FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

How to Succeed in Hedge Funding

by PAUL BUCHHEIT

It’s an exciting time for you guys. You know you can beat those hedge fund managers. You’re better educated, you’re ambitious and creative. Go for $10 billion. Or maybe, a few years from now, you’ll be the first trillion dollar man!

Here’s an example to motivate you. In just one year a single hedge fund manager made enough money to hire 100,000 new teachers while calling his $5 billion income “carried interest” so he wouldn’t have to pay any taxes.

Tough to beat, I know, but take it as a challenge. Go invest, young man. Go for a trillion. That’s only 200 times more than the hedge fund haul. Once you hit a trillion, you’ll be close to the total U.S. income of $8 trillion. You’ll get a perfect score on the Gini income distribution scale. You’ll be famous. All the new foundations will be named after you.

Of course, you’ve got a lot of competition right now, a lot of colleagues who would like their own piece of the pie. The financial sector, which made up 16% of domestic corporate profits in 1980, now makes up over 40% of those profits. The best and brightest graduate students aren’t going into science or engineering or medicine anymore. They’re going into finance. No sense making products when you can make bets on mortgage failures, using other people’s money in case the bets go bad.

More motivation comes to you from the incomparable Ayn Rand, whose “Atlas Shrugged” paved the way for unbounded post-war capitalism. “Run for your life,” she says, “from any man who tells you that money is evil…money is the barometer of a society’s virtue.”

You have Congress on your side, with its continued support for lower taxes on earnings that don’t require any work, most of the gains going to the 20% of Americanswho own 90 percent of the stocks. And you’ve perfected the art of financial subterfuge with illusions that would do a carnival magician proud:

– “Spring Loading”: Timing a stock option to precede good corporate news.

– “Bullet Dodging”: Timing a stock option to follow bad corporate news.

– Back-Dating: Changing the purchase date on a stock option to a time when the price was lower.

– ‘Put’ and ‘Call’ chicanery: Getting a tax credit for a stock loss without actually selling the stock.

– Real Estate rascality: Avoiding taxes on a property sale by calling it a loan.

Never mind that the SEC thinks a lot of this is illegal. And don’t listen to the liberals and radicals who say you should be paying for government-funded research and infrastructure and national security instead of paying tax advisors to find creative loophole strategies.

You, finance grad, will be a self-made man. You don’t need government when you can create your own mini-society with private schools and security forces, a $250,000 playhouse for the kids, a yacht complete with golf course, submarine, beach, and a second-home mortgage deduction.

You will be creating jobs (on the yacht). You will be contributing more and more to our political system. You will be an example for the millions of Americans who plan to earn as much as you, or to be an NBA star. And above all, you can reflect upon what future generations will say you contributed to this world.

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

Weekend Edition
August 26, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Louisa Willcox
The Unbearable Killing of Yellowstone’s Grizzlies: 2015 Shatters Records for Bear Deaths
Paul Buhle
In the Shadow of the CIA: Liberalism’s Big Embarrassing Moment
Rob Urie
Crisis and Opportunity
Charles Pierson
Wedding Crashers Who Kill
Richard Moser
What is the Inside/Outside Strategy?
Dirk Bezemer – Michael Hudson
Finance is Not the Economy
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Bernie’s Used Cars
Margaret Kimberley
Hillary and Colin: the War Criminal Charade
Patrick Cockburn
Turkey’s Foray into Syria: a Gamble in a Very Dangerous Game
Ishmael Reed
Birther Tries to Flim Flam Blacks  
Brian Terrell
What Makes a Hate Group?
Andrew Levine
How Donald Trump Can Still be a Hero: Force the Guardians of the Duopoly to Open Up the Debates
Howard Lisnoff
Trouble in Political Paradise
Terry Tempest Williams
Will Our National Parks Survive the Next 100 Years?
Ben Debney
The Swimsuit that Overthrew the State
Ashley Smith
Anti-imperialism and the Syrian Revolution
Andrew Stewart
Did Gore Throw the 2000 Election?
Vincent Navarro
Is the Nation State and Its Welfare State Dead? a Critique of Varoufakis
John Wight
Syria’s Kurds and the Wages of Treachery
Lawrence Davidson
The New Anti-Semitism: the Case of Joy Karega
Mateo Pimentel
The Affordable Care Act: A Litmus Test for American Capitalism?
Roger Annis
In Northern Syria, Turkey Opens New Front in its War Against the Kurds
David Swanson
ABC Shifts Blame from US Wars to Doctors Without Borders
Norman Pollack
American Exceptionalism: A Pernicious Doctrine
Ralph Nader
Readers Think, Thinkers Read
Julia Morris
The Mythologies of the Nauruan Refugee Nation
George Wuerthner
Caving to Ranchers: the Misguided Decision to Kill the Profanity Wolf Pack
Ann Garrison
Unworthy Victims: Houthis and Hutus
Julian Vigo
Britain’s Slavery Legacy
John Stanton
Brzezinski Vision for a Power Sharing World Stymied by Ignorant Americans Leaders, Citizens
Philip Doe
Colorado: 300 Days of Sunshine Annually, Yet There’s No Sunny Side of the Street
Joseph White
Homage to EP Thompson
Dan Bacher
The Big Corporate Money Behind Jerry Brown
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
DNC Playing Dirty Tricks on WikiLeaks
Ron Jacobs
Education for Liberation
Jim Smith
Socialism Revived: In Spite of Bernie, Donald and Hillary
David Macaray
Organized Labor’s Inferiority Complex
David Cortright
Alternatives to Military Intervention in Syria
Binoy Kampmark
The Terrors of Free Speech: Australia’s Racial Discrimination Act
Cesar Chelala
Guantánamo’s Quagmire
Nyla Ali Khan
Hoping Against Hope in Kashmir
William Hughes
From Sam Spade to the Red Scare: Dashiell Hammett’s War Against Rightwing Creeps
Raouf Halaby
Dear Barack Obama, Please Keep it at 3 for 3
Charles R. Larson
Review: Paulina Chiziane’s “The First Wife: a Tale of Polygamy”
David Yearsley
The Widow Bach: Anna Magdalena Rediscovered
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail