Who could imagine that the United States democratic institutions could so easily be manipulated by other nations, including China and Russia? Frankly, it has become “child’s play,” with everyone wondering, when will those silly Americans wake up?
Let’s first look at Kelly Loeffler and then David Perdue and compare these so called successful business executives to a real Republican, Les Schwab, founder of Les Schwab Tire Centers, which operates in 9 western states and employs 7,000.
In reviewing Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue’s financial histories I could not help but ask one question, what on earth has happened to the Republican Party? What would Teddy Roosevelt say?
When Appointed in 2018 Kelly Loeffler’s Was CEO of Bitcoin Clearinghouse Bakkt, Can Someone Just Say That?
When Loeffer was appointed by Georgia Governor Brian Kemp in 2018 she was CEO of Bakkt, a bitcoin based trading platform. Bakkt is a subsidiary of publicly traded Intercontinental Exchange, ticker ICE. Like ICE’s other businesses, Bakkt is a platform for speculative trading.
Although bitcoin’s blockchain technology is useful for various applications, even Warren Buffett famously called bitcoin “rat poison.” That’s not to say Loeffer’s firm is not making big commissions by clearing the trades. Yet is this the kind of business to create new jobs in Georgia and across the country? The following press release boasts of Bakkt’s record trading volumes.
Loeffer Family Still Owns Millions in ICE Stock Options
As noted in Loeffler’s family’s financial disclosures, her husband still owned substantial amounts of stock options in ICE. Here is a snapshot of one set worth more than $1 million that expires 1/21/2021, in less than a month. So why weren’t these options already exercised, given she is a sitting US Senator? The exercise price is $21 and the current stock price is $106.
This is but One of Several Stock Option Awards Still Not Exercised at the Time of her Filing:
With short term oriented speculations rampant in the financial markets, Loeffler and her husband are cashing in and effectively helping transfer hundreds of billions of US retirement savings to China. Sound ridiculous, here is how it works.
How Loeffler and ICE’s Transfer Billions to China
Example of How the Scheme Works: The Chinese government releases a statement saying it will double 5G investments in 2021. Leading Chinese equipment makers like ZTE then see their stocks soar. These companies in turn take up a larger share of the international stock market indexes, which are based upon the total stock market value of each firm, in particular the MSCI emerging market index.
This MSCI Index is what most US based international mutual funds are based upon, including those of Vanguard, Fidelity and State Street. Intercontinental makes significant commissions based upon trading in speculations on these indexes.
Two years ago China was a small part of the MSCI emerging market index. Yet today after publicly traded MSCI chose to include more China based firms, MSCI licencing revenue has soared and China based firms now represent more than half the entire index.
US investors in age or target dated funds are particularly vulnerable to this scheme since the MSCI emerging market index is the benchmark for most international investment. It’s largest holdings are now Alibaba and Tencent. See blog post titled China-Based Pyramid Scheme for details.
And who is the primary player profiting off speculations in equity indexes, that’s right, Loeffler’s Intercontinental Exchange? Here is a clip from ICE’s own website boasting that they are the leading venue for MSCI Index futures.
So not only is Loeffler’s business not contributing to the real economy, it is also involved in transferring hundreds of billions in US based IRA, 401K and public pension investment to China.
Chinese Billionaire Li Ka-Shing Also Large Investor in Loeffler’s Bakkt
Other key investors include Deutsche Bank and Bank of America.
Loeffler’s firm has never created any real jobs in the real economy but rather took up where Enron left off on a speculative looting endeavour. Their primary constituencies are hedge funds and private equity firms.
The firms responsible for senseless takeovers predicated on job eliminations, outsourcing and using foreign blocker corporations to avoid taxes. Actions no different from the carpet baggers who looted the South after the Civil War.
This strategy dovetails beautifully with China, which is agressively building out “trading platforms” around the world, and manipulating key market indexes, most notably the MSCI indexes.
This scheme has resulted in more than $2 trillion of US based 401k, IRA and public pension assets shifting to China in the last 3 years. See this post detailing this scheme,”China-Based Pyramid Scheme.” Meanwhile the US is delisting Chinese firms in a symbolic gesture yet continuing to allow investment in tax deferred accounts.
Before delving into David Perdue’s financial background, let’s consider the case of a real Republican, Les Schwab, founder of Les Schwab Tire Centers.
Why Oregon Based Les Schwab Tire Centers Matters in Georgia
Les Schwab was a brilliant entrepreneur and proud Republican who rarely voted for a Democrat. He valued hard work, integrity, commitment and loyalty. I’m rather confident, however that he would shake his head and vote Democrat in both of the Georgia Senate races, choosing country over party. He had no time for financial schemes or financial manipulators pretending to be business executives.
Les’ integrity rooted formula was simple, offer genuine unparalleled service, give half your profit each year to your employees, which included a 15 percent employer pension contribution for each and every employee, and support the local communities in which you operate. A philosophy that resulted in a multi billion dollar enterprise, not only benefiting his family yet also other stakeholders ranging from employees to local schools.
Everyone has stories about Les Schwab’s service. Once a friend was at a campground and had a flat on Sunday morning, hoping to get to the Deschutes River for a rafting trip. While making breakfast I noted, no worries, just call Les Schwab. They laughed but gave it a try. Twenty minutes later a Schwab employee pulled up in his truck and not wasting a second changed out the tire, left an invoice and said with a genuine smile, ” just stop by the store on the way home and square things up.” My friends were stunned, and most grateful.
Schwab had hoped to pass his business on to his daugher yet she sadly died in her 50’s, leaving his four grand kids as the sold shareholders after his death. Although ardent in his desire to keep his firm independent, it was sold to Meritage Capital a decade later in 2020, a hedge fund controlled by Jim Simons Bermuda based tax exempt trust.
While Jim’s Simons son Nat claims control, SEC filings suggest otherwise. See more details by searching for post titled: “Are Les Schwab and Meritage a Good Fit.”
It is a shame the family chose not to do a public offering of the stock, which would have created a good investment opportunity and an opportunity to reward its employees.
Now Schwab’s highly valued employees have gone from making a career at Schwab to navigating ruthless financial predators led once again by Goldman Sachs, who organized the sale of Les Schwab Tire Centers and participated in the looting of the employees pension plan just prior to its sale to Meritage.
See details on pension looting in the just mentioned post, “Are Les Schwab and Meritage a Good Fit.”
It does seem clear that all 7,000 Les Schwab employees had more than 15 percent of their entire “defined contribution” pension balances stolen from them by Meritage using Goldman and other conflicted advisors, just prior to the sale.
The reason the Les Schwab story is germane to Loeffler and Perdue is that they both owe their fortunes specifically to Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. Let’s now travel from the Pacific Northwest back down to Georgia for a comparison between a David Perdue led enterprise, Dollar General, and Les Schwab.
US Senator David Perdue Jr., on left, and Son David Perdue III who was with Goldman Sachs 13 years until 2018, Leaving as a Managing Director.
How David Perdue Jr. Sold Out Dollar General Shareholders and Employees, His Only Constituency Being Himself
It would be hard to script a candidate more controlled by Wall Street than David Perdue Jr, and wasn’t it convenient that his son was at Goldman Sachs when it collaborated with KKR to buyout Dollar General. If selling out shareholders in an effort to line your own pockets is the game, Perdue is a grandmaster.
One need only look at this orchestrated sale of Dollar General, where he was Chairman and CEO, to Goldman Sachs and KKR in 2008 for approx $7B. Shareholders were bought out with Goldman and KKR taking the company public again less than two years later, making more than $10 billion. Today the company is worth $52 billion.
Here is the schedule from the SEC’s website showing how Perdue strutured his payday, to even include the company picking up a tab of more than $5 million for taxes on his stock gains.
Payments to Named Officers, Feb 1, 2008 for the gains on his stock, stock options and other benefits.
Not only did shareholders get cheated yet employees were left to work in a “Grapes of Wrath” like setting. Today the average annual wage at Dollar General is approx $14K. Its 401k plan notes 142,257 active participants with a total employer contribution in 2019 of $24 million, approx $160 per employee. A retirement plan in name only.
Imagine the contrast between Perdue and a real Republican like Les Schwab, who contributed 15 percent to the plan for each employee and made working at Les Schwab a career.
It is important to note that all shareholders, other than Perdue and a few other insiders, were cheated, including those invested in index funds via 401K’s, IRA’s and public pension accounts.
Perdue is indeed the model CEO if running the company to enrich yourself above all others is the goal. Being both Chairman of the Board and CEO he even manipulated his own employment contract so that the company would kick in more than $5 million in cash payments to cover the taxes on his gains, which exceeded $40 million.
Comparing the Legacy of a True Republican, Les Schwab, and that of Financial Opiate Peddlers, David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler
While journalists continue to write stories regarding both Perdue and Loeffler’s financial conflicts of interest and self dealing, which are stunning on their own, isn’t it remarkable that no one has connected the dots on how they are manipulating the system to benefit themselves and most notably China.
Soon after KKR cashed in on its Dollar General investment it started making large investments in China with the proceeds.
Many are now hopeful Georgia voters will put politics aside, vote Loeffler and Perdue out and give the Republican party a chance to rebuild.