Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Hedge Fund “Speculators” Victims of Obama and Their Negative Public Image as Greedy Bastards

My conservative friend called to complain how unfair it was that the hedge fund bottom feeders were vilified for sending Chrysler into bankruptcy court. In his world view, this small group of owners with a 10 percent stake in Chrysler, should have the ability to liquidate the company assets over the objections of the majority stake holders. To my friend, making a little money for these few predator investors took precedence over the hundreds of thousands of workers getting their walking papers. Conservative writer David Brooks just wrote:
The party sometimes seems cut off from the concrete relationships of neighborhood life. Republicans are so much the party of individualism and freedom these days that they are no longer the party of community and order. The Republicans talk more about the market than about society, more about income than quality of life. They celebrate capitalism, which is a means, and are inarticulate about the good life, which is the end.
So it’s hard to feel sorry for this group of poor misunderstood hedge fund investors, who threw the first stone by calling themselves "the Committee of Non-Tarp Lenders," now that their whining about their personal safety.
Reuters - The dissenting lenders, led by lawyer Tom Lauria, said some identified publicly in the politically charged reorganization have received death threats "which they perceive as being bona fide." Those lenders have notified police and the FBI, he said.
BUT this just in…
The judge overseeing Chrysler’s bankruptcy case in Manhattan ruled Tuesday afternoon that the group of dissident secured debt holders in the case must make their identities public … Judge Arthur Gonzalez said that the creditors could not benefit from court protection of their identities simply because they were taking an unpopular position. He questioned the validity of the threats, as cited by Mr. Lauria, which consisted of four or five anonymous postings on The Washington Post’s Web site. -NY Times
Kudos to the lawyer representing Chrysler and Fiat for this incredibly appropriate response:
“It’s a bit ironic, your honor, that what Mr. Lauria is complaining about is anonymous postings on the Internet,” a lawyer for Fiat said at court. “Anonymity promotes irresponsibility.”

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