I am about 80% convinced that this is real, even though that’s obviously impossible because nobody is that stupid:


Unafraid In Greenwich Connecticut
Clifford S. Asness
Managing and Founding Principal
AQR Capital Management, LLC

The President has just harshly castigated hedge fund managers for being unwilling to take his administration’s bid for their Chrysler bonds. […]

I run an approximately twenty billion dollar money management firm that offers hedge funds as well as public mutual funds and unhedged traditional investments. My company is not involved in the Chrysler situation, but I am still aghast at the President’s comments (of course these are my own views not those of my company). Furthermore, for some reason I was not born with the common sense to keep it to myself, though my title should more accurately be called “Not Afraid Enough” as I am indeed fearful writing this… It’s really a bad idea to speak out. […]

Here’s a shock. When hedge funds, pension funds, mutual funds, and individuals, including very sweet grandmothers, lend their money they expect to get it back. However, they know, or should know, they take the risk of not being paid back. […]

The above is how it works in America, or how it’s supposed to work. The President and his team sought to avoid having Chrysler go through this process, proposing their own plan for re-organizing the company and partially paying off Chrysler’s creditors. Some bond holders thought this plan unfair. Specifically, they thought it unfairly favored the United Auto Workers, and unfairly paid bondholders less than they would get in bankruptcy court. So, they said no to the plan and decided, as is their right, to take their chances in the bankruptcy process. But, as his quotes above show, the President thought they were being unpatriotic or worse. […]

The President’s attempted diktat takes money from bondholders and gives it to a labor union that delivers money and votes for him. Why is he not calling on his party to “sacrifice” some campaign contributions, and votes, for the greater good? Shaking down lenders for the benefit of political donors is recycled corruption and abuse of power. […]

Last but not least, the President screaming that the hedge funds are looking for an unjustified taxpayer-funded bailout is the big lie writ large. Find me a hedge fund that has been bailed out. Find me a hedge fund, even a failed one, that has asked for one. In fact, it was only because hedge funds have not taken government funds that they could stand up to this bullying. The TARP recipients had no choice but to go along. The hedge funds were singled out only because they are unpopular, not because they behaved any differently from any other ethical manager of other people’s money. The President’s comments here are backwards and libelous. Yet, somehow I don’t think the hedge funds will be following ACORN’s lead and trucking in a bunch of paid professional protestors soon. Hedge funds really need a community organizer.

This is America. We have a free enterprise system that has worked spectacularly for us for two hundred plus years. When it fails it fixes itself. Most importantly, it is not an owned lackey of the oval office to be scolded for disobedience by the President.

I am ready for my “personalized” tax rate now.

Who pays when trillions of dollars get vaporized in a cloud of incompetence, fraud, and greed, bringing the world economy to the brink of depression?  POAR PEOPLE DUH-HERR!!!  Read the Constitution!

I confess I don’t know a whole lot about finance, so maybe everyone would be better off if I had no opinion.  OTOH, I don’t know a whole lot about how the espresso machine at the coffee place works, either, but that doesn’t necessarily imply that it’s some super-complicated thing that is beyond the comprehension of mere mortals.  Also, the espresso machine doesn’t periodically blind all the customers with scalding water, and the guy who runs it doesn’t then explain how that’s how the machine works, and it will soon fix itself as long as we don’t try to contain the spray of scalding water, and can he please have a few hundred billion dollars from the government now or he’ll boil everyone alive, then dressing up like Thomas Jefferson and muttering darkly about ACORN.  If you want people to take you seriously, investment firm executives, stop writing open letters that make it sound like Marie Antoinette lobotomized you with an ice cream scoop.  Because it gives people ideas.  Do yourselves a very, very large favor and shut the fuck up.

Also what John Cole said.