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In March 2013, Mitt Romney became chair of Solamere’s executive committee and a member of its investment committee, and Solamere’s bare website currently lists him as the executive partner group chairman. The site only describes the company as “a collection of families and influential business leaders leveraging their broad networks and industry expertise to invest strategic capital.” But the firm has recruited scores of investors willing to give the Romneys millions, and it has invested in an untold number of other funds and companies
Shortly after Romney ended his presidential bid in early 2008, Tagg Romney and Spencer Zwick, who had been the Romney campaign’s financial director, formed Solamere, which was named after a ritzy part of Utah’s Deer Valley where the Romney family owned a ski mansion. As the New York Times reported, “Neither had experience in private equity. But what the close friends did have was the Romney name and a Rolodex of deep-pocketed potential investors who had backed Mr. Romney’s presidential run.”
In 2008, Solamere set out to raise $200 million, and by May 2009 it had attracted $186 million from 39 investors, according to Securities and Exchange Commission records. Tagg Romney, Zwick, and Scheuermann, the records noted, would receive an estimated $16.8 million in management fees in the first six years. The records do not indicate the identities of the 39 investors who kicked in the initial financing.
Solamere freely mixed politics and business. In June 2013, as it was hunting for investors, the firm sponsored a policy conference convened by Mitt Romney at an exclusive resort in Park City, Utah, which attracted Rand Paul, Chris Christie, and Paul Ryan as speakers. At the same time—and in the same place—Solamere hosted a conference for investors. As the Washington Post reported, “The concentration of wealthy Romney backers in one place is a natural draw for politicians with national ambitions. But, as Solamere investors acknowledged, the gathering also provided them with potential targets, lending the retreat an aura of personal enrichment along with the focus on public policy.”
Blackstone Group LP-backed Vivint Inc., said it secured a $100 million equity investment co-led by technology investor Peter Thieland Solamere Capital LLC, a firm that counts former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney as a part of its team.
Buried among the thousands of John Podesta’s emails released over the last week, you’ll find a short, revealing exchange between Hillary Clinton campaign chair John Podesta and Neera Tanden, president of the Center for American Progress and Clinton advisor-in-waiting.
Podesta and Tanden were talking about Jonathan Gray, the global head of real estate and member of the board of directors of the Blackstone Group, a Wall Street private equity firm that is now the largest single owner of real estate in the entire world. This wasn’t the only appearance Blackstone has made in the Podesta emails. Another thread from January 2016 shows Clinton staff trying to arrange a dinner with Gray and the company’s Number 2, Tony James, as well as Tim Geithner and Larry Summers, two former Obama administration officials widely credited with spearheading Obama’s soft-on-Wall-Street policies.
After the housing crash left millions of U.S. homeowners underwater, Blackstone swooped in and lined its pockets from the misery of ordinary Americans. As homeownership rates have dipped, Blackstone, through its subsidiary Invitation Homes, has become the largest owner of single-family rental homes in the country, buying up tens of thousands of vacant, foreclosed homes.
According to a 2015 report by Goldman Sachs, “shadow banks”—of which Blackstone is one—are responsible for 41 percent of all lending, or nearly $5 trillion worth, while avoiding the same regulatory oversight as traditional banks.
So in its waning hours, the Obama Administration gave a completely unjustified bailout to private equity landlords, that Fannie Mae is guaranteeing the income of all but the bottom tranches ofBlackstone’s latest rental securitization.
Mr. Schwarzman is an active philanthropist with a history of supporting education, as well as culture and the arts, among other things. In October 2018, he announced a foundational $350 million gift to establish theMIT Schwarzman College of Computing, an interdisciplinary hub which will reorient MIT to address the opportunities and challenges presented by therise of artificial intelligence, including critical ethical and policy considerations to ensure that the technologies are employed for the common good
Mr. Schwarzman is a member of The Council on Foreign Relations,
The Undergraduate Association and Graduate Student Council hosted a student forum Tuesday to discuss concerns about MIT’s relations with Jeffrey Epstein, the late financier accused of sex trafficking.
Husayn Karimi G questioned the ethics of the College of Computing, funded by Stephen A. Schwarzman. “One thing we can learn from the Epstein scandal is that there's no such thing as money without strings attached. How can MIT talk about a new college being at the forefront of ethics, when itsmain funder was a Trump advisor, is pushing poor people out of their homes, partnering with some of the most repressive governments in the world, and burning down our planet?
TWO BRAZILIAN FIRMS owned by a top donor to President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are significantly responsible for the ongoing destruction of the Amazon rainforest, carnage that has developed into raging fires that have captivated global attention.
originally posted by: RelSciHistItSufi
a reply to: RelSciHistItSufi
Follow up on BBC/Reuters coverage of Impeachment hearings.
At 15:03, 20 seconds into Mark Meadows questioning time, Reuters feed was interrupted again with a backdrop screen and "feed interrupted". It came back at 15:06 - so 3 minutes of his questions blacked out!
Some of the victims of the abuse have since been murdered according to the campaigners who first discovered videos of abuse posted to a Facebook page.
Five families killed their sons after their faces were seen on videos posted to social media. Two other boys – a 13 and 15 year old – were killed last week, although the perpetrators are unknown.
Patricia Gossman, associate Asia director at Human Rights Watch, added: “There is impunity for child abuse because very often the perpetrators are powerful men in the military, police, or other official institutions. Even though the practice has been criminalised, the law too often goes unenforced.”