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PostHillary Clinton's Fundraising and Speaking Fees (Tor Guimaraes, USA, 03/12/16 5:22 am)
This presidential election cycle is quite entertaining. Not even developing nations would have presidential candidates alluding to an opponent's penis dimensions, as Rubio did. Kasich seems to be the only remaining Republican candidate with dignity. Where are these people coming from to display such low intellects, low education, low dignity, low shame, etc? Our prospective presidents seem the opposite of role models for the people.
Regarding Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, I would like very much for someone to ask her to explain her speaking engagements and fundraising. To me it really shows the depth of her financial corruption, and makes me wonder what else has been going on.
See the following:
FINANCIAL INDUSTRY FUNDRAISING EVENTS FOR HILLARY CLINTON (2015 Though February 2016)
Apr. 28 - New York - Richard Perry (Perry Capital)
Apr. 28 - New York - Doug Teitelbaum (Homewood Capital)
May 13 - New York - Steve Rattner (Willett Advisors/Quadrangle Group)
May 13 - New York - Marc Lasry (Avenue Capital Group)
May 28 - Atlanta - A.J. Johnson (Georgetown Capital)
Jun. 1 - New York - Silda Wall (New World Capital Group)
Jun. 5 - Greenwich, CT - Malcolm Weiner (Millburn Corp.)
Jun. 25 - New York - Karen Persichilli Keogh + Eric Giola (JP Morgan Chase)
Jun. 25 - New York - Blair Effron (Centerview Partners)
Jun. 29 - New York - Martin Sosnoff (Atalanta Sosnoff)
Jul. 1 - Washington - Patrick Steel (FBR Capital Markets)
Jul. 21 - Chicago - Rajiv Fernando (Chopper Trading)
Jul. 22 - Raleigh, NC - George Reddin (FMI Capital Advisors)
Aug. 4 - Aspen, CO - Robert Hurst (Crestview Partners/Goldman Sachs)
Sep. 17 - Chicago - J.B. Pritzker (Pritzker Group)
Sep. 19 - Washington - Frank White (DuSable Capital Management)
Sep. 24 - Cresskill, NJ - Michael Kempner (Pegasus Capital Advisors)
Sep. 25 - Greenwich, CT - Cliff + Debbie Robbins (Blue Harbor Group)
Sep. 28 - Saratoga, CA - Harry Plant (UBS)
Nov. 11 - New York - Howard Lutnick (Cantor Fitzgerald)
Nov. 17 - New York - Jay Snyder (HBJ Investments)
Nov. 30 - Chevy Chase, MD - Jerry Johnson (RLJ Equity Partners)
Dec. 1 - Miami Beach - Bob Wagner (Silver Point Capital/Goldman Sachs)
Dec. 3 - Los Angeles - Michael Kong (MAPTI Ventures)
Dec. 6 - Washington - Julius Genachowski (Carlyle/Rock Creek Ventures)
Dec. 11 - Chicago - Howard Gottlieb (Glen Eagle Partners/Glenwood)
Dec. 14 - Potomac, MD - Frank Islam (FI Investment Group)
Jan. 27 - Philadelpha - Michael Forman (Franklin Square Capital Partners)
Jan. 27 - New York - Charles Myers (Evercore Partners)
Feb. 5 - Boston - Jonathan Lavine (Bain Capital/Sankaty Advisors)
Feb. 16 - New York - Matt Mallow (BlackRock)
JE comments: Check out Hillary's speaking fees in 2013-'14 (below) and do the math. At an average of $225,000 per talk, she hauled in about one million per week. On more than one occasion she double-billed on the same day. Who paid her? Many of the usual suspects vilified by Bernie Sanders: Big Banks, Big Pharma, Big Business. My local hospital (Beaumont in Troy, Michigan) gave her $305,000. Don't know why they were overcharged. No wonder Bernie (and the American public) would like to know what she had to say.
Did any presidential candidate in history pay a higher opportunity cost to run than Hillary? I'll bet one Hillary speech that the answer is "no."
(I had to shrink the table to fit on the page. Hillary gave too many talks for standard formatting. Zoom in to read the details.)
Hillary Clinton's Fundraising; Rahm Emanuel as Caesar
(David Duggan, USA
03/12/16 1:32 PM)
The Pritzker family (the billionaires you love to hate) show up prominently in the list posted by Tor Guimaraes (12 March), but I confess that I've never heard of Rajiv Fernando, another Chicago sponsor. I'll have to ask my sub-continent neighbors if they know him. But in the wake of Trump's cancellation of his Chicago rally because the police could not protect him from an unruly mob hovering outside the United Center, and with a view toward the Illinois primary on the Ides of March (the name of a Chicago band popular in the 1960s), I believe it appropriate to re-examine the role of political assassination as a responsible exercise of civic duty, some 2070 years after the most famous assassination in history ("Et tu, Brute?").
I suppose it too much to expect that a Chicago mayor who served in the Clinton and Obama White Houses would do anything to safeguard the physical safety of the man who seeks to derail Hillary's decades-old aspirations, but Rahm Emanuel's fecklessness in the face of real crisis calls out for extraordinary measures. Re-elected by less than 12% of the City's population (320,000 votes of 2.7 million) in an election where barely 20% of the population showed up at the polls, and drawing 6,000 fewer votes than he did in the 2011 election, Emanuel has lost the ability to govern our nation's third largest city. The November surprise release of the dash-cam tape showing a Chicago police officer plugging 16 rounds into a black teenager walking away from a confrontation, the later disclosure of a city lawyer's misconduct in defending another police slaying case, a $500 million+ tax increase, and the inability to sell City bonds to pay its debts all point to incompetence, corruption and a coarsening of our public discourse. Having learned his stonewalling techniques from Slick Willy, Emanuel will not resign.
Twenty-and-two-thirds centuries ago, the Roman Senate faced a similarly imperial threat to their control of the government in the name of which the bridges, roads and public buildings were built: Senatus Populusque Romanus. Though the Senate had appointed Caesar dictator perpetuo after he had prevailed in the civil war against his co-consul Pompey Magnus, many senators quickly repented of that decision. Hence the fateful plot of the day that lives in history and literature. The number of conspirators has never been conclusively established (Cicero?--he probably knew of it and undoubtedly supported it, though Caesar had pardoned Cicero and relieved him from exile--but he was absent from the Senate that day), but was likely around 40% of that body.
Given the Democratic Party's lock-grip control over the mechanics of government here, electoral change is near impossible. A resurgent City Council can only do so much when 35 of its 50 members owe their posts to the Emanuel bank account (he has his own PAC which he uses to fund his allies). Assassination is the only option for one with the civic responsibility that puts principle over the expediency of keeping an incompetent incumbent. And should the assassin be caught, he should be given two options: voluntary exile from Chicago, never to return, and forfeiture of his land there; or submit his guilt or innocence to a plebiscite vote of Chicago's citizens: Socrates-style, with death the penalty if Chicago's citizens deem it (Illinois sadly abandoned the death penalty five years ago).
Twenty centuries later, we are better for those brave Senators who risked their lives to end that of the man whose name conjures tyranny and despotism. It will take fewer than 20 months for us to realize the same benefits from the elimination of Rahm Emanuel.
JE comments: Please note: David Duggan's Modest Proposal does not represent the official position of WAIS. I hope this post will be read in the context of David's general reflections on democracy, civic duty, and the upcoming Ides of March.
(Francisco Wong-Diaz, USA
03/13/16 7:01 AM)
David Duggan (12 March) is on extremely dangerous ground with his post about Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel.
Other than the Ides of March option, does David offer any feasible and lawful ways of dealing with American authoritarianism at all levels of government?
JE comments: I'll reiterate that David's post should be taken in the spirit of political polemic, not as an incitement to violence.
A question: is there any practical way to "deal" with authoritarianism in the city of Chicago? Was there ever a time when that city's political landscape was not authoritarian?
- Rahm Emanuel and Statistics; from Ric Mauricio (John Eipper, USA 03/13/16 2:48 PM)
Ric Mauricio writes:
Oh, I love statistics. David Duggan (12 March) stated that Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel was "re-elected by less than 12% of the City's population (320,000 votes of 2.7 million) in an election where barely 20% of the population showed up at the polls."
In other words, 60% of those who voted were voting for Rahm Emanuel. Is that a landslide? But it illustrates my premise that if you don't vote, you are voting for the eventual winner. Since 80% of Chicago's population did not vote, their non-vote went for Emanuel. Now keep in mind that not all of Chicago's people are eligible to vote. It appears that half of the population of Chicago are registered voters. I am guessing that probably 80% are eligible to register to vote, so that leaves 30% of the population who have not bothered to register. Again, their non-votes help Emanuel.
So, as the attached article shows, 36.4% of registered voters voted. Doesn't change Emanuel's winning ratio of 2 to 1 over Jesus Garcia, though. And it still illustrates that your vote can count, despite our Quixotic outlook. Alas, in Michigan, John's vote did count.
JE comments: Another round of state primaries are coming up in two days (Ides of March): Florida, Ohio, Illinois, Missouri, and North Carolina. This may be Trump's chance to seal the deal. And for Bernie Sanders, it's time to find out whether Michigan was a trend or a fluke.
Votes and Non-Votes; from Noah Rich
(John Eipper, USA
03/15/16 5:27 AM)
Noah Rich writes:
How does one determine, as Ric Mauricio did on 13 March, that a non-vote goes to the eventual winner?
Is it not just as plausible to suggest that a non-vote, if it were a real vote for the eventual winner, would be hurting the eventual winner by not being actually cast? That non-vote then reduces the margin of victory that the eventual victor has.
I'm not sure I particularly see the logic there.
That being said, your vote does count. Whether it's an informed one or an uninformed vote, and this goes even doubly for the primaries. Our voter turnouts for primaries are absolutely terrible.
So my question for other WAISers out in WAISWorld is...how do we get more people to go out and vote in the primaries?
JE comments: Great to hear from Noah Rich in beautiful Athens, Ohio. Noah--I trust you'll be casting your vote in today's Ides of March primary. If time allows, send us a report on the mood in the Buckeye State.
My favorite promise from Governor Kasich: he'll build a fence on the Michigan-Ohio border to protect the Ohio-speaking people. This, according to Time's Joe Klein:
Votes and Non-Votes
(Michael Sullivan, USA
03/16/16 4:01 AM)
The answer to Noah Rich's question (15 March) on increasing primary voter turnout is to run two candidates like Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders. You'll attract all the disenfranchised voters who normally don't or seldom vote!
Republican primary voter turnout is setting records this year across the country.
JE comments: Trump is indeed motivational, as he is bringing voters to the polls both for and against.
Noah Rich wrote to let us know that he cast his vote in Ohio. We'll hear from Noah shortly.
- Votes and Non-Votes (Timothy Brown, USA 03/16/16 4:15 AM)
Having bird-dogged many an election in other countries, I've observed that not even American voters understand how they work here. In a "winner take all" election, the winner is the candidate who receives 50%+1 or more of the votes cast. Hence, hypothetically in a state with 1 million qualified to vote, if only 10 of them vote, the one who gets 6 votes wins. The opinions of the other 999,990 qualified voters who did not vote are entirely irrelevant. This is, admittedly, a gross exaggeration intended to illustrate the point.
Of course, in a US presidential election not even the 6 voters are guaranteed victory, since they do not vote directly for their preferred candidate, but for the members of the national Electoral College. And these electors are not necessarily legally bound to vote for the winner. So, in the end, our President is elected by winning the majority of the electors, regardless of the will of the voting minority, much less of the people at large.
Try explaining that to a Thai or a Paraguayan!
JE comments: Every four years it's important to receive a refresher on this country's arcane Electoral College, which does the actual electing of a president. If I recall my civics lessons correctly, the electors are bound to obey the voters' preference only on the first round. If no president is elected at that time, they can then switch their vote to anybody.
In Bush-Gore 2000, these technicalities became very important, but in the end the Supreme Court got to do the electing.
- Voting in Ohio; from Noah Rich (John Eipper, USA 03/16/16 6:31 PM)
Noah Rich follows up on his post of 15 March:
In response to John Eipper's question, I actually voted last week on an absentee ballot. I'm from the city of Hamilton in Butler County, Ohio, where I am registered.
I can assure you with almost absolute certainty that the focus is on the Kasich vs Trump battle in Butler County. The county has voted Republican in every general election since 1972 (if not further). Who will win for each party? I haven't spent enough time there in recent months to make an informed prediction.
Athens County, where I am at school currently, will be very different. The focus is all on the Democratic Party. In contrast to Butler County, I believe Athens County has voted Democratic in every general election since 1972 (if not further).
Ohio University in particular seems to really be "feeling the Bern." If there are large groups of students here who support Hillary, Trump, Kasich, or Cruz, then they have not made themselves heard.
On the campus' biggest green today there was a small stall selling Bernie shirts, buttons, etc. I haven't seen a single stall like that for any other candidate.
Time to wait and see the results. Whatever happens I just hope to see a higher percentage of voter participation.
JE comments: Noah Rich sent this post before yesterday's Ohio results came in, but the big news is Gov. Kasich's victory and (temporary) reprieve in the primaries. Athens County certainly Felt the Bern, with 60+% of its electorate opting for Sanders (the Robert Whealey effect?), but the state ended the day solidly in the Clinton column.
- Non-Votes and Other Non-Actions (John Eipper, USA 03/17/16 4:24 AM)
Ric Mauricio responds to Noah Rich (15 March):
Ah, my Spock ears are perking up. A logic question. Noah, you are correct that if the non-vote were to have gone to the eventual winner anyway, their margin of victory would have been greater. But, of course, being a non-vote, no one knows for sure which way that non-vote would have gone if actually voted. However, there is a 50% chance that the non-vote could have gone to the eventual loser, thus reducing the margin of victory. In fact, if the 60% of the registered voters in Chicago who didn't vote had voted and 67% of those had voted for Emanuel's opponent, you would have had a tie. But because they didn't vote, their non-vote defaulted to a win for Emmanuel.
Let's use another example of non-voting. If you see a person being beaten to death, but do nothing (calling 911?), essentially your non-action can result in the default reaction, the person is beaten to death.
Another example is of a healthy husband and wife, who lament not having biological children. But if they did not have sex, yes, a non-vote, by default, their inaction results in not having biological children.
In finance, we have the same issue. Many people lament that they do not have any money to live on (or to enjoy life) in their golden years. Being a person who started out with zero (unlike our friend, the Donald) and having retired at the age of 30, 40, 50 and 60 (I get bored), I counsel people that they have to take advantage of opportunities that are presented to them through life. But, alas, their inaction leads to the default setting of not having enough money to enjoy life.
Many people point to their economic environment as an excuse for inaction. Oh, the stock market is manipulated. Oh, the economy is manipulated. Oh, taxes are too high. Oh, interest rates are too low. And all of these are true. However, one must recognize the above truisms and take advantage of the opportunities presented by those manipulations. And realize that those manipulations are made public on TV, newspapers like the WSJ, and your friendly neighborhood stockbroker. Recognize that what they are saying has one purpose, to separate you and your money.
I just analyzed an investment that a client had gone into, compelled by his friendly financial advisor. First of all, there was a 5% front-end load, so now the client was working with only 95% of his initial capital. Next, there was a 1.42% management fee for the mutual fund. The fund was a fund of funds, meaning that every fund within the fund had an average .78% management fee. So now you have a total 2.2% in fees every year. Keep in mind that 95% of funds do not match the S&P 500 returns, but if they did (which they didn't), the funds would have to overcome the 2.2% friction (some call it drag) to match the index. Plus it had to overcome the fact that it is starting out with only 95% of his initial investment. Bottom line, in the last 3 years, the fund gained 2.21% per year (taking into account the load and management fees), while the S&P 500 gained 10% per year in the same time period. That is a 7.8% underperformance every year. But the broker and his firm is raking in the money.
Bottom line: the client and his wife (he is an accountant; she is a professor in physics and astronomy) should have asked questions and should have taken studied the investment before investing. Their inaction has led to a losing situation. They asked me to manage their investments. However, I told them they the best financial advisor is staring at them in the mirror ... they need to take responsibility for their actions, not lay that responsibility on someone else.
JE comments: Ric: you first retired at 30? Please tell.
I'm fond of laws and principles (Godwin, Murphy, Peter), but what's the name of the First Law of Finance, which goes something like this? (I could look it up, but I'd rather get a discussion going.)
You are never as careful with other people's money as you are with your own.
- On Totalitarianism, Tyranny, and Chicago; from Gary Moore (John Eipper, USA 03/14/16 4:43 AM)
Gary Moore responds to David Duggan (12 March):
It may be happening, though I find it less than persuasive,
to say the least, that leaders in Mexico have marshaled the
mote-and-beam parable to cry that Trump represents a rising
totalitarian impulse in the ambivalent United States. Now there is
now the seemingly indecipherable evidence of Chicago.
the one hand, colleague David Duggan, whose posts I have found
impressive, is now moved to the unthinkable, with any tongue-in-cheek
disclaimer so far back in the palate as to be indistinguishable, in
his Ides-and-daggers call-to-arms. And meanwhile on the other side,
a non-WAIS colleague in Chicago has forwarded a local journalist's
post crying for the throwing of tomatoes in Chicago--and all the while
protesting self-righteously that any fear of violence by the protesters
is just Fox News paranoia.
The railing--and seemingly indecipherable--divergence of perceptions on this divide, on both sides by impressively
bright minds--does begin to sound like the kind of disconnect in a lost
society, lost in the sense that it may look for the Big-Stick regime change.
But as John Eipper points out, Chicago has spooked us before. The
world-as-we-know-it also seemed about to end in 1968--and it didn't.
The signs in the sky don't mean the astrologers are right. But what's
unsettling now is the seeming inexplicability of these signs--the
inscrutable novelty--as if something we thought we firmly knew,
maybe we didn't.
JE comments: To these musings from Gary Moore, I would add a question. What will historians call our present era--say, from the Refugee Crisis to the (possible) rise of Trumpism and xenophobic reactions throughout the world? Neo-nativism? Political Darwinism? The Age of Non-Compromise?
I'm open to suggestions.
What Will Historians Call Our Era?
(José Ignacio Soler, Venezuela
03/14/16 1:27 PM)
John E asked on March 14th: "What will historians call our present era--say, from the Refugee Crisis to the (possible) rise of Trumpism and xenophobic reactions throughout the world?"
I can only think of one response: neo-chauvinism.
Is it not chauvinism the believe that our own country, nation or region, is the best, and that all evil is coming from outside? It is a rhetorical, ethnocentric, politically manipulative and demagogic ideology that probably hides a common ignorance and a deep sense of collective inferiority.
JE comments: One common thread of Trump and Sanders is the rejection of free trade. Trump talks of slapping a 35% tariff on imported goods. Might future historians speak of the death of neoliberalism? How about "post-neoliberalism"? Neo-protectionism? There's an old and very dead word that could be resuscitated: autarky.
What Will Historians Call Our Era?
(John Heelan, -UK
03/15/16 5:04 AM)
JE (14 March) raised the question of what historians will call our present era.
Possibly either "The Wall Street Triumpherate" and/or "The Calm before the Storm"?
JE comments: How about a Trumpherate? The Donald couldn't have a more fitting surname if he made it up. "To trump" is to play a card that ranks above the others, even (or especially) when it does not follow the suit in play. A trump card is a blustering imposition of one's will. Powerful, but off the topic--or powerful precisely because it is off the topic.
Trump also rhymes with harumph.
I took a poll last night among the ten students in my Spanish conversation class. Sanders garnered four votes, Cruz two, and none each for Trump, Rubio, and Clinton. One young lady in the group, an Ohioan, refused to vote at all. She was uninterested in her own governor (Kasich). Abstention stood at 40%. The takeaway: young Americans loathe Trump, but they distrust Hillary as well.
- What Will Historians Call Our Era? (John Heelan, -UK 03/15/16 5:04 AM)
- Votes and Non-Votes (Timothy Brown, USA 03/16/16 4:15 AM)
- Votes and Non-Votes (Michael Sullivan, USA 03/16/16 4:01 AM)
- Rahm Emanuel and Statistics; from Ric Mauricio (John Eipper, USA 03/13/16 2:48 PM)
- Rahm Emanuel (Francisco Wong-Diaz, USA 03/13/16 7:01 AM)