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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 the Rubio campaign.

Back in 2012, we broke The Nation cover story exposing how Singer, Mitt Romney’s finance chair, secretly stuffed the “blind trust” of Ann Romney with up to $115 million.  For $115 million, a politician will wash your car – with his tongue.  So, of course, Mrs. Romney’s husband will endorse the Vulture’s choice. Blind trust=blind endorsement.

Download Vultures and Vote Rustlers,  the film of Romney’s folly and other Palast team investigations, our best for BBC and Democracy Now! (Or get a signed copy of the DVD!)

More to come on Singer candidate shopping spree in our upcoming movie: The Best Democracy Money Can Buy.

You can read more about the Vultures here:

Who Hatched Rubio?

BBC America: Palast Hunts the Vultures

* * * * *

In 2016 Greg Palast will be releasing his new feature film The Best Democracy Money Can Buy-A Tale of Billionaires and Ballot Bandits, which includes his award-winning investigation Jim Crow Returns.

Greg Palast is the author of several New York Times bestsellers including The Best Democracy Money Can Buy and Billionaires & Ballot Bandits, Armed Madhouse and the highly acclaimed Vultures’ Picnic.

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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 his colleagues as “The Vulture” was circled by many, but eventually he swooped in on Rubio.

So who is this…Vulture?

He was the man behind the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, the man behind Mitt Romney, and the man that chose Paul Ryan for Vice President.

The Vulture is well known for all of this, but the real reason why Paul Singer is important can be found here on GregPalast.com.

Watch our first ever investigation into this financial bird of prey below, and read more on how Singer has built his empire on the ruins of nations, the Congolese, and union workers.

…more

Investigó a Paul Singer y cuenta quiénes pudieron ganarle

Greg Palast 

by Francisco de Zárate for Clarin.com

Investigó a Paul Singer y cuenta quiénes pudieron ganarle

Entrevista con Greg Palast, periodista de la BBC y The Guardian También relata cómo el poderoso titular del fondo buitre NML venció a Perú y al Tesoro de Estados Unidos.

Durante su vida anterior, cuando era detective privado, el estadounidense Greg Palast (62) trabajó para sindicatos, para el Gobierno de Estados Unidos y hasta para los indios nativos de Alaska, a los que ayudó a descubrir un fraude de British Petroleum por el desastre ecológico del petrolero Exxon Valdez en 1989. Hasta que se cansó que ver cómo los reporteros hablaban de su trabajo y se pasó al otro lado: “Me convertí en periodista de investigación de la BBC y The Guardian (Leer la traducción del artículo). No les importaba que supiera o no escribir. Lo que les interesaba era la información”.

Desde Nueva York, Palast habló por teléfono con Clarín sobre Paul Singer. El hombre que maneja el fondo NML y principal demandante de Argentina en el conflicto por la deuda en default, …more

Did The Romneys’ Auto Bailout Bonanza
Violate Federal Ethics Law?

Greg Palast 

for The National Memo

At the same time, taxpayer-subsidized Delphi expanded its workforce in China to 25,000. Today, Delphi supplies GM and Chrysler parts from Mexico and China.

This week, Republican vice-presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan arrived in Ohio to accuse the Obama administration of cutting the pensions of the Delphi non-union pensioners. In fact, says the UAW’s King, it was the Singer-Romney group that simply refused to pay any pensions whatsoever to union and non-union workers alike. The company’s $6.2 billion pension obligation, says King, “was dumped on the US government Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation (PBGC) which is limited by law ”” not by President Obama ”” in the sums it can pay retirees.”

None of this surprises observers of Paul Singer’s hedge fund, Elliott Management, which partnered with Ann Romney. …more

UAW Files Charges Against Romney
on his Auto Bail-out Profiteering

Greg Palast 

Broke ethics law hiding millions, say good government groups

Toledo, Ohio

For Mitt Romney, it’s one scary Halloween.  The Presidential candidate has just learned that tomorrow afternoon he will charged with violating the federal Ethics in Government law by improperly concealing his multi-million dollar windfall from the auto industry bail-out.

At a press conference in Toledo, Bob King, President of the United Automobile Workers, will announce that his union and Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW)  have filed a formal complaint with the US Office of Government Ethics in Washington stating that Gov. Romney improperly hid a profit of $15.3 million to $115.0 million in Ann Romney’s so-called “blind” trust.

The union chief says, “The American people have a right to know about Gov. Romney’s potential conflicts of interest, such as the profits his family made from the auto rescue,” “It’s time for Gov. Romney to disclose or divest.”

“While Romney was opposing the rescue of one of the nation’s most important manufacturing sectors, he was building his fortunes with his Delphi investor group, making his fortunes off the misfortunes of others,” King added.

The Romneys’ gigantic windfall was hidden inside an offshore corporation inside a Limited Partnership inside a trust which both concealed the gain and reduces taxes on it.

The Romneys’ windfall was originally exposed in Nation Magazine, Mitt Romney’s Bail-out Bonanza after a worldwide investigation by our crew at The Guardian, the Nation Institute and the Palast Investigative Fund.   [Ed. – The full story of Romney and his “vulture fund” partners is in Palast’s New York Times bestseller, Billionaires & Ballot Bandits.]

According to ethics law expert Dr. Craig Holman of Public Citizen, who advised on the complaint, Ann Romney does not have a federally-approved blind trust.  An approved “blind” trust may not be used to hide a major investment which could be affected by Romney if he were to be elected President.  Other groups joining the UAW and CREW include Public Citizen, the Service Employees International Union, Public Campaign, People for the American Way and The Social Equity Group.

President Obama’s approved trust, for example, contains only highly-diversified mutual funds on which Presidential action can have little effect.  By contrast, the auto bail-out provided a windfall of over 4,000% on one single Romney investment.

In 2009, Ann Romney partnered with her husband’s key donor, billionaire Paul Singer, who secretly bought a controlling interest in Delphi Auto, the former GM auto parts division.  Singer’s hedge fund, Elliott Management, threatened to cut off GM’s supply of steering columns unless GM and the government’s TARP auto bail-out fund provided Delphi with huge payments.  While the US treasury complained this was “extortion,” the hedge funds received, ultimately, $12.9 billion in taxpayer subsidies.

As a result, the shares Singer and Romney bought for just 67 cents are today worth over $30, a 4,000% gain.  Singer’s hedge fund made a profit of $1.27 billion and the Romney’s tens of millions.

The UAW complaint calls for Romney to reveal exactly how much he made off Delphi — and continues to make.  The Singer syndicate, once in control of Delphi, eliminated every single UAW job –25,000– and moved almost all auto parts production to Mexico and China where Delphi now employs 25,000 auto parts workers.

Forensic Economist Greg Palast’s investigative reports can be seen on BBC Television.  His latest bestseller, Billionaires & Ballot Bandits: How to Steal an Election in 9 Easy Steps contains a comic book by Ted Rall and chapters by Robert F. Kennedy Jr.  www.BallotBandits.org 

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

Greg Palast 

Unions, Good Government Groups to File Ethics Complaint Against Romney For Failing To Disclose His Big Auto Rescue Profit

Groups Urge Office of Government Ethics to Make Romney Disclose or Divest

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 the profits his family made from the auto rescue,” said UAW President Bob King. “It’s time for Gov. Romney to disclose or divest.”

In a Nation magazine cover story, investigative reporter Greg Palast reported that the Romney family personally profited at least $15.3 million from the auto loans of 2009 through his investment in the Delphi Corp. auto parts company. Yet Romney’s June 1, 2012, Public Financial Disclosure Report to the Office of Government Ethics …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.”

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Romney & Co Shipped Every Single
Delphi UAW Job to China

Greg Palast 

by Greg Palast | 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 exposé 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.”

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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