Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Opinions in Politics: Sept 21, 2010

****This blog post contains opinions which do reflect the whole belief of the AC group and are not meant to show disrespect in anyway what so ever: all comments and concerns can be directly addressed to the author****

Perhaps it is me alone who feels this but I found Scaramucci's demeanor and air to be a bit unbecoming of a hedge fund manager of a "7.4 billion dollar" hedge fund (no disrespect intended). Name dropping and number throwing is quite the turn off in my humble opinion.

On the flip side, I found Obama's perceptions on hedge funds to be very misguided. The top 25 hedge funds who brought in over a billion dollars in profits are probably less than 1% of all hedge fund managers. The majority of hedge funds being under $100M AUM, come no where near the top hedge fund managers. At most, small hedge fund managers are only bringing in a modest six figures, which is no different from middle class americans.

To single out the top hedge fund managers and apply that across a whole industry is the same using stereotypes on whole race of people, a whole class of people, or a whole country of people. Perhaps a better comparison of what Obama is saying would be to take a big fortune 500 company, and say, since this fortune 500 company brought in 1 billion dollars of revenue this year EVERYONE in the company needs to be taxed higher including the janitors.

I find it a bit disheartening that our leader of this great country to be so misinformed and because of this the little guys have to pay the price of such ignorance.


Alexander Lê
Managing Partner
Analyze Capital LLC


  1. I don't think Obama meant to attack the Hedge Fund community as a whole here. It was more a jab at those Republicans from Scaramucci's circle who cry because their names are put next to Gordan Gekko's. Wait I forgot Scaramucci voluntarily did this with his new book. Some people just ask stupid questions at the wrong time regardless of their resume or pedigree.

    As far as Obama on the little guy, he is doing a good job. He proposed that in 2011 small businesses can write-off all capital expenditures. That's generous. In addition if you are are an individual earning up to 200k you get a tax cut, up 250k if you support more than 1. Honestly, 200k is enough to live comfortably as an individual earner. To each his own. Thankfully, we are not in the business of political malfeasance.

  2. My point only pertains to his comment about how he expresses his view about hedge fund managers. He assumes that since 1 billion dollars was brought in in profits that everyone enjoyed huge amounts of that. Only a small portion made huge profits that they did legally.

    I wasn't talking about small business but small hedge fund managers, who may or may not be able to enjoy small business benefits based off tax trader status.

    About your 200K comment, I have no comment on this, but from my understanding it is much different when you are making that money and seeing it being taken away from you. Since I am not making that much money I don't know how it really feels. Though I get the feeling that if I did have that much money I would have a strong opinion about that on either side. Easier said when not felt.

  3. I don't think President Obama assumes all fund managers made big money last year. In fact I bet he is well aware that most smaller funds (x>100 Mill AUM) have been unable to reach their high-water marks over the past year and consequently forced to liquidate. Then again, I am not in his head. Moreover, his point was to belittle Scaramucci and his circle, not all fund managers.

    I'm sure it hurts to be taxed at the current rate of 33% when you make over 200k and support no family. However, it hurts much more when you you are taxed at 33% make 175k and support a family of 5. Which side will the president err on? Regardless of your salary level, taxes hurt.

    This is a sticky question/debate. One can point out all of the economic benefits or draw-backs of tax-cuts/hikes. This can be transformed into an emotional question in which moral values come into play. Or it can be simply be that Obama is attempting to appease his base of 'independent' voters and bring them to the polls come November. There is no right or wrong answer. However, there are and will remain different points of view.

  4. Im only commenting about this video alone and what he showed here. His answer shows he is clearly generalizing. If he is well aware of all the fact he should speak accordingly (especially as a president), unless this whole video is just out of context. Overall,I'm pretty sure most politicians know squat about the hedge fund industry according to the way policy has been approached. I don't see many other super industries getting attacked (this is kinda similar to the super tax on mining in Australia that Rudd dug his grave with), the hedge fund industry is just being singled out and scapegoated .

    Then again, people like Scaramucci aren't necessarily helping out the hedge fund industry either based off his performance in the video. I also certainly hope the president wasn't trying to belittle anyone big or small.

    Politics is something that is personal, moral, and emotional, its not science. I am sure that the constituents in america don't vote based on the scientific method or are not akin to the rational "economic man." All arguments about taxes are biased on some level which is part of the politics. If indeed Obama is trying to appease the independents, this is probably why many of the voters see him as on the fence trying to please everyone.

    Either way Im not saying Obama has done a bad job or a good job, I have been just merely commenting on what I saw.

  5. This should clarify my point I found this except of the video above on HFN Daily:

    "The notion that somehow me saying maybe you should be taxed more like your secretary, when you're pulling home a billion dollars or a hundred million dollars a year, I don't think is me being extremist or being anti-business," Obama said.

    My point being that Obama is generalizing when he says this when the majority do not make no where near these amounts. He he says he wishes just to tax people who make X amount at those levels then I would have no problem, but his statement applies to everyone in the industry. Im not referring to the point about him being anti business or whatever, but about his generalizations.


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