Thursday, February 23, 2012

How Willard's Hedge Fund Managers Are Over-Charging Us At The Gas Pump To Pay For Romney's Campaign


Former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich had posts up Monday and Tuesday that I found not just interesting but very related as well. But Reich did explicitly connect them. Monday was, at least in part, a post about all the multimillionaire and billionaire hedge fund managers who are financing Willard's run for the Republican nomination. "Mitt Romney’s super PAC raised $6.6 million last month-- almost all from just forty donors. Bruce Kovner, co-founder of the New York-based hedge fund Caxton Associates, gave $500,000, as did two others. David Tepper of Appaloosa Management gave $375,000... Julian Robertson, co-founder of hedge fund Tiger Management, gave $250,0000." And that doesn't even go into notorious hedge fund criminals like John Paulson, Paul Singer, Jim Simons, Edward Conard, Robert Mercer and Julian Robertson (a cool million each to Willard's PAC) who gave in previous months. Other shady hedge fund crooks pouring massive cash into Romney's bid to take over the White House include Chris Shumway ($750,000), Miguel Fernandez ($500,000), Steven Webster ($500,000)... the list stretches endlessly from Boston to Wall Street to Salt Lake City and beyond.

OK, we all know... the one percent's class war against the rest of us has turned into a freak-fest of unregulated financial sector cash flowing into Romney's campaign war chest. The long dreamed of Mormon quest to seize the White House is being financed by people who aren't even aware of what a Mormon is. But it was Reich's Tuesday column, The Gas Wars that alarmed me most. It's the very same hedge fund managers who are writing checks for millions and millions of dollars to bankroll Romney's campaign who are driving up the price of gasoline at the pump, thereby threatening the economic recovery, something they expect will help Romney even more than their checks-- while helping them recoup the money they're giving the campaign!

Nothing drives voter sentiment like the price of gas-- now averaging $3.56 a gallon, up 30 cents from the start of the year. It’s already hit $4 in some places. The last time gas topped $4 was 2008.

And nothing energizes Republicans like rising energy prices. Last week House Speaker John Boehner told Republicans to take advantage of voters’ looming anger over prices at the pump. On Thursday House Republicans passed a bill to expand offshore drilling and force the White House to issue a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline. The tumult prompted the Interior Department to announce on Friday expanded oil exploration in the Arctic.

If prices at the pump continue to rise,  expect more gas wars.

In fact, oil prices are rising for three reasons-- none of which has to do with offshore drilling or the XL pipeline.

The first, on the supply side, is Iran’s decision to cut in oil exports to Britain and France in retaliation for sanctions put in place by the EU and United States. Iran’s threat to do this has been pushing up crude oil prices for weeks.

The second, on the demand side, is rising hopes for a global economic recovery-- which would mean increased oil consumption. The American economy is showing faint signs of a recovery. Europe’s debt crisis appears to be easing. Greece’s pending bailout deal is calming financial nerves on both sides of the Atlantic, and the Bank of England and European Central Bank are keeping rates low. At the same time, China has decided to boost its money supply to spur growth there.

Neither of these would have much effect were it not for the third reason-- overwhelming bets of hedge funds and other money managers that oil prices will rise on the basis of the first two reasons.

Speculators have pushed crude oil to $105.28 per barrel, up 35 percent since September. Brent crude, Europe’s benchmark, is now $120.37 a barrel-- also worrisome because many East Coast refineries use imported oil.

Funny, I don’t hear Republicans rail against speculators. Could that have anything to do with the fact that hedge funds and money managers are bankrolling the GOP as never before?

Obama can't say he wasn't warned. Bernie Sanders-- the only Senate incumbent Blue America has endorsed for reelection-- has been warning about the dangers of oil and gas speculators for a very long time. Sanders says he has been disappointed by the "lack of urgency" by the Commodity Future Trading Commission and he and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) have been threatening congressional action if the CFTC doesn't curb oil speculation.

Not photoshopped

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At 9:10 AM, Anonymous me said...

Is that photo real? If not, you should take it down.

At 9:13 AM, Anonymous me said...

You gotta admit, even a retard could find a better place to get a shoeshine.

At 1:13 PM, Blogger Stenotrophomonas said...

Apparently, it's not a shoe shine but a security check. But it's the Newt and other right wingers running with it - DWT is just now getting word of it.

Of course, the rest of us don't get the option of having someone bringing us a chair to sit on and getting to keep our shoes on.


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