I know that the President is expecting the mainstream media to give him a pass on vetting his re-election campaign and his Presidential record, so I guess it should come as no surprise that he would appoint Jack Lew to replace Bill Daley as his Chief of Staff. But I think that this appointment will make slamming Mitt Romney much more difficult?
As most readers to this site know, Newt Gingrich, Governor Rick Perry, and Governor Huntsman did not help their respective causes by trying to vilify capitalism in a Republican Primary. Not sure who their campaign people are, but what an idiotic ploy.
The three fading candidates efforts probably helped Romney, however, not only because it makes him more attractive to the pro-American capitalism vote, but because it brings up the issue of creative destruction that has been part and parcel of America and capitalism since the beginning. In order to grow an economy, inefficient and outdated businesses and/or business practices must be shut down. Freeing up resources to invest in new, growth industries. This includes eliminating jobs in some industries so that employment can begin in others.
It has largely been assumed that President Obama, who spares no opportunity to vilify those that provide economic opportunity, will run a nasty “class warfare” campaign because he can’t run on his record. (Simple strategy: If your record stinks, make people believe that your opponent’s record stinks even worse. That is negative campaigning in a nutshell.). But, can he?? He just appointed Jack Lew to be his Chief of Staff. Who is Jack Lew? According to Mother Jones magazine:
As White House budget director Jack Lew prepares to take over for departing chief of staff Bill Daley, it’s worth revisiting Shahien Nasiripour’s blow-by-blow of Lew’s brief, less-than-illustrious stint at a unit of Citigroup that made money by betting against the housing market as it prepared to implode:
Multi-Adviser Hedge Fund Portfolios LLC was a unit of Alternative Investments’ Hedge Fund Management Group, the 36th-largest such “fund of hedge funds” in the world when Lew came aboard, according to a ranking by Alpha magazine, a publication that covers the hedge fund industry.
That Multi-Adviser fund in particular had $407 million by the end of 2007, a week before Lew was named as Alternative Investments’ chief operating officer…At that time, it had $18 million invested in Paulson Advantage Plus LP, worth $26.4 million, comprising about 6.5 percent of the Multi-Adviser fund’s total capital.
The Paulson fund was run by hedge fund king John Paulson, the man who made billions off the deterioration of the housing industry by making bearish bets on securities tied to home mortgages—particularly subprime home mortgages.
Under Lew, the Multi-Adviser fund doubled its investment in Paulson’s fund to nearly $42 million by March 2008; by the next quarter, it’d cranked that investment up to just over $60 million, making it the biggest piece of the Multi-Adviser fund, Nasiripour reported. So how’d it go for Lew and Citi?:
Citi paid Lew $1.1 million for his year at Alternative Investments, according to an ethics disclosure report filed in January 2009. He was also eligible for an undisclosed bonus….His unit, though, lost as much as billions of dollars in 2008 as its bets turned sour. In the first quarter of 2008 alone the unit lost $509 million; the company stopped publicly disclosing the unit’s individual numbers soon thereafter, but the part of the company that absorbed Alternative Investments lost $20.1 billion in 2008, according to the bank’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Citigroup, as you might recall, also received $45 billion in TARP money.
So, President Obama’s Chief of Staff is a Private Equity guy, just like Mitt Romney. Only Jack Lew’s investments failed and required a government bailout while Mitt Romney made money and created jobs.
Gee, I wonder who will win the “Private Equity Slamfest”…