With Trump being an unpredictable wild card in this year’s election race, his cabal of new billionaire hedge fund buddies are hedging their bets by buying Congress and the Senate, so no matter which blonde gets into office, they can be sure that their interests are taken care of. To do this, in some key swing states, they’re spending millions betting against a Trump White House. In this week’s Best Democracy Money Can Buy: Election Crimes Bulletin, Flashpoints’ Dennis J. Bernstein and investigative reporter Greg Palast discuss the special needs of these mega-rich vote-manipulating vultures and the specifics of what they hope to get in return for their election-rigging investments.
TRANSCRIPT (Originally broadcast on Aug 17, 2016)
Dennis J. Bernstein:It looks like Big Don is in trouble, but now the billionaires are turning their attention to Congress. They’re going to need to buy Congress and the Senate for a number of reasons. And that’s what we’re going to talk about today”¦ Let’s start with carried interest. What’s that?
Greg Palast: Carried interest. Where do you carry your interest?
DB:I don’t have any.
Palast: What are you interested in? Carried interest is simply known as the billionaires’ hedge fund loophole. It’s really complex, but it has to do with the rate at which hedge fund guys pay taxes ”” or don’t pay taxes. If you and I go to work and …more
Marci just concluded a deal paying off US vulture fund operator Paul Singer, a $2.5 billion pay-out which the Argentine government described as “extortion.”
The story of Argentina versus Singer, aka The Vulture, looms hugely over the US Presidential election. As Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton attempted to prevent Singer from collecting this “extortion” pay-off from Argentina. Singer, the top donor to the Republican Party, is fuming.
To get the story, listen to Greg Palast on Loud & Clear, …more
[Greg Palast has investigated Paul “The Vulture” Singer for BBC TV and The Guardian for the last 9 years.]
Paul Singer, known as The Vulture, won a $4.65 billion payment from Argentina ”” nearly ONE HUNDRED TIMES his “investment” of $50 million in old Argentina bonds. It was, in finance speak, the most successful “vulture attack” ever.
[Greg Palast has investigated Paul “The Vulture” Singer for BBC TV and The Guardian for the last 9 years.]
Paul Singer, known as The Vulture, won a $4.65 billion payment from Argentina ”” nearly ONE HUNDRED TIMES his “investment” of $50 million in old Argentina bonds. It was, in finance speak, the most successful “vulture attack” ever.Singer’s actions are outlawed in most of the civilized world. Hillary Clinton, as Secretary of State, attempted to stop Singer’s predatory act, but Singer did a brilliant end-run: he used his cash to help elect a new President in Argentina that would jump to his tune and pay him billions.
Now, he’s attempting to do the same to the USA: pick a president for us who will feather his vulture’s nest. He’s the number one donor sugar daddy for Marco Rubio’s candidacy [See, “Who Hatched Rubio“]. Singer is also the big bankroller of Karl Rove, to make sure that, even if he can’t sell Rubio to the GOP base, at least The Vulture can use “Turdblossom” Rove to ensure that Hillary won’t become President and put him out the of vulture business.
Rubio, in fact, skirted some ethical lines in his attempts to pressure the State Department to side with his corpse-chewing donor against Argentina.
As I’ve said, Singer directs his fellow billionaires’ investments in candidates. So, it is not surprising to see The Koch’s lend their top …more
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.
DownloadVultures 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!)
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.
It was Good Friday, 50 years ago on March 27, 1964, that according to seismologists, the snow peaks of Prince William Sound jumped 33 feet into the air and fell back down. Emergency warnings about an earthquake-spurred tsunami went out to towns from Valdez, Alaska, to Malibu, Calif., but no one thought to send a message to the Chugach Natives in Chenega, Alaska.
Chenega chief Nikolas Kompkoff watched the mountains leap and the waters around his island disappear over the horizon.
Knowing the water would return with a vengeance, he ran his four daughters up a hill toward high ground. But the nine-story-tall tsunami was moving too fast for their little legs. Kompkoff made a decision: He grabbed the two girls closest to him, tucked them under his arms and ran up the slope, leaving the other two to be seized by the wave.
Days later, a postal pilot on his weekly mail drop could not find Chenega because every single house ”“ and a third of the residents ”“ had been washed out to sea.
When he circled back to the site he saw the village’s church on the hill with …more
A federal judge in New York today slapped a stern order on attorney Steven Donziger and the Ecuadorean villagers he claims to represent, prohibiting them from capitalizing on a $9 billion judgment the judge said was the product of “egregious fraud.”
The judge is completely, utterly full of shit, here’s the real story.
Call me crazy, but I’ve couldn’t stop myself: I’ve made a film about the scoundrels, scalawags, scumbags and bankers just in time to roast their chestnuts on an open fire.
Vultures and Vote Rustlers combines my favorite eight investigations for BBC-TV and Democracy Now into a one hour film that will make you howl with laughter ”” and with anger””or your money back. …more
Cohen says he’ll pay the $1.2 billion from his own pocket ”” but it’s a pretty big pocket. His net worth just hit ($9.4 billion). It would have been an even $10 billion, but last year he coughed up over half a billion for his company’s illegal trades. …more
In one super-PAC alone, Karl Rove and the Enron grifter Ed Gillespie, have assembled $200 million from big polluters and Wall Street moguls to buy the 2012 election.
Two of the Koch Brothers, Charles and David, pledged $130 million to elect candidates who favor unrestrained corporate profiteering.
The senators and congressmen they fund and elect are not representing the United States””they are representing Koch and its oil industry cronies, Big Pharma, and the Wall Street banksters currently mounting a hostile takeover of our government.
I have no problem characterizing these corporate-centric super-PACs as treasonous. We are now in a free fall toward old-fashioned oligarchy; noxious, thieving and tyrannical.
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.”
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.”
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
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
The idea that the euro has “failed” is dangerously naive. The euro is doing exactly what its progenitor ”“ and the wealthy 1%-ers who adopted it ”“ predicted and planned for it to do.
That progenitor is former University of Chicago economist Robert Mundell. The architect of “supply-side economics” is now a professor at Columbia University, but I knew him through his connection to my Chicago professor, Milton Friedman, back before Mundell’s research on currencies and exchange rates had produced the blueprint for European monetary union and a common European currency.
Mundell, then, was more concerned with his bathroom arrangements. Professor Mundell, who has both a Nobel Prize and an ancient villa in Tuscany, told me, incensed:
“They won’t even let me have a toilet. They’ve got rules that tell me I can’t have a toilet in this room! Can you imagine?” …more