Tuesday, May 08, 2007

The kind of guy you can trust with the government's money 

News today that John Edwards worked at a hedge fund.

Edwards won't disclose how much he got paid as a consultant to Fortress Investment Group, but said he did keep the money.

"It was primarily to learn, but making money was a good thing, too," the 2004 vice presidential nominee said in an interview with The Associated Press.

I agree sir. Making money is a good thing in both Americas. Getting to keep it is good too. Fortress recently went public, and its IPO price is well below its current price. Kind of makes you wonder if he's gotten some investment tips from Hillary Clinton, doesn't it?

Edwards said it's legitimate to ask questions about whether there is a contradiction between campaigning against poverty while working for a hedge fund that is designed to make rich people richer. He said the job was a compliment to his position as the head of a poverty center at the University of North Carolina.
I think the AP writer meant complement, but hey, it's an AP writer! You have to wonder how being head of a poverty center and consulting with a hedge fund that sets up in the Caymans to avoid taxes are complementary. Apparently, it was supposed to be educational, but Mr. Edwards didn't get a high grade in that class.
"I didn't feel like I understand, and to be honest with you still learning right now, sort of the relationship between that world and the way money moves in this country through financial markets," Edwards said.
And yet his consultancy was "about what he saw happening economically in the United States and during his travels overseas." Sounds like Mr. Edwards needs a good course in international economics and in money and banking. We offer those here at SCSU.

Fortress is in the habit of funding Mr. Edwards:
Fortress was the single biggest employer of Edwards donors during the first three months of the year. Donors who listed "Fortress" as their employer contributed $67,450 to Edwards' campaign and supporters who identified their employer as "Fortress Investment Group" gave $55,200 to the campaign, according to Federal Election Commission records.
Now there's nothing wrong with a firm giving money to one of its employees to run for political office while they are still under the firm's employ, but one must still wonder what the value of the services were that Mr. Edwards provided when he's still learning on the job.