**Make sure you read all the way to the END****
January 11, 2012
Who is Jacob (Jack) Lew?
First Read this: Click on blue lettered link to read in full.
Jack Lew: Obama’s OMB Pick Oversaw Citigroup Unit that Shorted Housing Market; AND an Indirect Soros Connection
July 14, 2010
President Barack Obama’s choice to lead the White House budget office oversaw a Citigroup unit that profited off the housing collapse and financial crisis by investing in a hedge fund king who correctly predicted the eventual subprime meltdown and now finds himself involved in the center of the U.S. government’s fraud case against Goldman Sachs.
Jacob Lew, named Tuesday as Obama’s nominee to lead the Office of Management and Budget to replace departing OMB chief Peter Orszag, served as chief operating officer of Citigroup Alternative Investments in 2008. He has served as a top aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton since the administration came into office.
Though Lew is a longtime public servant who’s spent nearly 30 years in various positions throughout government, it is his few years at Citi — in particular the one year he spent at its then-$54 billion proprietary trading, hedge fund and private equity unit — that’s likely to raise the most eyebrows in the coming weeks as Lew faces a Senate confirmation hearing.
Especially his unit’s investments in a hedge fund that bet on the housing market to collapse — a reality suffered by millions of American homeowners.
One part of the entity invested in hedge funds. Multi-Adviser Hedge Fund Portfolios LLC was a unit of Alternative Investments’ Hedge Fund Management Group, the 36th-largest such “fund of hedge funds” in the world when Lew came aboard, according to a ranking by Alpha magazine, a publication that covers the hedge fund industry.
That Multi-Adviser fund in particular had $407 million by the end of 2007, a week before Lew was named as Alternative Investments’ chief operating officer, according to SEC filings. At that time, it had $18 million invested in Paulson Advantage Plus LP, worth $26.4 million, comprising about 6.5 percent of the Multi-Adviser fund’s total capital.
The Paulson fund was run by hedge fund king John Paulson, the man who made billions off the deterioration of the housing industry by making bearish bets on securities tied to home mortgages — particularly subprime home mortgages.
“[E]ight out of the top 10 banks on our list either failed, were recapitalized by the government, or were sold off to other banks as part of government-backed transactions,” the hedge fund wrote to investors in its year-end letter.
Is it Coincidence that Jack Lew is inadvertently connected to Soros (through Paul Soros and David de Ferranti?
**Note map has been “sanitized” of Soros connection**
ADD This from HuffPo:
Is Jack Lew’s Bank Background Bad News For Financial Reform?
January 10, 2012
As President Barack Obama’s new White House chief of staff, ex-banker Jacob Lew assumes a powerful position at the height of a Washington battle over the future of bank trading divisions like the one he used to run.
For most of his three-decade career, Lew has worked in government, most recently as head of the Office of Management and Budget, where he was praised by both parties. But he took a three-year break from public service during one of the most calamitous economic stretches in modern U.S. history at Citigroup, where in 2008 he ran Citi Alternative Investments, the bank’s then-$54 billion proprietary trading, hedge fund and private equity unit.
Those types of bank units are now an endangered species on Wall Street. The “Volcker Rule,” a signature piece of the Dodd-Frank financial overhaul law, curtails trading that banks do for their own accounts. It also prevents banks that take customer deposits from owning private equity and hedge funds. Former Federal Reserve chief Paul Volcker advocated for such limits as a way to reduce risk-taking at the nation’s largest financial institutions.
Like with so much else in the sprawling piece of legislation, Congress left most details to Washington regulators. Lew will step into his new job as Washington lobbyists are furiously trying to influence how the Volker Rule is implemented. At stake, potentially, are billions in bank profits.
The rule-making process is supposed to be independent of presidential influence, but as top aide to the president, Lew would likely be privy to any discussions about financial reform.
For the past year and a half, banks like Citigroup, where Lew worked from 2006 to 2009, have spent millions to weaken the Volcker Rule. In 2010, Citigroup spent $4.1 million on all lobbying, including the Volcker Rule. The U.S. Public Interest Research Group, an organization leading the push for a strict interpretation of the rule, spent just over $200,000 on lobbying.
“It is chilling that during the most intense time for the soul of American banking that Obama would choose a Volcker Rule-related hedge fund manager as one of his chief advisers,” said Bart Naylor, an analyst at Public Citizen, which has also lobbied on financial reform.
Center for American Progress Action Fund:
Speaker/writer and Panelist:
Jacob Lew served in President Clinton’s cabinet as the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and led the Administration budget team—from the preparation of the President’s budget through final negotiations with Congress. He was also a member of the National Security Council.
Earlier, Mr. Lew served as OMB’s Deputy Director, the chief operating officer responsible for the day-to-day management of a staff of 500; he was also on the negotiating team that reached a bi-partisan agreement to balance the budget. As Special Assistant to the President, he helped design and launch Americorps, the national service program.
Before joining the Clinton Administration, he was a partner at the Washington law firm Van Ness, Feldman, where he specialized in the administrative and transactional issues related to power plant development.
As Deputy Director and later Executive Director of the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee, he served as a policy advisor to House Speaker Thomas P. O’Neill, Jr. He was liaison to the Greenspan Commission, which reached a bi-partisan agreement to reform Social Security and was responsible for domestic and economic issues, including Medicare, budget, tax, trade, appropriations, and energy issues.
He serves on the Corporation for National and Community Service Board and chairs its Management, Administration, and Governance Committee. He co-chairs the Advisory Board for City Year New York and is a member of the Counsel on Foreign Relations, the Brookings Institution Hamilton Project Advisory Board, and the National Academy of Social Insurance. He is a member of the bar in Massachusetts and the District of Columbia.
Center for American Progress:
The Expanding Costs of Health Care
Lew also argued that the federal government should have a role in some areas, such as medical records. Health systems across the country currently utilize a bewildering array of incompatible health record-keeping systems. Lew said that there is a role for the federal government in deploying a standardized system. “It’s desperately needed, because without that type of information sharing we won’t be able to get those types of savings,” he said, adding, “the system is not set up right now so that providers and patients have easy access to best-practice information.”
From the Roosevelt Institute:
Skip to My Lew No More, President Obama!
Be grateful for small mercies: the new director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Jacob Lew, is not a Goldman Sachs alumnus. No, he’s a former hedge fund manager who also worked with Citigroup (from whom he received a mammoth payout before he left in 2009).
Well, the government still has a significant stake in Citi, and I suppose it’s best to use any means possible to ensure the viability of that investment. After all, we want the government stake sale to generate a nice profit, so that it can continue to “fund” our spending or, at the very least, help to reduce that awful budget deficit.
Terrible optics aside, it is abundantly clear that President Obama still isn’t getting it. In making the announcement, the president noted that after his last stint as budget director, Mr. Lew left a $237 billion surplus, which was turned into a $1.3 trillion deficit by the time Mr. Obama arrived eight years later. “If there was a hall of fame for budget directors, then Jack Lew would surely have earned his place,” Mr. Obama said. “Jack is going to be an extraordinary O.M.B. director. We know it because he’s been one before.”
God help us if this Mr. Lew does embrace this “Hall of Fame” approach laid out by the President. If Obama truly did understand basic accounting identities, he would stop making terrible appointments like this one, and generally resist hiring Wall Street types who think that government budget surpluses are the road to economic Nirvana.
Jacob Lew would do well to read this report before he returns to OMB and risks wreaking any further havoc on the US economy via misconceived attempts to balance the budget. Hatzius (and anybody else who understands the financial balances approach) recognizes that, if the government could actually engineer a balanced budget, then it would also be forcing the private domestic sector into deficits on average equal to the external deficits. A budget surplus means, by definition, that the private sector is running a deficit (unless the external sector is in surplus, which is clearly not the case today in the US). It means households and firms are going ever farther into debt and losing their net wealth of government bonds. That is the legacy of Jacob Lew at the OMB. He’s a Hall of Fame deficit hawk, plain and simple. Of course, the private sector debt binge (which clearly does create huge financial fragility) ultimately caused the economy to collapse, driving government finances back into deficit when the automatic stabilizers kicked in to at least stabilize the economy.
Lew’s Citgroup Connection
A few months after the Occupy Wall Street protests became an international movement, Lew’s appointment may understandably be a slap in the face to Occupiers who have supported Obama.
After his stint at OMB under Clinton, Lew spent more than two years as a chief operating officer at Citi Alternative Investments, a unit of Citigroup. During his stint at Citigroup, The Huffington Post reported, Lew oversaw investments in a hedge fund that bet on the housing market to collapse.
Multi-Adviser Hedge Fund Portfolios LLC was a unit of Alternative Investments’ Hedge Fund Management Group, which the source reports was one of the largest hedge funds in the world when Lew came aboard. Multi-Adviser reportedly had about 6.5 percent of its capital invested in Paulson Advantage Plus LP by the end of 2007, shortly before Lew was named as Alternative Investments’ chief operating officer.
“The Paulson fund was run by hedge fund king John Paulson, the man who made billions off the deterioration of the housing industry by making bearish bets on securities tied to home mortgages — particularly subprime home mortgages,” the Huffington Post reported in a July 2010 investigation.
Citigroup, one of the nation’s largest banks, ultimately received $45 billion in TARP bailout funds in 2008. Lew received $1.1 million in compensation from Citigroup in 2008, and was reporteldy rewarded with another $900,000 bonus from the company two weeks before joining the Obama administration as a State Department official in 2009. At the time, both State Department and White House officials refused to confirm whether Lew received a post-bailout bonus from Citigroup.
If YOU have any doubts of whether Jacob (Jack) Lew received a BONUS FROM CITIGROUP, Go HERE.
Dated January 11, 2009
Public Financial Disclosure Report
(Jacob J. Lew: Filing as Deputy Secretary of the State Department)
On Page 5:
“Citi compensation” $1,099,99.99
“Unvested Restricted Citigroup Stock” marked in $250,001 to $500,001 column
OMB Chief Jack Lew Tapped As New White House Chief Of Staff
January 10, 2012
Jack Lew will replace Bill Daley in the post later this month after work is completed on the 2013 budget. Democrats and progressives are cheering this Obama administration pick because he has a long record of protecting entitlement programs, especially Medicaid.
USA Today: Daley Departure Indicates Shift In Strategy
Jacob Lew, director of the Office of Management and Budget, will replace Daley later this month after he completes work on the 2013 budget. … The shake-up represents a 180-degree turn from what Obama needed a year ago, after Republicans had won control of the House of Representatives and made gains in the Senate. Then, he was under pressure to work with GOP leaders and with the business community, so he capitalized on Daley’s ties to both. Now, in the wake of failed budget negotiations that nearly led to a government default last summer, Obama has largely given up on compromise (Madhani and Wolf, 1/10).
The Fiscal Times: Jack Lew: Budget Expert Named New Chief of Staff
As special assistant to President Clinton from 1993 to 1994, Lew helped design AmeriCorps, the national service program. Lew was described by colleagues and associates at the time as a smart, somewhat nerdy technocrat and legislative craftsman with a passion for the federal food stamp program and other social welfare policies that can better the lives of the poor. He is widely respected by centrists and liberals alike (Pianin, 1/9).
Politico Pro: Lew Wins Praise For Role In Protecting Medicaid
Democrats and progressives are cheering Office of Management and Budget Director Jack Lew’s promotion to White House chief of staff, saying he has a decades-long history of protecting entitlement programs — especially Medicaid — from devastating cuts. President Barack Obama announced Monday that Lew would replace Bill Daley, whom many Democrats have regarded as too cozy with the business community and too willing to capitulate on entitlement cuts during budget negotiations with Hill Republicans (Feder, 1/9).