Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Spanish Business Consortium "Grupo Santander SA" and leaser of Indiana Toll Road hit with losses in Madoff Ponzi scheme

Indiana--This is pretty hilarious. Grupo Santander SA, the 75-year leasers of a major Indiana Toll Road (US Highway 31) has taken a financial hit in the Madoff "Ponzi" scheme according to the AP:
A variety of investors have been identified as having lost money in the scam, including Spain's Grupo Santander SA, Britain's HSBC Holdings PLC and New York Mets owner Fred Wilpon. More victims emerged Tuesday, including Rye Investment Management, of Rye, N.Y., which lost $3.1 billion, almost all of its clients' funds, and Austria's Bank Medici, which had two funds with $2.1 billion (1.5 billion euros) invested with Madoff. ("SIPC chief: Madoff falsified books to hide losses," AP, 12.16.2008)
Sure, it breaks my black little heart that they might have to sell-off their share in our highway that was virtually sold by our current governor, Mitch Daniels.

Daniels was an economics adviser (budget director) to President George W. Bush in his first term of office from 2001-2003. Isn't our economy in great shape? In the elections--which he miraculously won--Daniels bragged widely that our state's budget had been saved by the sale of US 31 and his wondrous economic policies. He can't claim that now with our unemployment fund expended and Elkhart, Indiana having the highest unemployment rate for a city in the entire United States.

With no state money left for unemployment payments, he's had to go to the federal government for the funds.

Daniels has long-held the same views you would expect from the GOP: an over-emphasis on government deregulation, their fictional take on the "rules of the marketplace" (except for my backers, heh-heh), and as little social spending as humanly possible. Wait, it gets worse.

Daniels headed the ultra-right think tank, The Hudson Institute, which advocates radical deregulation and still says that the economy is working just fine. As you might have guessed, Daniels did his best to deregulate across the entirety of federal agencies through his control of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) and its head, John Graham.

Daniels considers himself an "outsider" in politics--like John McCain claimed after his 26 years in office. In a way, Daniels is right, he is an "outsider": it's reported that he received campaign contributions from DC Madam client Randall Tobias for his campaign this year, now a know whore-monger. Did he contribute to Daniels' campaign? He should have, he considers Daniels a "close friend." Well yeah, nepotism and the world of crony appointments is all about friendship.

It wouldn't be surprising if Eli Lilly handed the Daniels campaign plenty, but Bristol-Myers Squibb definitely did so--Daniels was a semi-competent business executive at Eli Lilly, just as Tobias was as its CEO. The ghost in the machine continues on, wreaking its havoc. It should be remembered that George H.W. Bush was once a board member of Eli Lilly and was remonstrated by the Supreme Court for illegal lobbying on their behalf while president. He ignored them.

Mitch Daniels: like Fred Thompson and Richard Nixon, he also appears to have been fashioned out of mud. This economic crisis is partly his fault. May it devour him and the rest like him.

"SIPC chief: Madoff falsified books to hide losses," AP, 12.16.2008: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081216/ap_on_bi_ge/madoff_scandal_records