its destination, the logs came loose...and injured some employees of the company that had purchased the logs...

"...In early March [1992]...[1992 Democratic Party presidential primary candidate and California Governor] Jerry Brown went on the offensive against Bill [Clinton], focusing on my law practice and on the Rose Law firm, where I had been a partner since 1979...The Rose to the Arkansas state government.....

"...Brown accused Bill [Clinton] of steering state business to the Rose Firm...

"...I was [1992 Democratic Party presidential candidate] Bill [Clinton]'s principal surrogate on the campaign trail. I wanted to support his campaign and to advance his ideas. I had taken leave from my law firm and resigned from all of the corporate boards on which I served. That meant leaving the board of Wall-Mart, on which I had sat for 6 years at the invitation of Sam Walton, who taught me a great deal about corporate...success...

"I proudly cast my vote for Bill [Clinton] to be my President...Robert Rubin, the Co-Chairman of the investment bank Goldman Sachs, accepted Bill [Clinton]'s offer to become the first head of a soon-to-be-created National Economic Council...

"...Bill [Clinton] couldn't appoint me to an official position, even if he had wanted to. Anti-nepotism laws had been on the books...But there were no laws to prevent me from continuing my role as Bill Clinton's...advisor and, in some cases, representative..."

Sunday, October 23, 2016

The `New York Times'' Mexican Billionaire Connection Revisited Again: Part 8

New York Times Owner Slim’s Mexican Political Connections Historically

In addition to “receiving a million pesos from his mother” in 1966,  New York Times Owner Slim apparently benefitted financially in the following decades from “the fact that Slim was a huge contributor to” former Mexican President “Carlos Salinas de Gortari's PRI party,” according to an Aug. 20, 2007 Fortune magazine article; which also quoted College of William & Marry Professor of Government George Grayson as saying that Slim “made his billions because of an extremely close and advantageous relationship with the Salinas government.” The New Internationalist magazine in its June 1, 2004 issue also recalled that “as it happens Slim was good buddies with then-President CarlosSalinas de Gortari,” “in 1993, at a gala fundraising dinner, Slim—along with 30 other business leaders—pledged an average $25 million each to Gortari’s PRI party,” and “Salinas left office in 1994, was charged with massive fraud and corruption and has been in exile in Ireland ever since.”

(end of part 8)

Saturday, October 22, 2016

The `New York Times'' Mexican Billionaire Connection Revisited Again: Part 7

New York Times Owner Slim’s 1960’s Money-Making

According to Chrystia Freeland’s Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super-Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else book, New York Times Owner Slim “started to make serious money straight out of college, when he was one of the Los Casabolseros or Stock Market Boys, a group of aggressive young men who traded shares on the Mexican stock market.” Then, “by the end of 1965” Slim “had established a brokerage house, acquired a bottling company, and incorporated a real-estate business, Inmobiliaria Carso” and in 1966, “upon receiving a million pesos from his mother…built a twelve-story condominium in Mexico City,” “occupied the ninth floor and rented out the other apartments,” according to Lawrence Wright’s June 1, 2009 article in The New Yorker. So by the age of 26, according to the 2009 American Journalism Review article, “Slim had already accumulated $400,000 in wealth from his business ventures and from his mother.”

(end of part 7)

Thursday, October 20, 2016

The `New York Times'' Mexican Billionaire Connection Revisited Again: Part 6

New York Times Owner Slim’s Billions and Poverty In Mexico

California State University Professor Emeritus Rodolfo Acuna also observed in a Dec. 27, 2013 article which was posted on the CounterPunch website that “as of December 2013” Slim’s “corporate holdings amounted to US $71.2 billion” while “some 50 percent of Mexicans live below the poverty line;” and “critics charge that Slim’s monopoly prevents the growth of smaller companies, and his monopolistic practices have resulted in a shortage of paying jobs, contributing to migration to the United States.” As University of California-San Diego Professor Emeritus Ramon Eduardo Ruiz noted in his 2010 book Mexico: Why A Few Are Rich and The People Poor:

“Of the more than 100 million Mexicans, why do over half live in poverty, some 20 million of them enduring daily hunger, barely able to keep body and soul together?...Mexico…ranks near the top of the list of countries with the most glaring inequalities of wealth and income...One Mexican, Carlos Slim, the telephone magnate, is one of the richest men in the world…Every 24 hours of every month of every year, his income grows at the rate of $22 million dollars, yet 1 out of 5 Mexicans survives on just $2 dollars a day...Unwilling to help their poor, Mexico's elite had chosen to rely on Uncle Sam to give the [Mexican] poor jobs and to feed them, and equally important, to avoid a potential social explosion of the restless [in Mexico]...No country in the world has exported more manpower than Mexico...An average of 450,000 people a year are thought to have crossed into the United States [from Mexico] during the early years of the 21st-century...One fact [in Mexico] stares one in the face. The well-off [in Mexico] hate paying taxes, and Mexico has one of the lowest-tax rates in the world….Over 12 million Mexicans do not have running water in their homes...Carlos Slim...purchased the [Mexican] nation's telephone a bargain price; his monopoly nonetheless...charges some of the world's highest phone rates...”

(end of part 6)

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The `New York Times'' Mexican Billionaire Connection Revisited Again: Part 5

New York Times Owner and Philip Morris International Director Slim’s Special Economic Interests 

In a Mar. 18, 2009 article that was posted on the CounterPunch website, John Ross indicated what the special economic interests of New York Times Owner Slim were in 2009:

“The big guns of Slim’s empire are Telmex, the Mexican phone monopoly that charges higher rates than any other such enterprise in the wide world, with which he was gifted in an excess of crony capitalism by the reviled ex-president Carlos Salinas, and American Mobil – the Mexican tycoon’s cell phone companies dominate 70% of the Latin American market. Also in the Slim portfolio: Inbursa banks; Carso Construction; Prodigy Internet (Mexico’s top provider); the Sanborn’s restaurant and department store chain; double digit chunks of Sears and Saks Fifth Avenue; the Mixup record store chain; El Globo, the nation’s top pan dulce outlet; "La Cigarera", his tobacco cartel in Nayarit state; and....the Historic Center of Mexico City…Now Carlos Slim owns up to 160 buildings in the old quarter and dominates rental property….Slim built his empire on corporate cannibalism…”.

(end of part 5)

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The `New York Times'' Mexican Billionaire Connection Revisited Again: Part 4

New York Times Owner and Philip Morris International Director Slim’s Inherited Wealth

Much of the big money that New York Times Owner Slim used to gain control of his lucrative privatized telecommunications monopoly in Mexico (which—prior to 1990--had been a nationalized, publicly-owned utility company of the Mexican government) and to purchase his New York Times stock was originally “derived from selling cigarettes” to people in Mexico—where 15% to 20% of male deaths and 5% to 10% of female deaths in 2000 were thought attributable to smoking and an estimated 60,000 people died of tobacco-related illnesses in 2010—and his tobacco industry investment profits. As The New Yorker magazine (6/1/09) article also noted, his Cigatam tobacco industry company investment “provided Slim with a critical ingredient for amassing a fortune: steady cash flow.”

Yet some of the money that Mexican Billionaire Slim originally used to invest in his Mexican tobacco industry companies was apparently derived from the wealth he inherited from his father. As Sherry Ricchiardi noted in her 2009 “A Dubious Benefactor” article in the American Journalism Review [AJR], “his father, Julian Slim Haddad, moved to Mexico in 1902 and made a fortune as a merchant and in real estate” and “when he died, Julian Slim left his six children well heeled.” As long ago as 1922, for example, Carlos Slim’s father was apparently worth over 1 million Mexican pesos and apparently owned at least 11 valuable Downtown Mexico City real estate properties.

(end of part 4