Thursday, May 22, 2008

Icahn to World: "Obama Sucks"

Bloomberg reported to that billionaire super-investor Carl Icahn said Barack Obama would suck as President and be very very bad for "the country" (surely he means himself? - ed.) , citing what he termed Mr Obama's complete "lack of economic understanding". He also accused Mr Obama of being "a democrat" and said "we all know that democrats spend spend spend and tax tax tax". He further suggested that if elected he's likely to have majorities in both house which would be very very bad because they're errrr ummm Democrats.

My oh my, what a very, very weird thing to say! And what a weird time to choose to say it! But for what purpose? To influence the outcome of the democratic ticket? The rhetoric that Mr Icahn put forth is unusually beneath a Princeton alumni and an obviously very bright spark, at least in the game of corporate finance. But since his points seemingly came straight off the list of latest RNC talking-points, one wonders whether Mr Icahn's latest foray into the Internet with Yahoo has been keeping him awake at night, so forcing him to listen to the vitriol spewed forth from late night talk radio.

But aside from Mr Icahn confusing RNC talking points with objective reality (he IS in his seventies) the facts of government expenditure, and actual prudent economic stewardship over the last three and one-half decades bears no resemblance to that painted by Mr Icahn, or the seeds of fears he wishes to sow. Anyone in any doubt of the foregoing need only look at historical graphs of Federal fiscal expenditure and tax receipts over the past 35 years to see when, what and who are responsible for the pathetic state of our fiscal and monetary affairs, and the nuking of any attempts by forward-looking folk to insure that American policies continue to be oriented towards sustainable prosperity - particularly with respect to energy. Of course the administration is only one of the villains, for Congressional reps (of both parties) and the American people themselves must take their share of responsibility for buying the snake-oil on offer.

Perhaps Mr Icahn IS indeed genuine in his concern for America, and is doing it - as does Mr Soros - out of conscience and conviction. Yet, while he tars and feathers Mr Obama over the incipient higher rates he ostensibly will bring, it is worth asking whether perhaps rates NEED to rise from levels artifically depressed from four years of unbelievably large official intervention by Asian, GCC and other emerging authorities. Or perhaps this is really a salvo from friends of AIPAC that is not-too-subtly directed towards insuring Mr Obama is "on board" with The Agenda, acutely timed to coincide with Mr Obama's floundering attempts to find the right timbre for a controversial, more-even-handed American policy stance between Israel and the Palestinians.

I do not know the actual and correct answer, but I have a gut feeling that there is something awkward and not genuine about this bold off-topic proclamation by a Wall St. titan.


Ferox said...

Icahn is clearly positioning himself to become an activist investor in Obama's campaign.

Anonymous said...

In light of Icahn's support for Giuliani, I suspect you may be on to something, Cassandra.

Am I alone in feeling this election may be a last chance roll of the dice for the States?

Even if elected, would an Obama administration have the power to take on the many entrenched power bases? We might get a better tone of government but surely the substance won't be significantly better.

We don't have much time wrt to global warming and peak energy problems. And in the case of the ME, isn't it already too late for happy endings?