Sunday, November 25, 2007
Publicity-Shy Giuliani Backer Is Thrust Into Spotlight
By MICHAEL COOPER and LESLIE WAYNE
Paul E. Singer is the founding partner of one of the oldest hedge funds around. And while he has become a major donor to Republican and conservative causes in recent years, he has largely managed to stay out of the limelight, even avoiding having his picture appear in newspapers.
But this year Mr. Singer became one of the biggest supporters of Rudolph W. Giuliani’s presidential campaign, making his jet available to Mr. Giuliani, while Mr. Singer and workers at his companies have donated $200,000 to the campaign. And he became the largest individual backer of a California ballot initiative that many Democrats believe could sink their chances of winning the presidency.
Suddenly, the normally low-profile Mr. Singer, a New Yorker, found himself singled out by Democrats intent on beating back the California effort before it gained any steam.
Howard Dean, the chairman of the Democratic Party, questioned “Paul Singer’s involvement in this dirty trick aimed at stealing the White House.” A group of Democrats filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission charging that Mr. Singer had been acting on behalf of Mr. Giuliani in his efforts to change the California law — which Mr. Singer and the campaign deny. And the Democratic National Committee drew attention to the part of Mr. Singer’s business that involves buying the debt of poor countries at a discount and then seeking repayment in full — prompting an article in The Times of London labeling his firm, Elliott Associates, a “vulture fund.”
The vitriol directed at Mr. Singer reflects the intense passions being stirred by efforts to change the California law, which could alter the nation’s electoral map to favor Republicans and Mr. Giuliani, should he emerge as the party’s candidate. While Mr. Singer is now distancing himself from the effort, another Giuliani fund-raiser has since taken up the cause.
Mr. Singer, 63, who was surprised to be photographed for this article on a Manhattan street, said in an e-mail interview that he had contributed to the California initiative on his own, and that he was not acting on behalf of the Giuliani campaign. He noted that buying what he called “sovereign distressed debt” represented only a tiny fraction of the $9 billion that is under management by his funds, but defended his decision to press for repayment, saying that countries must meet their obligations.
Vulture Fund Capitalists. Sounds exactly like cleaning up "sovereign distressed debt" amounts to picking financial road kill off the highway of the financial world.
Once laden with the squeezings, some feel the need to throw the cash around to political causes usually involving supporting more of the same including an attempted hijacking of California election law to favor fellow buzzards like Gouliani.
Friends, these people are the enemy of Democracy with their one way money machinations. They have no interest whatsoever in you or I just how much foreign debtor money can be put to THEIR use for their little vulture adventures, to parlay into more money.
Look at his picture, is this a happy man? Has that buzzard look going.