BRB aka EFF aka SP-RG, pictured above as her latest persona, the BBB, outside of […]
Earlier today, Politico ran a story titled “Can Chuck Schumer win back Wall St. for Democrats?” Apparently the New York Senator recently “embarked on a fence-mending campaign with senior Wall Street executives, many of whom have grown furious with the Democratic party,” in a charm offensive that has included “holding private dinners [including one put on by Pershing Square manager Bill Ackman], organizing high-end fundraisers for Democratic candidates and quietly pressing for super PAC donations.” According to Politico, “the outreach appears to be working: Hedge fund and private-equity executives have held six different fundraisers for Democratic challengers and senators at Schumer’s request, sources say.” Some financial services employees, however, are not so easy. Take Cliff Asness for example. The AQR manager happened to read the piece and here’s what he had to say about it:
From: Cliff Asness
Sent: Tuesday, June 19, 2012 01:08 PM
To: AQR lieutenants, other top hedge fund managers
Subject: Can Chuck Schumer win back Wall St. for Democrats?
Good title question. Only if Wall Street is so f—ing stupid as to defy credulity, honor, and morality. So, yeah, probably.
Best line: “Chuck Schumer is pro-business”. Yeah, ones that buy him off in explicit crony-capitalism, but he wants to regulate and tax to death ones that don’t. Don Corleone was also pro-business. You guys say this stuff with a straight face huh?
p.s. Sorry about the multiple emails, merging lists (though that is probably not the thing that upsets people)
While the above response should come as a shock to exactly no one, we don’t think Schumer should give up on Asness so easily. The guy just wants to be wooed. Start with some limited edition action figures, add some $700 bottles of wine, and go from there. You whip out a Mego Elastic Batman, he’s listening. You show up with a a matching Captain America shield tattoo but instead of on your forearm it’s on your face? He’s nominating you for President. You’re welcome.
As you may have heard, earlier this afternoon, Facebook priced its initial public offering at $38/share, valuing co-founder Eduardo Saverin’s stake at approximately $2.9 billion. Since Saverin conveniently renounced his US citizenship last week, he will avoid paying millions in capital gains taxes and hang on to an estimated $67-$100 million that would have otherwise gone to the government, news that did not sit right with Chuck Schumer. Did the Senator from New York call the guy a “piece of shit miscreant“? No. Did he send him an email that included the line, “fuck with me and you will have a huge asshole“? No. But Schumer was inspired to create draft legislation aimed at tax-dodging ex-pats like Saverin and to let the kid know he makes him sick.
Democratic Sens. Chuck Schumer (N.Y.) and Bob Casey (Pa.), who called Saverin’s decision “despicable,” said the Facebook co-founder stands to save $67 to $100 million in taxes by renouncing his citizenship. “Senator Casey and I have a status update for him: pay your taxes in full,” Schumer said at a press conference on Capitol Hill. Their so-called “Ex-PATRIOT Act” would impose a mandatory 30 percent tax on American investments for those who renounce their citizenship and would also prohibit individuals like Saverin from re-entering the country. The law — which only applies to individuals with a net worth of over $2 million or an average income tax liability of at least $148,000 — would not apply to non-American investments by former citizens. Under the proposed legislation, the IRS would decide soon after an individual relinquishes his or her citizenship if the renouncement was motivated by tax avoidance. The individual would then have the opportunity to provide reasons for the renouncement, but there would be a “strong presumption” the move was for tax purposes. “Mr. Saverin has decided to ‘defriend’ the United States of America just to avoid paying his taxes,” Schumer said, showing his familiarity with Facebook’s lingo.
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That’s basically the contention of Washington Examiner columnist Timothy Carney, who pins his thesis on a former Schumer staffer who went on to lobby for the hedge fund and private equity industries.