Friday, September 28, 2012

Obama's Penny Pritzker-Hyatt and Robert Wolf-UBS-32 Advisors Wall Street Connections

“More than 5,000 supporters of Chicago's teachers rallied and picketed outside the Hyatt Regency…in a…show of solidarity with the Chicago Teachers Union…The protesters had a strong message for Penny Pritzker, the billionaire member of the Chicago Board of Education whose family owns the Hyatt: taxpayer funds are going to your hotel chain while our schools are crumbling, and that is unacceptable….`We're not in a budget crisis – we're in a crisis of priorities’," said Regis Banks, a member of SEIU Local 73…`While Penny Pritzker will benefit from the use of our tax money for her hotel chain, 160 schools still don't have libraries, and 150 those schools are in brown and black neighborhoods.’

“$5.2 million in Tax Increment Financing (TIF) funds are being used to build a new Hyatt hotel in Hyde Park…During Pritzker's tenure on the Board of Education, she has allowed hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to be siphoned…into the TIF program….`I am not pleased to see how the teachers are being disrespected by our city's elected officials and CPS board members like Penny Pritzker,’ said Will Longwe, a student at Northeastern Illinois University and a member of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC)…”

--from a September 14, 2012 Grassroots Collaborative press release

“One of President Obama's biggest supporters on Wall Street is about to leave his perch at UBS, one of the world's largest banks.

Robert Wolf, who is the UBS chairman for the Americas, is leaving at the end of the month to set up his own advisory shop. He will retain close ties to UBS, which will be the first client of his firm.

“A 28-year veteran of Wall Street, Mr. Wolf has…has garnered more than $500,000 to re-elect the president this year, and regularly plays golf and vacations with Mr. Obama on Martha's Vineyard….As a top banker at UBS, the Swiss bank, Mr. Wolf has built his business on relationships, relying on contacts spanning Wall Street and Washington….Mr. Wolf said…he hoped his Wall Street and Washington experience, and his strong ties to both worlds, would `bring a unique perspective to my clients.’

“Mr. Wolf makes more than $5 million a year at UBS...Mr. Wolf's friendship with the president began before other financiers were seeking to curry favor with Mr. Obama during the 2008 campaign. The two met at a 2006 fund-raiser hosted by the billionaire George Soros and quickly became friends. During the financial crisis, he regularly advised Mr. Obama…While he will no longer work at UBS, he is expected to continue to accompany its bankers to meetings and help it attract new clients….By striking out on his own, Mr. Wolf will also have more time for his side project: helping the president win re-election….

--from the July 19, 2012 issue of the New York Times

Robert Wolf is Founder and Chief Executive Officer of 32 Advisors, LLC, a consulting and advisory firm…In addition to his role at 32 Advisors, Robert is a member of President Obama's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. From 2009-2011 he was a member of the President's Economic Recovery Advisory Board…”

--from the 32 Advisors, LLC website

Obama’s Penny Pritzker-Hyatt and Robert Wolf-UBS-32 Advisors LLC Wall Street Connections

Between 2009 and 2012 the Democratic Obama Administration seemed more interested in using public money to help the Wall Street bankers at firms like Goldman Sachs, Citigroup and UBS make more money for their executives, stockholders, investors and clients than using public money to help public school students and teachers improve the quality of under-financed public school education in cities like Chicago. One reason might be because large amounts of campaign funds for Obama’s election campaigns for federal offices were raised, historically, by Chicago Billionaire Penny Pritzker and a Wall Street banker Robert Wolf. As Newsweek columnist Jonathan Alter recalled in his 2010 book The Promise: President Obama, Year One:

“…Secretary of Commerce was a post worth having. Penny Pritzker, who helped run her family’s multibillion-dollar conglomerate, was ambivalent about Obama’s offer, which would mean leaving her corporate…obligations in Chicago…Pritzker’s support had been critical to Obama since he first decided to run for the Senate, but there were appaearance problems…Obama…called Pritzker on November 20 [2008] to tell her…the Senate hearings would be unpleasant and distracting. They agreed that the timing was wrong for her to take a Cabinet post…Pritzker…would continue to stay inc lose touch with Obama…

“…Obama…was close to Pritzker and to Robert Wolf of UBS, and he had friendly relationships with…Warren Buffett, Jeff Immelt of GE, Eric Schmidt of Google, and Howard Shultz of Starbucks…In his early 20s he had…experienced working for a corporate advisory firm in New York…”


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