Oct 27, 2014
Six hedge fund operators had incomes last year of more than one billion dollars each, according to Forbes magazine. The top 25 of these operators had a total income of 24 billion dollars.
Number one was George Soros, with four billion dollars, equivalent to the pay of seventy-nine thousand factory workers. Much of his money came from betting on changes in currency rates, and also manipulating the stock price of Herbalife. Number two was David Tepper with 3.5 billion dollars in income. His hedge fund is Appaloosa Management, which made a gigantic profit off the bankruptcy of American Airlines, leading to layoffs, big cuts in pension payments and a worsening of airline workers’ conditions.
The hedge funds invest money for the very rich. They manipulate stock and bond prices, make bets on raw materials and food and buy and sell derivatives – financial schemes that contributed mightily to the current crisis we’re living through and the bankruptcy of cities like Detroit. They destroyed housing by the widespread use of subprime mortgages which led to foreclosures and abandoned homes.
The wealth these funds have could be used for real investments to remedy the many problems we have, like rebuilding bridges, repairing roads and building and running decent schools. In the process, this would create millions of good paying jobs, enabling people to live decently. But that means taking their wealth away from the hedge funds, as well as from the rest of the capitalist class and its banks.