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The Rubio/Romney Vulture Connection

Greg Palast 

HuffPo reports that former Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney will endorse Senator Marco Rubio. Why? The answer is: the financier known as The Vulture, Paul Singer-donor Number One to the GOP-and top sugar daddy to ...more

Who Hatched Rubio?

Greg Palast 

The news media was abuzz when Marco Rubio received what likely is the most important endorsement of the 2016 political season. Courted by Bush, Christie, and even 'The Donald,' the man known by ...more

Advisory: UAW files ethics charge on Romney auto bail-out profiteering

Greg Palast 

WASHINGTON - A coalition of community, labor and good-government organizations is calling on the U.S. Office of Government Ethics to investigate GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney for noncompliance with the Ethics in Government Act and compel him to either disclose his investments or divest them. “The American people have a right to know about Gov. Romney’s potential conflicts of interest, such as ...more

How Mitt Romney Profited
from Delphi Workers’ Misery

Greg Palast 

Greg Palast on Current TV – The Young Turks

Cenk Uygur breaks down the numbers from investigative journalist Greg Palast’s report detailing how Ann Romney’s blind trust profited from the government bailing out General Motors. Exactly how much money did the Romneys make? Between $15 million and $115 million. “What happened, Romney? I thought you were against bailouts,” Cenk says. “Apparently you’re not as against it when it goes into your pocket.”

…more

Romney & Co Shipped Every Single
Delphi UAW Job to China

Greg Palast 

For Truthout

He’s kidding, right? Did I just hear Mitt Romney say, “I would do nothing to hurt the US auto industry”

Really? REALLY?

Here’s the facts, ma’am:

As I reported in this week’s Nation magazine cover story “Mitt Romney’s Bail-out Bonanza“, the Romneys are in a special partnership with the vulture fund that bought Delphi, the former GM auto parts division.

[Watch our Democracy Now! report on the Romney group’s auto plant closures.]

The Romney vulture fund investment syndicate shipped every single UAW production job – EVERY job – to China.

Just after Nation broke the story, Washington newsletter The Hill received the Romneys admission of profiteering:

“Romney’s campaign did not deny that he profited from the auto bailout in an email to The Hill, but it said the the report showed the Detroit intervention was ‘misguided.'”

The truth? On June 1, 2009, the Obama Administration announced …more

Mitt Romney’s Bailout Bonanza

Greg Palast 

How Mitt and Ann made millions and Mitt’s hedge fund donors made billions from the auto-industry rescue that he condemned.

By Greg Palast for The Nation Magazine

Mitt Romney’s opposition to the auto bailout has haunted him on the campaign trail, especially in Rust Belt states like Ohio. There, in September, the Obama campaign launched television ads blasting Romney’s November 2008 New York Times op-ed,“Let Detroit Go Bankrupt.”

Elements of this article appear in Palast’s brand new NYT bestseller:
Billionaires & Ballot Bandits: How to Steal an Election in 9 Easy Steps

Watch Palast talk about this expose on Democracy Now!

But Romney has done a good job of concealing, until now, the fact that he and his wife, 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. …more

What the Hell Happened?

Greg Palast 

For The Mudflats.net

What the hell happened?  Did Barack have a fight with Michelle?  Was it nicotine withdrawal?  Do really rich guys just scare you, Mr. Obama?

Dear Mr. President:  As a journalist I don’t take partisan sides, but I do take America’s side.  And as Commander-in-Chief, you simply cannot fall asleep in the saddle.

I mean Commander-in-Chief in the Class War.  The war of the billionaires against the rest of us.

You were asked, “What is the role of government?”

You seemed stumped.  Lost.

Well, here’s three, Mr. President:

1. Issue Social Security checks. Checks for cash money.  Not some bullshit voucher.
2. Save General Motors and Motor City.
3. Kill Osama.

Maybe you should have written those on your palm.

When Mr. PBS Bumblebrain asked you the difference between your views and Gov. Romney’s on Social Security, you said, “You know, I suspect that, on Social Security, we’ve got a somewhat similar position.”

Really, Mr. President, REALLY? …more

Romney’s Breakfast of Billionaires

Greg Palast 

For Dollars & Sense Magazine

On Friday, Governor Mitt Romney had breakfast with billionaires.

JOHN PAULSON, Paul Singer and Ken Langone have dropped more than a million dollars each into the Romney “Super-PAC” Restore Our Future. As Butch said to Sundance, “Who ARE these guys?”

Singer’s known as “The Vulture” on Wall Street. Langone’s database company came up with the list of innocent Black voters that Katherine Harris wiped off the voter rolls of Florida in 2000. But who is Paulson, a guy so dark and devious he doesn’t even have a nick-name?

I tried to join them (“Sorry, sir”) just to ask why Romney was chowing down with the nation’s most notorious billionaires and ballot bandits.

Here is just a bit about Breakfast Billionaire #3: John Paulson from my new book, Billionaires & Ballot Bandits  now renamed The Best Democracy Money Can Buy): How to Steal an Election in 9 Easy Steps-An investigation of Karl Rove, the Koch Gang and their Buck-Buddies. There’s a comic book inside by Ted Rall with an introduction by Bobby Kennedy Jr. Get it here now.

It was just released today and already hit NUMBER ONE NON-FICTION PAPERBACK in the USA. (Barnes & Noble)

In August 2007, billionaire John Paulson walked into Goldman Sachs, the investment bank, with a billion-dollar idea. Paulson’s brainstorm had all the elements that Goldman found enchanting: a bit of fraud, a bit of flimflam, and lots and lots of the ultimate drug: OPM-Other Peoples’ Money.

Paulson’s scheme was simple. Paulson, a much followed hotshot hedge-fund manager, would announce that he was betting big on the recovery of the U.S. housing market. He was willing to personally insure that …more

Romney’s Auto Bail-out Billionaires

Greg Palast 

Top funders made billions from US Treasury

For NationOfChange

[Thursday February 23] Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney called the federal government’s 2009 bail-out of the auto industry, “nothing more than crony capitalism, Obama style… a reward for his big donors to his campaign.” In fact, the biggest rewards ­­- a windfall of more than two billion dollars care of US taxpayers ­­­– went to Romney’s two top contributors.

John Paulson of Paulson & Co and Paul Singer of Elliott International, known on Wall Street as “vulture” investors, have each written checks for one million dollars to Restore Our Future, the Super PAC supporting Romney’s candidacy.

Gov. Romney last week asserted that the Obama Administration’s support for General Motors was a, “payoff for the auto workers union.” However, union workers in GM’s former auto parts division, Delphi, the unit taken over by Romney’s funders, did not fare so well. The speculators eliminated every single union job from the parts factories once manned by 25,200 UAW members.

The two hedge fund operators turned a breathtaking three-thousand percent profit on a relatively negligible investment by using hardball tactics against the US Treasury and their own employees.

Under the control of the speculators, Delphi, which had 45 plants in the US and Canada, is now reduced to just four factories with only 1,500 hourly workers, none of them UAW members, despite the union agreeing to cut contract wages by two thirds.

It wasn’t supposed to be quite so bad. The Obama Administration and GM had arranged for a private equity investor to provide half a billion dollars in new capital for Delphi, but that would have cut the pay-out to Singer and Paulson. The speculators blocked the Obama-GM plan, taking the entire government bail-out hostage. Even the Wall Street Journal’s Dealmaker column was outraged, accusing Paul Singer of treating the auto company, “like a third world country.”

But it worked. Singer and Paulson got what they demanded. Using US Treasury funds:

  • GM agreed to pay off $1.1 billion of Delphi’s debts,
  • forgave $2.15 billion owed GM by Delphi (which had been spun off as an independent company)
  • pumped $1.75 billion into Delphi operations, and
  • took over four money-losing plants that the speculators didn’t want.

If those plants had been closed, GM factories would have shut down cold for lack of parts.

Then there was the big one: The US government agreed to take over $6.2 billion in pension benefits due Delphi workers under US labor law.

Governor Romney, while opposing the bail-out of GM, accused Obama of eliminating the pensions of 21,000 non-union employees at Delphi. In fact, it was Romney’s funders who wiped out 100% of the pensions and health care accounts of Delphi salaried retirees­­.

Paulson and Singer paid an average of about 67 cents a share for Delphi. In November, 2011, Paulson sold a chunk of his holdings for $22 a share. Paulson’s gain totals a billion and a half dollars ($1,499,499,000), and Singer gained nearly a billion ($899,751,000) — thirty-two times their investment.

One-hundred percent of this gain for the Paulson and Singer hedge funds is accounted for by taxpayer bail-out support.

But, unlike the government loans and worker concessions given to GM, the US Treasury and workers get nothing in return from Delphi.

From GM, the US Treasury got warrants for common stock (similar to options) that have already produced billions in profit.

And Delphi? It’s doing well for Paulson and Singer. GM and Chrysler, still in business by the grace of the US Treasury, remain Delphi’s main customers, buying parts now made almost entirely in China and other cheap-labor nations.

And exactly who are Paulson and Singer?

Billionaire John Paulson became the first man in history to earn over $3 billion in a single year — not for his hedge fund, but for himself, personally. At the core of this huge payday was a 2007 scheme by which, via Goldman Sachs, he sold “insurance” on subprime mortgage loans. According to a lawsuit filed by the Securities Exchange Commission, Goldman defrauded European banks by pretending that Paulson was investing in the insurance. In fact, Paulson was, secretly, the beneficiary of the insurance, reaping billions when the mortgage market collapsed.

Goldman paid half a billion dollars in civil fines for the fraud. While the SEC states that Paulson knowingly participated in the scheme, he was not fined and denies he defrauded the banks.

Multi-billionaire Singer is known as Wall Street’s toughest “vulture” speculator. Vulture fund financial attacks on the world’s poorest nations have been effectively outlawed in much of Europe and excoriated by human rights groups, conduct Britain’s former Prime Minister Gordon Brown described as, “morally outrageous.”

***
Greg Palast has been investigating vulture speculator Paul Singer for BBC Television Newsnight and Britain’s Guardian for five years. The investigative reporter is author of Vultures’ Picnic: In Pursuit of Petroleum Pigs, Power Pirates and High-Finance Carnivores and the New York Times bestseller, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy. For reports on Singer and vulture funds, go to www.GregPalast.com and www.VulturesPicnic.org.

You can follow Palast on twitter at Greg_Palast and find him on facebook at Greg Palast.

The Billionaires’ Brokered GOP Convention

Greg Palast 

Truthout | Op-Ed

The Plan is working.

Mitt Romney’s biggest backer didn’t want him to win.

We know that Paul “The Vulture” Singer, Romney’s Daddy Warbucks, organized the “grassroots” campaign to replace Romney with Gov. Chris Christie back in September.

That flopped, so Singer and the billionaire boys’ club that courted Christie moved over to Romney. Not that they had a choice. They knew Moonrocks Gingrich, who thinks he’s running for Master Jedi, and Saint Santorum who thinks he’s running for pope, would end up road kill in November.

But despite their million-dollar checks for Romney’s campaign, the billionaires are handling the ex-governor with very long and slippery tweezers. The fact that Singer and the Koch brothers went on bended knee to Christie means they are just nauseated over Romney, a man losing a war with the English language and his own tax returns, carrying their standard against President Obama. …more

Romney’s Billionaire Funder Threatens
BBC Investigative Reporter

“We have a File on Palast”

Greg Palast 

For Truthout/Buzzflash – update
Palast is the author of Vultures’ Picnic: in Pursuit of Petroleum Pigs, Power Pirates and High-Finance Carnivores.

 

The call came in to BBC Television Centre, London, from the office of Mitt Romney’s billionaire backer and “advisor” Paul Singer.

Singer, top donor to the Republican Senate Campaign Committee had a message for the news chiefs at the prestigious broadcaster:

“We have a file on Greg Palast.”

I bet they do. …more