According to an “exclusive” report on cnbc.com, Harvard educated Wall Street luminary and Vice-Chairman of Blackstone Advisory Partners (a division of the Blackstone Group), Byron Wien has pow-wowed annually for over twenty years with many of the world’s wealthiest people to forecast for the global economic climate and to identify solid investment targets.
Fifty mega-rich movers and shakers reportedly attended the confab this year and to no one’s surprise they have predicted continued gloomy weather for the U.S. economy, as well as limited profitable investment opportunities, and they see no help coming from the Obama administration.
“They [attendees] say the United States in a long-term slow growth environment with the near-term risk of recession quite real,” Wien reported to a meeting of Blackstone clients. “The Obama Administration was viewed as hostile to business and that discouraged both hiring and investment. Companies and entrepreneurs were reluctant to add workers because they didn’t know what their healthcare costs or taxes were going to be,” he continued.
While admittedly there is little shock value in a Wall Street maven casting stones at the White House, there is something to be derived, however, from Wien’s message considering his connections.
In the bio of Byron Wien published on the Blackstone website, one name appears almost as many times as his own: George Soros. The bio reads:
In 1995, Mr. Wien co-authored a book with George Soros on the legendary investor’s life and philosophy, Soros on Soros – Staying Ahead of the Curve. In 1998 he was named by First Call the most widely read analyst on Wall Street and in 2000 was ranked the No. 1 strategist by SmartMoney.com based on his market calls during that year. Mr.Wien was named to the 2004 Smart Money Power 30 list of Wall Street’s most influential investors, thinkers, enforcers, policy makers, players and market movers. He appeared in the “Thinker” category. In 2006, Mr. Wien was named by New York Magazine as one of the sixteen most influential people in Wall Street. The New York Society of Security Analysts (NYSSA) presented Mr. Wien with a lifetime achievement award in 2008.
Mr. Wien received an AB with honors from Harvard College and an MBA with distinction from Harvard Business School. He is a Supervisory Director of George Soros’ Quantum Funds and a member of the Investment Committees of Lincoln Center, The Pritzker Foundation, and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. He is a trustee of the New York Historical Society and a Board Member of The Manhattan Institute and Phoenix House Foundation.
Soros has the deep pockets the progressive movement sticks its hands in whenever the bills need to be paid. The Hungarian-born billionaire, who made his money principally through currency speculation, once told the Washington Post the removal of George W. Bush from office was his life’s goal and a “matter of life and death.” In furtherance of his mission, he donated millions to Democratic organizations devoted to defeating Bush.
If Soros has now turned on Barack Obama and taken the cash out of the Democratic Party’s ATM, should that be interpreted as another prescient prediction of the financial forecaster extraordinaire? Should Democrats start sending out grant applications to other well-heeled socialists eager to shovel good money after bad into the engine of the cause?
Wien’s tête-à-tête with his fellow financial trendsetters, albeit not all that secret, is notable for its reportedly unanimous recrimination of the Obama administration’s manipulation of the levers of the American economic machine and the boiler is overheating and an explosion is imminent.
CNBC.com’s report on the meeting, the guest list and location of which is protected by Wien, reveals a few of the problems identified by the host as the most difficult to remedy quickly. “A massive reduction in the consumer debt load, a workforce without the right skills for the jobs of tomorrow, and too high labor costs relative to other countries” were named in the piece as Wien’s reasons that any recovery will be delayed.
Whether or not the combined weight of the moneyed interests represented by those lunching with Wien can influence the tilt of the global economic axis is less important that the fact that once again, there is convincing evidence that much of the “battle” between the world’s most successful capitalists and the progressive political cabal ostensibly opposed to their ends and means is merely a charade meant to deceive and distract the people of the world whose well-being is never a consideration.
Photo: Hungarian-born US billionaire and investor George Soros is seen ahead of the start of his five-day-long lecture at the Central European University (CEU) in Budapest, Hungary, Oct. 26, 2009: AP Images