Sunday, September 15, 2013

How The Elite Handle Unemployment

The Center for Public Integrity takes a look at how some of the people most responsible for the financial crash are making out (H/t Hullabaloo):

Five years after the near-collapse of the nation’s financial system, the economy continues a slow recovery marred by high unemployment, hesitant consumers and sluggish business investment.
Many of the top Wall Street bankers who were largely responsible for the disaster — and whose companies either collapsed or accepted billions in government bailouts — are also unemployed. But since they walked away from the disaster with millions, they’re juggling their ample free time between mansions and golf, skiing and tennis.
Meantime, the major banks that survived the crisis, largely because they were saved with taxpayer money after being deemed “too big to fail,” are now bigger and more powerful than ever.
The Center for Public Integrity looked at what happened to five former Wall Street kingpins to see what they are up to these days. None are in jail, nor are any criminal charges expected to be filed. 
Certainly none are hurting for money. 
Take Richard Fuld. Five years after Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., the 158-year-old company he ran, collapsed under the weight of bad investments and sent a tidal wave of panic through the global financial system, Fuld is living comfortably. 
He has a mansion in Greenwich, Conn., a 40-plus-acre ranch in Sun Valley, Idaho, as well as a five-bedroom home in Jupiter Island, Fla. He no longer has a place in Manhattan, since he sold his Park Avenue apartment in 2009 for $25.87 million. 
The other four bankers the Center caught up with — Jimmy Cayne (Bear Stearns), Stanley O’Neal (Merrill Lynch), Chuck Prince (Citigroup) and Ken Lewis (Bank of America) are also living in quiet luxury.
Want to know something interesting about all of these people.

Richard Fuld was a big Obama supporter. The Politically Drunk on Power blog noted on October 5, 2008:

Former Lehman Brothers CEO and long-time Barack Obama contributor Richard Fuld is testifying today concerning his role in the failure of the Investment banking giant. Fuld joins the ranks of the dozens of former wall street executives who have or are likely to be paraded in front of Congress over the coming months. Fuld also contributed to Senator Dodd's campaign and The Democratic National Senatorial Committee's fund. 
Among Obama's campaign contributors are dozens of other Lehman Brothers Executives, such as President Joseph Gregory ($4,600). On June 19th, Lehman shareholders filed suit against Fuld and Gregory for the company’s exposure in the subprime market. In addition to dozens of Lehman executives are Obama's bundlers from Lehman Brothers who have raised top dollar for the campaign. Direct contributions from Lehman Brothers have exceeded $395,000 for Senator Obama, while bundled contributions raised by Lehman Executives have been just short of phenomenal. 
John Rhea - (over $500,000) Co-Head of Lehman Bros. Global Investment Banking 
Mark Gilbert - (over $500,000) Lehman Brothers Senior Executive 
Christine Forester - (over $500,000) Lehman Brothers Senior Executive 
Theodore Janulis – Bundler (over $100,000) & Lehman Brothers Head of Global Mort. 
Nadja Fidelia – Bundler (over $50,000) & Managing Director of Lehman Brothers 
Fuld now holds the distinguished position of joining other highly influential Obama contributors within the financial sector including Franklin Raines and Jim Johnson. 
Stanley Price - Former CEO of Merrill Lynch (testified in front of Congress in 2007 after receiving $161 million in compensation after being ousted for ML's subprime exposure) 
Brad Morrice - CEO of imploded subprime lender New Century 
Steve Boland - Managing Director of CountryWide 
Andrew Beer - President of Wachovia's Subprime Lender Evergreen Investments 
Robert Wolf, the CEO of UBS Americas, helped the Obama campaign raise more than $500,000. 
Louis Susman, the Chairman of a Citibank Subsidiary. 
John W. Roberts - (over $500,000) Ariel Capital Management 
Richard Leweke – Vice Chairman of Washington Mutual Card Services 
Seth Waugh – CEO of Deutsche Bank 
Charles Lewis – Vice Chairman of Merrill Lynch

Chuck Prince was an Obama donor, generally leaning toward Democrats, but with a few RHINOs thrown in.

The Daily Beast makes this interesting comment on why Ken Lewis didn't fare better:
In dealing with the new regime in Washington, the out-of-towner was at a disadvantage to the New York crowd. Unlike the heads of New York-based investment banks, Lewis had never been part of the local, which is to say, Democratic, power structure. The two big winners of Survivor Wall Street: 2008-2009 are Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein and JPMorgan Chase CEO Dimon, both active Democrats with close ties to the Obama administration. (Check out Blankfein's and Dimon's donations here and here). By contrast, Lewis's political donations show he was tight mostly with North Carolina politicians, and mostly with Republicans.
 On the other hand, it looks like Lewis may have been a major campaign bundler for Obama in 2012.

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