Should hedge fund managers be allowed to be too politically connected to fail? The answer might seem obvious, but the responsiveness of regulators and some lawmakers to the self-interested demands of Pershing Square manager Bill Ackman raise serious doubts. If Ackman succeeds in his current effort to enlist the forces of government in destroying another company for personal gain, it will at the least confirm the public's worst fears about cronyism, and likely encourage others to pursue the same strategy.
Brian Garst | All Articles
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Brian Garst is the Director of Government Affairs at the Center for Freedom and Prosperity. CF&P works to promote and defend tax competition, financial privacy and fiscal sovereignty.
Puerto Rico's fiscal mess has Congress working frantically to provide “relief.” The island territory is overloaded with debt and cannot meet its obligations, and House Speaker Paul Ryan set March as a deadline for Congress to provide a "responsible solution." Now Washington is busy debating whether to simply bailout Puerto Rico or instead allow it to stiff creditors through bankruptcy. Few seem willing to consider that both options would create terrible precedent and undermine real reforms.
If Mitt Romney thought the gotcha-obsessed political press would let him escape into obscurity following his election defeat, he has rather quickly been disabused of the notion. After Romney suggested in a private call with donors that President Obama's re-election campaign was assisted by "gifts" to his strongest voting blocs, the punditry and political class blew a rare bipartisan gasket.
Elections can be hard to predict, though thanks to more sophisticated and voluminous polling data and the greater reliance on statistical analysis afforded by it, it has gotten much easier. But what has always been easy is predicting how liberals will respond to a Republican defeat --- with self-serving offers of ill-conceived advice for how Republicans can turn it around. Republicans, conservatives and advocates of limited government should beware these liberals bearing gifts.
In an effort to score political points, Democrats are pounding Mitt Romney over his use of offshore bank accounts. Over the weekend, Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin remarked, "You either get a Swiss bank account to conceal what you're doing, or you believe the Swiss franc is stronger than the American dollar." DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz recently wondered aloud, “Why does an American businessman need a Swiss bank account and secretive investments like that?” Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley even called Romney's Swiss bank account a "bet against America." These attacks reek of populist nonsense tinged with more than a little economic xenophobia.