Sunday, December 11, 2011

Cameron - Hedge Fund Donations and His Pyrrhic EU Victory

What Cameron did last Friday was nothing more that crass self-defeating arrogant stupidity. Every time the man is allowed out on his own he manages to to land himself in hot water, but this time he has excelled himself and landed the whole country in not just hot water, but scalding hot water.

Walking out of the talks designed to thrash out agreement to halt the crisis in the euro was and act of foolishness beyond comprehension, but walking out and rendering the country impotent and isolated too is unforgivable and complete insanity. Cameron said he did it to protect the City, but even if parts of the City were put at risk all it would have amounted to was a few foreign investment banks and about two dozen hedge funds plus their big bonuses, this is why the Prime Minister, David Cameron put at risk millions of jobs and British exports, commerce and British industry, unbelievable but it is true,, the question is why?  So let's examine who these "so important" hedge funds could be and what relationship they have with the British Prime Minister, David Cameron and the Conservative party.

David Cameron -  has taken millions of pounds in donations from hedge-fund managers whose firms made fortunes taking bets that the share price in British banks would fall. 

John Nash sold the majority of his shares in Care UK to a private equity company. Mr Nash runs several other companies and is also the boss of a hedge fund called "The Hedgie" and owns venture company Sovereign Capital. Hedge funds are speculative funds which make large bets on market movements. They utilise borrowed money to substantially leverage their returns (and losses). During the the global financial crash, hedge "funders" made billions out failing banks and short selling in the UK. People were suffering losing their jobs, livelihoods, having their homes repossessed and their loans called in by banks, and men like John Nash and many other Conservative donors were making millions out of their suffering. People like the  New York billionaire John Paulson , have come under fire for short-selling UK bank shares, like HBOS. John Nash gave £21,000 to Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley's office, while he [Nash] was still bos of Care UK a health care company. Nash has also donated around £500,000 to the Tories over the past years,

Michael Hintz - (Goldman Sachs) Australian millionaire hedge fund baron who bankrolled the former Defence secretary Liam Fox, his friend Adam Werritty and Atlantic Bridge and who's organisation shorted shares in Bradford and Bingly during the crash. Hintz also made a series of donations and gifts to a string of senior Conservative Cabinet Ministers including the Prime Minister, David Cameron and Chancellor, George Osborne. Banker Hintz was caught up in the "cash for honours" scandal when he revealed he had given at least £1.2 million to the Conservative party and provided a further £2.5 million in loans since 2005.

Simon Dingemans - Goldman Sachs
A mergers and acquisitions banker, Mr Dingemans has handled deals worth £250bn and is one of the most highly paid in the City. Called in by BAA to plot a defence against Ferrovial’s takeover bid but was beaten by Citigroup, adviser to the Spanish conglomerate.

The extensive links between Goldman Sachs and the Conservative Party.

  • Political donations totalling £8.5 million to British politicians in the past decade from Goldman and ex-Goldman people;
  • Goldman Sachs has an immense lobbying machine in Brussels, including active membership of over a dozen financial sector lobby groups;
  • Extensive meetings between Goldman Sachs and Conservative MEPs including: 9 meetings in six months with a key MEP on the Parliament's Economic and Monetary Committee; and a total of 36 meetings between just four MEPs and Goldman Sachs, its lobby groups or PR companies acting on their behalf;
  • The Bank's lobbying campaign to undermine political reform on derivatives and alternate investment funds including: private dinners and unminuted "after office hours" meetings, high level conferences and targeted campaigns to Commission officials, MEPs and their assistants. [just like the ones cabinet Secretary Sir Gus O'Donnell conveniently "forgot" to mention between Fox, Werritty and Gould].
  • How Goldman Sach's lobbyists tried to undermine amendments in a key report on derivatives, seen as "financial weapons of mass destruction";
  • The bank's lobbying enabled them to gamble on food futures and drive up prices.
  • Goldman Sachs also bet against its own clients in hedge betting when Lehman Brothers crashed and  made millions.
Hugh Sloane; Hedge Fund Manager - Founded Sloane Robinson. Donated £50,000 to the Tories. Channel 4 once highlighted a Conservative Government policy U-Turn over the Cayman Islands, which, the producers note, is the base for companies run by Hugh Sloane, worth £185 million, also ran by Michael Hintz worth £250 million. The then Labour Foreign Minister, Chris Bryant tried to force the islands to introduce direct taxation by restricting their access to loans to plug a budget deficit. However, Channel 4  points out that within weeks of the new Conservative government coming to power in 2010, the demand was inexplicably dropped and the British Foreign Office had granted permission for the islands to borrow an extra £100 million.

Michael Farmer - a City financier who has donated £2.3 million to the Tories, making him a regular fixture on the list of Britain's biggest political donors.

Michael-Alen Buckley - Chairman, RAB Capital
Founded the hedge fund with Phillip Richards on 1 April 1999. The company was floated in 2004. Has donated to the Tory party

Henry Angest - Flowidea Ltd  Arbuthnot Banking Group Plc donated  £1,347, 600

Zac and Ben Goldsmith - The world's most famous banking dynasty. The Conservative party hid donations of £40,000 from from Zac Goldsmith, his brother Ben and two billionaire brothers in an apparent breach of the law. 
The donations were recorded on official records as coming from Unicorn Administration, an intermediary company that helps run the finances of the super-rich. Zac Goldsmith is now a Tory MP.

Stanly Fink...  (now Baron Fink) British Hedge Fund manager Co-treasurer, Conservative Party, is apparently "the Godfather" of the hedge fund industry and runs hedge fund International Standard Asset Management. Donated over £1 million to the Tories in the run-up to the may 2010 general election.Fink also a key donor to the Boris Johnson mayoral campaign. 

Jeremy Isaacs - Heads his own investment firm
Stepped down from running Lehman Brothers’ European operations just before the crash. Now runs his own investment firm with ex-colleague Roger Nagioff, who was head of Lehmans’ fixed income division. Has been a big Conservative party donor.

Paul Ruddock... Chief Executive Landsdowne Hedge Fund said to have made £100m short-selling Northern Rock, has given the Conservatives almost £210,000.

 David Craigen.. Paul Ruddock and David Craigen own investment firm, Lansdowne, and short sold shares in HBOS. Donated £50.000 to the Conservative party.

Howard Shore A multi-millionaire banker and Tory donor  Raising £2 million for the Tory party sponsored David Cameron’s lavish £1,000-a-head Tory ball  in Feb 2011. Mr Shore will be one of dozens of super-rich bankers toasting the Government’s failure to make a major dent in their ­£7billion ­bonuses. 

RF Trustee Co - Several donors, but five of these belonged to the Fleming Banking Family.  Donated £1, 689, 500

Pierre Rolin - Credit Suisse  Mr Rolin gave £12,000 to the Tory Party in February last year, taking his total donations to £88,000. He also moved in the same circles as Boris Johnson, the London Mayor, giving Johnson's office the initial £80,000 capital for a study into the Olympic Park's new visitor attraction . Mr Rolin is currently being pursued through the courts by creditors for £43 million.

Prominent figures from the financial services industry - gave £500,000 (€574,838) to the UK's Conservative Party in the second week of the 2010 General Election campaign.

The coalition agreement that David Cameron and Nick Clegg brandished at us in the Rose Garden in downing Street included clear undertakings to take big money out of politics but there appears to be no sign of this happening. 

What my research reveals is the scale of the Conservative party’s reliance on a variety of City interests at a time when David Cameron has walked away from vital talks in the EU citing that he did this to protect the City.
Using analysis from the Electoral Commission and Companies House database, researchers found City donations to the 12 months to July 2011 accounted for 51.4 per cent of the £12.2million of funds received by Conservative Central Office.

Hedge funds, financiers and private equity firms contributed £3.3m - some 27 per cent - while 50 City donors paid over £50,000.
All contributors donating over £3million become members of the Leader's Group and qualify for face-to-face meetings with the prime minister.
The largest contributors acorss the business sector studied by the bureau was hedge funds which donated £1.38m (11.4 per cent). Three of the City's biggest name hedge fund bosses - Michael Farmer, Lord Stanley Fink and Andrew Law.
Since the coalition was formed in April 2010 the Tory party has received 292 separate donations of more than £10,000 each.

The Top 10 City Financiers Who Donate to the Tory Party.
NameSectorTotal Donated
1David RowlandFinancier£4,031,016
2Michael FarmerHedge Fund£2,973,850
3Stanley FinkHedge Fund£1,945,141
4Michael HintzeHedge Fund£1,235,000
5Paul Adrian BeecroftPrivate Equity£537,076
6James LyleHedge Fund£500,000
7Jonathan WoodHedge Fund£500,000
8Peter J HallInvestment Fund£493,540
9George M MaganBanker & Investment Fund£485,000
10Paul RuddockHedge Fund£465,000

In Europe, hedge funds are threatened by EU proposals this week to introduce a micro-tax on financial trades to raise cash for teetering economies. Campaigners fear as hedge fund tycoons are big donors to the Conservatives, they will use their influence on David Cameron and George Osborne to ensure that the issue of higher taxes is kicked into the long grass.
Central Office could yet be receiving more cheques from the Mayfair set.
This makes it easier to understand why David Cameron behaved as he did. He and the Conservative government are heavily compromised and have far too many people to pay back for their  very mediocre "victory" at the 2010 general election.
David Cameron's supposed victory that had the jingoistic right of his party clapping and cheering and plotting their next move to have the UK exit from the EU at the cost of over 3 million British jobs suddenly feels like  pyrrhic. victory

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