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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

When Wolves Give Advice How to Protect Sheep

~ Carl Icahn

We talked a bit yesterday about the extreme wealthy only doing the 'right' thing and being charitable, altruistic and/or caring about those who struggle when these people are up in years and ultimate death is eventuality

Today we're going to be a little more specific..

So let's look at Carl Icahn who recently wrote a policy paper on income inequality that the billionaire financier recently sent to Donald Trump and others on Wall Street and in Washington.

In the paper, Icahn focuses on the economic imbalances in our society and warns of “dangerous systemic problems that will affect each and every American in the coming years.”  If you're interested in seeing a a video where he discusses this, you can visit his website, http://www.carlicahn.com
One section of interest was the following:

"The average worker makes approximately $50,000 per year. The average annual compensation of the thirty highest paid CEOs is approximately $47 million per year. (I don’t believe this disparity was ever this great even in most dictatorships!) 

You will hear many politicians argue that government should not interfere with the ‘business judgment’, of our companies and, therefore they cannot pass laws to encourage ‘income equality.’ This is completely untrue – the sad fact is that the government has actually passed many laws that have brought about ‘income inequality.’”

Now statements like that are 100% true and somehow we live in a sycophantic society where we are completely brainwashed to love, admire and seek to hope to emulate the extreme-rich rather than what is natural - to loathe, despise and want to take them down.

So often we applaud comments like above but completely ignore Who said it..
Icahn who is 79yrs old, possesses a net worth of $21,000,000,000 ($21B according to Forbes)

How do we even begin to give perspective to that??

Well as Icahn says, the average worker makes $50k so it takes 420,000 workers (just under the population those who live within Atlanta's city limits) making $50k to equal in one year before taxes Icahn's net worth

Interestingly, back in 2010 the Jerusalem Post named Icahn 12th in ranking the wealthiest 50 Jews in the world..  Well that in itself isn't that 'interesting'..

What is interesting was in 2010, Icahn's fortune was listed at $10.5 billion meaning in the last 5 years during this recession-depression thanks to endless QE and other 'gifts' for the 1%, he's doubled it!
So how did Icahn make his fortune?

He began his career on Wall Street as a stockbroker in 1961 and in 1968, he formed Icahn & Co., a securities firm that focused on risk arbitrage and options trading and in 1978, he began taking controlling positions in individual companies.

By 1985, Icahn developed a reputation as a ruthless "corporate raider" (and junk bond king) after his hostile takeover of TWA. The result of that takeover was Icahn systematically selling TWA's assets to repay the debt he used to purchase the company, which was described as asset stripping.

*  Think specifically to what the character Gordon Gekko did in the film 'Wall Street' to the fictional airline 'Blue Star' since those actions were based on what Icahn did..
In 1988, Icahn took TWA private, gaining a personal profit of $469 million, and leaving TWA with a debt of $540 million. In 1991, Icahn sold TWA's prized London routes to American Airlines for $445 million.

And notice today there is no TWA in existence..

To quote Gekko in reference to his airlines, "I wrecked it because it was wreckable!"

Icahn also attempted  a hostile takeover of U.S. Steel for 89% of the industrial giant for $7 billion in late 1986. He was finally rebuffed by CEO David Roderick a few months later

You can look up Icahn's bio to see his history of ruthless greed.
So its funny when someone who's lived such a despicable life finally in his elder years wants to be all altruistic and talk with concern and compassion about those who are struggling at or near the bottom.

Now Icahn is not Christian and his father described as a 'dogmatic atheist' so there's none of that religion/Bible 'stuff' to cloud Icahn's focus.

Now if people ever remember Icahn 20 to 100 years after his death, will it be for being such a money-hungry carnivore?

Or philanthropy such as the Carl C. Icahn Center for Science and Icahn Scholar Program at Choate Rosemary Hall, a prep school in Connecticut. (This organization pays for tuition, room and board, books, and supplies for 10 students every year for four years (freshman-senior), an expense that adds up to about $160,000 per student)
Or the fact Icahn made a substantial contribution to his alma mater, Princeton University, to fund a genomics laboratory which bears his name, the Carl C. Icahn Laboratory at the University's Institute for Integrated Genomics.

God forbid it was named something other than Icahn but like we said, he's not really religious so God wouldn't come into play..

Or his foundation, the Children's Rescue Fund, built Icahn House in The Bronx, a 65-unit complex for homeless families consisting of single pregnant women and single women with children, and operates Icahn House East and Icahn House West, both of which are homeless shelters located in New York City...

Etc.. Etc,,
It reminds us of a story about how rich people think/act:

Two wealthy men leave a very expensive restaurant when an extremely poor child comes toward them with his hand out asking for some money...

And even though the child's clothes are raggedy and tattered and clearly the child hadn't had a good meal for days, the first wealthy man shoo's the child away with his hand..

The second man looks at the child for a couple moments, then recognizing the youngster says "You're Robeson's boy aren't you?' to which the child nodded he was,,

Then the second wealthy man takes out a couple $20 bills and places it in the little one's hand and smiles, to which the boy exclaims 'God Bless You!' and each party continues their separate way

The first wealthy man was shocked by the generosity and exclaimed, 'Did you lose your mind back there?!'.. Why did you give that dirty boy $40??'

To which the second wealthy man stated. 'Eh, he needed it more than I...   Besides, a couple months ago I fired his dad when he asked for a raise...'