WILLARD MITT ROMNEY AND THE CAPITAL STRIKE OF 2009-2012: DID ROMNEY, 1%, PARTICIPATE IN ILLEGAL BOYCOTT IN VIOLATION OF ANTITRUST LAWS?
Copyright © Ed Slavin 2012 All Rights Reserved.
St. Augustine, Florida 32085-3084
Investor and Investors Place columnist LAWRENCE MEYERS, wrote in June 2012:
Here’s the ugly truth the left-wing doesn’t want you to know about: There has been an ongoing capital strike in this country, and that’s one of the reasons why unemployment remains high and why two million people have given up looking for work. Of course, there’s a reason why there’s a capital strike at all. For that, you can thank the anti-business, anti-capitalist President Barack Obama..... Ask yourself why public companies have record amounts of cash on their balance sheets (as of Q1, 2012):
Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL): $97 billion
Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT): $51.7 billion
Google (NASDAQ:GOOG): $45 billion
Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN): $9.5 billion
Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.A, BRK.B): $37.5 billion
Dell Computer (NASDAQ:DELL): $13.8 billion
General Electric (NYSE:GE): $137 billion
And ask what happens if Mitt Romney –- of Bain Capital, a businessman –- wins in November?
The capital strike ends.
Ipse dixit. (“He said it”). Do tell.
In July 2010, conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer reported that wealthy investors and reporters have written that there is an ongoing “capital strike,” with companies angry at government regulation withholding their investments. http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2010/07/13/krauthammer_we_are_having_a_capital_strike.html
There’s more than a trillion dollars in idle Fortune 500 cash, sitting out of our economy.
The 1% are betting against our country – they are betting that by being misers, that by not creating jobs and not investing in our future, they can coerce voters into voting against President Obama. It almost worked. Then WILLARD MITT ROMNEY confessed to the plan, on May 17, 2012. Thanks to Mother Jones Magazine and President Jimmy Carter’s grandson and namesake, we now have irrefragable evidence: WILLARD MITT ROMNEY acknowledged seeking to benefit from the anti-Obama “capital strike” – in his infamous 47% speech to $50,000 contributors on May 17, 2012. stating “we’ll see capital come back” that is – “ if-- if-- if if” -- he is elected, “without” his “actually doing anything.” Talking to the 1% in a nearly 16,000 square foot South Florida mansion, ROMNEY stated:
if it looks like I'm gonna win the market-- markets will be happy. If it looks like the president's gonna win, the markets should not be terribly happy. It depends on, of course, which markets you're talking about. Which types of commodities and so forth.
But my own view is that if we-- if-- if-- if we win on November 6th there will be-- a great deal of optimism about the future of this country. And we'll see capital come back and we'll see-- without-- without actually doing anything, we'll (CHUCKLES) actually get a boost in the economy.
If the president gets reelected, I don't know what'll happen. I can't-- I can never predict what the markets will do. Sometimes it does the exact opposite of what I would I ex-- would have expected. But I-- my own view is that-- that-- if we get a tax-- a Taxageddon, as they call it, January 1st, with this president-- and with a Congress that can't work together and I-- it's-- it really is frightening. It's really frightening in my view.
Be afraid, be very afraid. We know that MITTENS thinks “corporations are people, my friend”: note how ROMNEY talks markets as being “happy” with him.
“We’ll see capital come back?” So where did all the capital go?
“We’ll see capital come back?” Sounds like a plan.
Banks are refusing to lend to small businesses, although they sit on hordes of cash. One St. Augustine, Florida businessman says it is the tightest credit market he has seen in some 40 years.
One blemish on a credit application is enough for banks to turn down small business loans.
Banks are sitting on our money, while small businesses die, towns are destroyed and American workers lose our jobs. (As Justice Louis Dembitz Brandeis said, banks need to be reminded that they hold and invest “Other Peoples’ Money.”)
Some disgruntled American employers openly brag they’re not hiring because they want to see President Obama defeated with poor numbers.
This is a strike by capital – this is not like a labor strike. It is unAmerican and may be illegal under our antitrust laws, which must be enforced.
Today, noisome right-wingers funded by the likes of the petrochemical-emitting, government corrupting KOCH BROTHERS are peddling smear and fear, using extremist anti-Obama rhetoric resembling the Old Confederacy – talking about “taking back America” (e.g., from the 99%, who at last have some leaders who care about us). That’s not all folks.
Fortune 500 companies report holding on to more than one trillion dollars in cash – a “capital strike” perhaps inspired by Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged.
Today, while emitting perverse crocodile tears and projecting with cries of “class warfare,” the 1% are destroying our Nation. The 1% are truly engaged in a “capital strike” – economic behavior that could mildly be described as unAmerican.
This “capital strike” may violate antitrust laws, which make it a crime and allow triple damages and attorney fees for “every contract, combination or conspiracy in restraint of trade.” (15 U.S.C. § 1, Sherman Antitrust Act of 1990).
In an antitrust case, FTC v. D.C. Superior Court Trial Lawyers Assn., 493 U.S. 411 (1990), the Supreme Court ruled against a strike by capital intended to achieve economic and political ends.
Underpaid lawyers for low-income criminal defense lawyers engaged in a horizontal conspiracy to withhold their services until their compensation was increased by the D.C. government. The FTC won its case before the Supreme Court, which rejected the D.C. criminal defense lawyers’ putative free speech justifications and found that they were engaged in a strike by capital, not a labor strike, and that their conspiracy in restraint of trade violated our antitrust laws. In that case, the defendant criminal defense lawyers agreed in haec verba:
“We, the undersigned private criminal lawyers practicing in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, agree that unless we are granted a substantial increase in our hourly rate we will cease accepting new appointments under the Criminal Justice Act."
Within ten days, the D.C. criminal justice system was “on the brink of collapse.” FTC charged "a conspiracy to fix prices and to conduct a boycott" and concluded that they were engaged in "unfair methods of competition in violation of Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act." An FTC Administrative Law Judge and the United States Court of Appeals said “no harm done.” But the commissioners of the FTC and the United States Supreme Court found an unlawful conspiracy in restraint of trade and issued a Cease and Desist Order.
The Supreme Court found that economic self-interest guided the criminal defense lawyers, and that unlike a prior case where Mississippi citizens boycotted businesses because of race discrimination, “[n]o matter how altruistic the motives of respondents [the D.C. criminal defense lawyers] may have been, it is undisputed that their immediate objective was to increase the price that they would be paid for their services.”
It is undisputed that in the current self-confessed admitted “strike by capital,” 2009-2012, the explicit agreement is not to invest in jobs or companies until President Barack Obama is defeated and WILLARD MITT ROMNEY is elected. The purpose is to make money at others’ expense. Thus, the U.S. Supreme Court has already rejected any putative free speech defenses by the 1%.
So is WILLARD MITT ROMNEY in pari delicto with the 1% and their capital strike?
Owners of capital are withholding their gazillions and not creating jobs because they want President Barack Obama to fail.
WILLARD MITT ROMNEY recently admitted the existence of the capital strike, even as he targeted the 99% this way: as perceiving we are “victims,” “dependent” on the government. His “47%” number includes the physically and mentally disabled, the unemployed and some16 million senior citizens who pay less in taxes through federal tax breaks.
To tape-recorded 1% “CHUCKLES (sic),” WILLARD MITT ROMNEY stated on MAY 17, 2012 that the capital strike would end upon his election, “without” his “actually doing anything.” This a stunning, irrevocable admission of his being the knowing beneficiary of a planned economic attack by Benedict Arnold corporations with no loyalty to the United States of America.
Background: On MAY 17, 2012, surrounded by one-percenters at the home of MARC J. LEDER, Republican presidential nominee WILLARD MITT ROMNEY covertly practiced class warfare: every person attending (except the formally-dressed waiters) had to pay $50,000. WILLARD MITT ROMNEY, the quarter-billionaire, lugubrious goober gave it away with his remarks about the “47%” of Americans whom he considers “dependents” and “victims,” whom he claims don’t pay federal income taxes and are incapable of taking “responsibility” to care of themselves. The speech was at the home of a “private equity sex party boy,” MARC J. LEDER.
The time and the place: The home of MARC J. LEDER, at 18249 Long Lake Drive, Boca Ratón, Florida, consists of 15,865 square feet, on 1.08 acres. LEDER mansion’s April 2002 a purchase price: $4,450,000.00. (Those were the days). 2012 Palm Beach County Appraiser’s appraisal: $2,925,179 (down from $3,161,815 in 2010). The LEDER castle includes a boat dock, fountain, pool, patios, decks. A former Vice President of Lehman Brothers, LEDER has contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to the WILLARD MITT ROMNEY campaign. LEDER co-owns SUN CAPITAL PARTNERS, which has $8 billion in investment assets and specializes in buying and selling small- to medium-sized companies, and has invested in some 305 companies with combined sales in excess of $45 billion. SUN CAPITAL’s Global Reach embraces offices in Boca Ratón, New York, Los Angles, London, Paris, Frankfurt, Luxembourg, Shanghai and Shenzhen. MARC LEDER is the recipient of BUYOUT MAGAZINE’s PRO OF THE YEAR AWARD for 2003.
This reminds me of a story.
During the American Civil War foolish Confederate leaders staged an informal cotton boycott to coerce and pressure cotton-dependent England and France into recognizing the slaveocracy south of the Mason-Dixon line. Confederates burned 2.5 million bales of cotton. It didn’t work. It was one of the most foolish decisions in the history of modern economic warfare. Great Britain turned to British colonies in Egypt and India and to independent Brazil for its cotton needs, pushing them to produce more. Confederates figuratively cut off their noses (trade) to spite their faces (any chances of formal British diplomatic recognition and alliance). The Confederates lost the Civil War.
WILLARD MITT ROMNEY and his funders have sold out America. Their narcissistic and sociopathic personalities – and their sins — have found them out. Ipse dixit.
Their actions are not unlike Confederates burning millions of bales of cotton during the Civil War – only in this self-declared uncivil war, the Money Power has decided to sacrifice millions of jobs, laughing all the way to the banks where they have stored all that cash. Ipse dixit, Messrs. ROMNEY, KRAUTHAMMER, MEYERS, et al.
This was not the only strike by capital in American history. Notorious Robber Baron Jay Gould famously threatened a “capital strike.”
Then, in 1937, there was a planned recession, allegedly because petulant New Dealer haters sat on their cash, refusing to invest to make political points at the cost of millions of American jobs.
President Franklin charged that there was a “capital strike” by organized money, seeking to torpedo the New Deal.
“Organized wealth, which has controlled the government so far seizes the opportunity to decide whether it is to continue to control the government or not.” Those words were spoken by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt at the White House on November 6, 1937 – 75 years to the day before our 2012 Presidential election. On October 31, 1936, FDR said that “We nnow know that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as government by organized mob.” Of the 1%, FDR said, “I welcome their hatred.”
FDR’s Interior Secretary Harold Ickes, Sr. said that the power of the wealthy, “unchecked, would lead to a Big Business Fascist America – an enslaved America.”
President Roosevelt ordered the FBI to investigate possible crimes in the capital strike. In 1937, lawyer Robert Houghwot Jackson, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department Antitrust Division, said that “certain groups of Big Businesses were engaged in a strike of capital to liquidate the New Deal.” Under Jackson, FDR indicted some industrial-strength antitrust conspirators, including Big Oil companies. Jackson was promoted to Solicitor General, Attorney General and Supreme Court Justice and was our Chief Prosecutor at the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials.)
Robert Kennedy said, “If we do not attack organized criminals with weapons and techniques as sophisticated as their own, they will destroy us.”
Boy, do we need another Robert H. Jackson now, to investigate the 1% today.
Ed Slavin, B.S., Foreign Service, Georgetown University, J.D. Memphis State University (now University of Memphis, is a former whistleblower lawyer, former antitrust paralegal, and community activist in St. Augustine, Florida (our Nation’s Oldest European-founded city).
Copyright © Ed Slavin 2012 All Rights Reserved.
St. Augustine, Florida 32085-3084