Top Hedge Fund Managers Earn Over $240 Million
What news matters most to the average American, or even to the average citizen of the world? That’s right: the burgeoning obscene wealth of hedge fund managers. Or, as they’re referred to in this article, “the hedge fund elite.”
At a time when the divide between the haves and have-nots has never been greater - in this country and across the globe - what could be more unseemly and less newsworthy than this: front-page focus on the divide between those who, tragically, fall short of making $240 million a year and those who are close to joining, or are already members of, the “billion-dollars-a-year club.”
While traditional news outlets struggle to staunch their hemorrhaging audience share, continued prominent focus on such truly marginal stories - not to be confused with vital ones often deemed marginal by establishment editors and pundits - will only perpetuate their slide. These choices also beg the question: Just how out of touch can these people be? A cover story about the wealthiest of the wealthy jockeying for position at the billionaires' table? With everything going on in our country and the world? It's simply a disgrace.
Maybe one day Brian Williams will realize that traditional news' dwindling audience has less to do with competition from "a guy named Vinny in an efficiency apartment in the Bronx" than it does with these kinds of vacuous stories and egregious editorial choices.
James Simons, a 69-year-old publicity shy former math professor, uses complex computer-driven mathematical models to make bets on stocks, bonds and commodities, among other things.
His earnings last year were $1.7 billion.
As one of the leading hedge fund managers, Mr. Simons makes a sum that dwarfs that of the top chiefs on Wall Street. The highest paid on the Street, Lloyd C. Blankfein of Goldman Sachs, earned $54.3 million in salary, cash, restricted stock and stock options last year. (Unlike the total for Mr. Simons, Mr. Blankfein’s reported compensation does not include gains on investments.)
And Mr. Simons, the founder of Renaissance Technologies, is not the only member of the billion-dollars-a-year club.
Two other hedge fund managers, Kenneth C. Griffin and Edward S. Lampert, each took home more than $1 billion last year, with George Soros missing the hurdle by a hair, give or take $50 million, according to an annual ranking of the top 25 hedge fund earners by Institutional Investor’s Alpha magazine, which comes out today.
BACK (page A14):
9 U.S. Soldiers Killed in Suicide Bombing in Iraq
Back on planet Earth, our soldiers are being killed at an alarming rate. In fact, the death rate of American troops and Iraqi civilians has increased since Bush's "surge." Something the mainstream media seems hard-pressed to highlight.
Most appalling about the placement of this article (bottom of A14!) is this tidbit of information: "It was one of the most lethal suicide bomb attacks on American troops in Iraq."
With Bush's war policy once again on the ropes, had The Times not only placed this story on its cover but also either led with the above line or incorporated it into the headline, the networks would've certainly been more compelled to focus their broadcasts and roundtables on this exceptionally deadly day. Thus, thrusting a more substantive dimension into the current battle between the White House and Congress on funding and timetables. Burying this story in the back pages, on other hand, has aided the Bush administration's current propaganda blitz to portray Democrats as playing politics with our troops.
It is April 25, 2007, over four years into this war of choice, and The New York Times is still providing cover to, and pushing talking points for, the Bush White House. (Incidentally, when you click on that link it leads to today's Times cover story: "Bush and Cheney Chide Democrats on Iraq Deadline." And so it goes.)
Intro and excerpts:
A devastating suicide car bombing on Monday killed nine American soldiers and wounded 20 others near a patrol base in Diyala Province, the military announced early today.
It was one of the most lethal suicide bomb attacks on American troops in Iraq. Another occurred on Dec. 21, 2004, when a suicide bomber wearing an explosive vest walked into a mess tent on an American base in Mosul and detonated his charge, killing 14 United States soldiers.
In the past six months, Diyala Province, where several Sunni Arab insurgent groups are active, has become one of the most dangerous places in Iraq for American soldiers.
[And in other news in Iraq...]
On Monday, an American soldier also died in Muqdadiya when a roadside bomb exploded, the military said in a news release.
Today, two car bombs exploded in a parking lot in front of the Iranian embassy in Baghdad, wounding four people, a day after two bombs exploded in the same area, news services reported. American officials accuse Iranians of fueling Iraq’s sectarian conflict by supplying weapons and training to Shiite militias.
On Monday, five car bombs exploded across Iraq, killing a total of 22 people, and a suicide bomber wearing an explosive vest walked into a popular restaurant near Baghdad’s fortified International Zone, formerly known as the Green Zone, and detonated his explosives, killing six people.
Ten people were killed in northern Iraq when a suicide car bomber struck a Kurdish Democratic Party outpost on Monday.
In Baquba, in Diyala Province, a suicide car bomber attacked a group of police cars parked at an intersection, killing six policemen and a seventh, who was injured, later died, according to a government official in Baquba.
In Hilla, a suicide car bomber attacked a restaurant, killing two people.
In Falluja, two suicide truck bombs exploded near the Huriyah neighborhood, killing three people, according to a statement from the United States military.