Choice of party leader underlines Ukip’s belief that it has strong chance of seizing the former Labour strongholdThe Ukip leader, Paul Nuttall, has been confirmed as the party’s candidate to fight the crucial Stoke-on-Trent Central byelection next month, underlining the party’s belief that it has a strong chance of seizing the former Labour stronghold.Nuttall emerged triumphant after hustings alongside other shortlisted candidates on Friday night, setting the scene for a contest that will illuminate the shape of post-Brexit politics in England. Stoke voted 65.7% for leave in the EU referendum. Continue reading...
Former Ukip leader’s love affair with Donald Trump’s America grows as he lands political analyst role on US news channelNigel Farage’s love affair with Donald Trump’s America has taken another leap forward with news the former Ukip leader is to become a commentator on Fox News. Fox announced Farage would be joining to provide political analysis on its main news channel and its business network in a short statement during Trump’s swearing-in as the 45th US president. Continue reading...
James Graham’s Fleet Street play part of season which includes the return of Ben Whishaw and a series of films in which actors perform famous speeches, available on the Guardian websiteThe birth of the Sun newspaper, and the enduring impact of Rupert Murdoch’s sexed-up approach to journalism, is to be explored as part of the new season at London’s Almeida theatre. INK, by James Graham, whose show This House recently opened in the West End after a hit run at the National, will look at British newspapers in the 1960s and how Murdoch established a new kind of sensationalist tabloid journalism. Rupert Goold, the Almeida’s artistic director, who will direct the production, described it as a comedy that was “very anarchic and very nostalgic about the lost traditions of Fleet Street”. Continue reading...
Liberal commentator Bob Beckel will return to Fox News on Monday after leaving the network in 2015. Beckel will co-host “The Five” with current hosts Eric Bolling, Kimberly Guilfoyle, Greg Gutfeld and Dana Perino. He first joined the network in 2000 and was one of the original hosts of “The Five” beginning in 2011. “I’m thrilled for the opportunity to go home again and join my television family around the table of ‘The Five,’” Beckel said in a statement. “I have no doubt it will be a vigorous yet entertaining debate.” Today is a big day for me. I am returning to The Five. Please watch and tell friends it's so good to. Be back!— Robert G Beckel (@RobertGBeckel) January 16, 2017 Current co-host Juan Williams will remain a contributor at the network and will make appearances on “The Five.” Beckel parted ways with Fox News in 2015 under difficult circumstances. He took a leave of absence after undergoing back surgery and entering rehab for an addiction to prescription painkillers. Several months later, he was let go. “We tried to work with Bob for months, but we couldn’t hold ‘The Five’ hostage to one man’s personal issues,” said Bill Shine, then senior executive vice president of programming at the network. “He took tremendous advantage of our generosity, empathy and goodwill and we simply came to the end of the road with him.” Shine is now co-president of Fox News. At the time, Beckel said he was baffled by the network’s decision. “Bob was missed by many fans of ‘The Five’ and we’re happy to welcome him back to the show,” Rupert Murdoch, executive chairman of Fox News and its parent company 21st Century Fox, said in a statement Monday. Beckel served in the Jimmy Carter administration and was campaign manager for 1984 Democratic presidential nominee Walter Mondale. After his split with Fox in 2015, he was hired as a commentator by CNN and worked as a columnist at USA Today. “The Five” has the highest ratings among cable news shows in its 5 p.m. time slot and averaged 2.7 million viewers last quarter. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
Authored by Oaktree Capital's Howard Marks, In August, I mentioned that I had chosen the title “Political Reality” for my memo in part because of my liking for oxymorons. I classed that title with other internally contradictory statements, such as “jumbo shrimp” and “common sense.” Now I’m going to discuss one more: “expert opinion.” This memo was inspired by a thought that popped into my head when the outcome of the election settled in. You may point out that at the end of my November 14 memo “Go Figure!,” I said I wouldn’t write any more about politics. True, but I didn’t say I wouldn’t think about politics. Anyway, this memo isn’t about politics, it’s about opinions. Last spring I attended a dinner where one of Hillary Clinton’s senior advisers was soliciting input, as she and her campaign were struggling to come up with an effective counter to Bernie Sanders’s populist message. Most of those present expressed frustration on the subject, until an experienced, connected Democrat assured everyone, “Don’t worry. She’ll win. The math is irresistible.” The Hillary supporters were relieved, and he turned out to be right: she won the nomination going away. In late October, with the issue of Clinton’s private email server and the FBI’s new investigation further dogging her, that same seasoned Democrat was asked whether the election was in jeopardy. “Don’t worry,” he said. “She’ll win. The math is irresistible.” We all know the result. The opinions of experts concerning the future are accorded great weight . . . but they’re still just opinions. Experts may be right more often than the rest of us, but they’re unlikely to be right all the time, or anything close to it. This year’s election season gave us plenty of opportunities to see expert opinion in action. I’ll start this memo by reflecting on them. The Year Polls Stopped Working Pollsters got off to a tough start last year with the June referendum concerning Britain’s membership in the European Union. Right up to the end, both pollsters and bookmakers considered U.K. citizens 70% likely to vote to remain a member. But, in the end, “Leave” won by a few percent. The reaction was shock. Voters on both sides of the issue were unprepared for the outcome. Within a day or two, the leaders of Britain’s main political parties had stepped down. People began to seriously discuss what that outcome meant and how “Brexit” would be accomplished. The explanations for the pollsters’ error centered around Britain’s lower level of experience with, and expertise in, polling. It couldn’t happen in the U.S. In fact, in the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections, Nate Silver, the proprietor of website FiveThirtyEight, correctly predicted the outcome in all 50 states once and in 49 the other time. In 2016, FiveThirtyEight estimated the odds of Hillary Clinton winning as slightly better than 50/50 as of the end of the Republican convention in July. Then it had her as an 8-to-1 favorite in August, when the Democrats concluded their convention and Donald Trump’s perceived missteps peaked. And then it again said she was slightly ahead just before the first presidential debate on September 26. It never made her out to be an underdog. And on election day, it estimated that she was 71.4% likely to win.* Most other pollsters put her chances of winning at between 80% and 99%, and only one considered Trump the favorite. In the end, of course, Trump won in the Electoral College by a final count of 304 to 227, despite losing the popular vote by almost 2.9 million votes, or about 2%. In particular, he won in a number of “swing states,” such as Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, where the polls had him well behind. So much for experts’ forecasts. Finally, rounding out the pollsters’ failures in 2016, the reform referendum that Italy’s Prime Minister Matteo Renzi bet his career on – which had been considered 3% behind – lost by 20%. The outcome wasn’t a surprise, but the margin certainly was. No one really knows why polling failed so miserably last year. Clearly there was a groundswell of populist, anti-establishment and anti-insider sentiment, but shouldn’t it have been detected? In particular, Trump did much better than predicted (or much less badly) with a number of important groups, such as Hispanics and college-educated women. For some reason, in 2016 pollsters in all three countries either failed to talk to a representative sample of voters, failed to elicit honest responses, or failed to accurately interpret the data. Thus their opinions may be accorded less weight in the future. So Much for the Experts I’m struck by how dramatically opinion can flip-flop: During the run-up to the election, Clinton’s campaign organization and “ground game” were considered sophisticated, efficient and unstoppable, and Trump’s were thought of as rag-tag, underfunded and uncoordinated. Now Trump’s machine is described as having been highly effective, and Clinton’s as having missed important signs and opportunities. Clinton’s message was thought likely to carry a lot of weight with a broad swath of the electorate, while Trump’s was viewed as appealing deeply to a few fervent but narrow fringe constituencies without enough voters for him to win. After the fact, Trump is described as having had “perfect pitch” and Clinton as having a “tin ear.” In particular, now it’s considered to have been a big mistake for Clinton to fail to address the concerns of white men and set out a solution for those who lost jobs and were omitted from economic progress. But during the campaign, no one pointed to this error. * It should be noted – to his credit – that Silver insisted repeatedly that Trump could win. In fact, he often reminded his followers that the Clinton landslide most people expected was no more likely than a modest Trump victory. Silver also entered Election Day citing a 10.5% probability that Trump would lose the popular vote but win the presidency. We can’t say he predicted that outcome, but (a) he was more explicit about it than most and (b) he assigned a fairly material probability to an event that in the past has been quite rare (so it can’t be said that he was just extrapolating). Finally, up until Election Day, most observers (including me) talked about the likelihood that the Republican Party would emerge from the election torn between its traditional faction, the Tea Party conservatives, and Trump’s economically disgruntled, anti-establishment supporters. That may turn out to be the case, but now the Democratic Party is described as being at risk as well because of the schism between the Clinton-type moderates and the Sanders/Warren progressives. Here’s some of what I wrote in “Go Figure!,” six days after the election: Think back to just before last week’s election. What did we know? The polls were almost unanimous in saying Hillary Clinton would win . . . There was a near-universal belief that a Trump victory – as unlikely as it was – would be bad for the markets. So what happened? First Clinton didn’t win. . . . And second, the U.S. stock market had its best week since 2014! . . . Thus two key observations can be made based on last week’s developments: First, no one really knows what events are going to transpire. And second, no one knows what the market’s reaction to those events will be. One of the key conclusions we should draw from the surprises of 2016 is that the pundits often failed to understand people and their views. It’s clear that people who work in the media hadn’t understood many average Americans; people with college degrees hadn’t understood those without them; and people living on the coasts and in metropolises hadn’t understood the rest. Strong sentiments and beliefs swung a pivotal election in ways the experts absolutely failed to grasp and thought were virtually impossible. Of course there are no “facts” regarding most future events, just opinions. Experts – especially people who are paid to be experts – often couch their statements as facts, but that doesn’t mean they’re sure to come true. And the Media? When I was young, a limited number of media outlets were the public’s primary source of information. There were three TV networks and four local stations – no more room on the dial – and until 1987 they were subject to the FCC’s Fairness Doctrine that required broadcasters to discuss controversial matters of public interest and air contrasting views. Edward R. Murrow, a TV news anchor, was one of America’s most respected men, and I often make reference to the time he said, “Anyone who isn’t confused doesn’t really understand the situation.” Walter Cronkite, Chet Huntley and David Brinkley were similarly trusted. Newspapers may have had Democratic or Republican leanings, but outside the editorial pages they largely avoided partisanship in covering events. The subsequent proliferation of cable TV networks set off powerful competition for viewers. A few chose to be full-time purveyors of news, along with some talk-radio stations. Rush Limbaugh, Roger Ailes and Rupert Murdoch realized that a big following – and big money – could result from highly partisan, even inflammatory, broadcasting. Radio “shock jocks” like Don Imus and Howard Stern chipped away at standards for language and demeanor, and news and talk shows emulated them. So now we have outspoken, boisterous speech, along with highly partisan messaging. These days the news media shows little resemblance to what it was 30, 40 or 50 years ago. Many outlets are highly biased to one side or the other and make it possible to read, watch and listen all day and never be exposed to all aspects of the issues. Thus most people find something to complain about in the media coverage of the 2016 presidential election. Today’s media personalities rarely express the confusion Murrow did. Rather, they tend to state forecasts as certainties. When do you hear a TV commentator say “I think” or “it seems to me”? In fact, they often remind me of the description of economists I heard in the 1970s: “portfolio managers who never mark to market.” That is, they find it easy to overlook the times when they’re wrong. In August or September of 2015, when Donald Trump was beginning to achieve success in his pursuit of the Republican nomination, a New York Times columnist flatly stated that because Trump couldn’t stand the prospect of losing, he would drop out of the race before the primaries began in January. We didn’t see that happen . . . or any further mention of his assertion. What to Do About the Media Given the nature of the candidates for the presidency, the starkness of the choice, and the recent trends in media coverage, I spent a great deal of time last year following political developments via websites, newspapers and television coverage. Most people I know did, and you may have as well. For many it became a preoccupation, even a mania. My son Andrew has helped me dope out the media effects: Following events makes people feel they’re actively involved in them and well informed. People think and act with more confidence when they consider themselves informed. But the media pundits often are no more insightful than the rest of us. And anyway, people tend to follow media outlets that confirm their beliefs rather than challenge them. Thus following the media experts, while entertaining, can be a waste of time intellectually. For these reasons, I greatly enjoyed an article that appeared in the Observer on November 16, a week after the election. It was entitled “Want to Really Make America Great Again? Stop Reading the News.” Ryan Holiday, its author, talked about what it’s like to be caught up in the news cycle. For a number of reasons, there has arisen in the media: . . . a system that needs more and more eyeballs for longer periods of time while gutting high-quality, reliable sources of information. We have more “news” but less original reporting than ever before, an order of magnitude more in the way of opinion and analysis, but as [author and academic] Tom Nichols has pointed out, somehow less expertise. Chuck Klosterman [a writer on American culture] once remarked at how strange it was to walk through the front offices of a football team and find that everyone there was watching ESPN. Didn’t they have better information than the average viewer or reporter? Turns out, no – they’re addicted to the same media we are and subject to the same groupthink. . . . Twitter isn’t designed to help you get in and out with the best information as quickly as possible – it’s supposed to suck you into either a contentious world of argument and debate or an echo chamber that reassures you everyone thinks like you do. . . . We’re “participating” in the ecosystem because it’s addicting and because we’re curious. So author Holiday came up with a useful prescription in response: It’s not that I am going underground or completely disconnecting from current events. It’s that I have decided I am no longer going to watch them develop in real time. I’m going to watch the Saints play every Sunday, [but] I’m not going to fool myself into thinking that tuning into “Sports Center” on Tuesday will help. A lot of people’s lives would be more tranquil and more productive if they accepted that what the media says about an upcoming event – and whether you watch or not – won’t have any impact on the outcome. What Do the Experts Know? One of the reasons I crafted this memo this way is so I would have a chance to return to a subject I introduced in 2015: the New York Post’s “NFL Bettor’s Guide.” Each week during football season, the Post’s eleven experts advise its readers as to which teams to bet on. Here’s how the experts did over the full 17-week season, covering 256 games: The best picker was right 55.1% of the time. The worst picker was right 48.8% of the time. On average the pickers were right 51.6% of the time. The experts further help readers by specifying up to three “best bets” each week. Here’s how they did on their strongest picks: The best picker was right 62.7% of the time. The worst picker was right 43.1% of the time. On average the pickers were right 54.0% of the time. The available observations from this data are as follows: The way the overall results are distributed around 50/50 suggests the experts’ process is little more than a coin toss. On average the experts were right just 2.4% more often on their “best bets” than on all their picks. Two of the experts did worse on their “best bets” than on their other picks. Eight of the eleven pickers were right more than half the time. But since it costs about 5% per week on average to bet with the bookies, virtually none of the eleven experts’ overall picks added value after fees (sound familiar?). Even the average of the experts’ “best bets” wouldn’t have produced a positive return after fees. Two additional observations: In week 16, all eleven of the experts predicted the favored New York Giants would beat the Philadelphia Eagles, and five of the eleven thought the underdog New York Jets would beat the New England Patriots (in both cases, after adjusting the scores for the “point spread” that the bookies impose to equalize the two teams’ chances of winning). When the games were played, the favored Giants lost by five points (meaning they did even worse after the 2½-point spread was subtracted from their score), and the Jets (who were expected to lose by 16½ points) lost by 38 instead. In other words, (a) the experts may have been heavily biased in favor of the New York teams and (b) they were wrong 73% of the time on these two games. Bettors also have the option to bet on the “over/under” in a game – that is, whether the two teams’ combined score will exceed or fall short of a threshold set by the bookies. It’s just another way for bettors to get “action.” The results show the experts were right in 128 games (52% of the time) and wrong in 123 (there were five ties). Again no value added, especially after fees. If economists won’t publish their performance data, the Post at least performs a service by showing how its football experts did. The bottom line is that their opinions are of little help, and the related coverage omits all discussion of their lack of predictive value. The Importance of the Macro Interest in “macro” has amped up meaningfully over the last dozen years or so. I think it largely started with the increased activism on the part of the Greenspan Fed, and investors’ heightened interest in it. Today many analysts seem preoccupied with central bank behavior, government actions, trends in interest rates and currencies, and the movement of markets, as opposed to the fortunes of individual companies. These things are almost all we hear about. And most people think knowledge regarding the outlook for them holds the key to investment success. Thus I want to make this a major topic here. Since I speak a lot to clients, prospects, CFA societies and student groups, I get a lot of chances to hear what’s on people’s minds. And usually they focus on a relatively small number of questions. Over the last few years, the ones I’ve gotten most often have been these: What month will the Fed raise interest rates? What could go wrong in the economy or the market? What inning are we in? And in each country I visit, how’s the outlook for that country? When will the Fed raise interest rates? – On May 22, 2013, in testimony to Congress, then Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke surprised the world by saying, “If we see continued improvement, and we have confidence that that is going to be sustained, in the next few meetings we could take a step down in our pace of purchases [of bonds]. . . .” By indicating the Fed could “taper” its bond buying – the quantitative easing that was an important part of its stimulus program – Bernanke was foreshadowing that interest rates, which had been suppressed for years, would begin to rise. Ever since then, people have been preoccupied with when interest rate increases would take place, and that’s the question I’ve been asked most often. My response has been consistent: How would I know, and why do you care? First, how would I know? I always point out that I’m not an economist or Fed watcher. And I don’t think economists or Fed watchers know the answer, either. No one consistently knows the timing of these things in advance, in particular because the Fed itself probably doesn’t know. But more importantly, why would anyone care? If I say December, I ask them, what actions would you take? And if I changed that to March, would you do something different? The idea that you would do something different with a March expectation rather than a December expectation ignores the likelihood that the expectation of a March rate rise would begin to be reflected in asset prices well before March. That means the likely date of a rate rise is not a very useful piece of information. What could go wrong? – For years it has felt to most people that we’ve been in a Goldilocks environment: neither too hot nor too cold. The economy hasn’t grown slowly enough to cause recession or deflation, or fast enough to bring on hyperinflation and the need for restrictive action. The markets have been strong enough to bode well, but not so strong as to suggest a bubble. Ditto for investor psychology. Most people don’t want to tempt fate by saying things will go well forever, and in fact they know they won’t. It’s just that they can’t decide what it is that will go wrong. The truth is that while I can enumerate them, the obvious candidates (changes in oil prices, interest rates, exchange rates, etc.) are likely to already be anticipated and largely priced in. It’s the surprises no one can anticipate that would move markets most if they were to happen. But (a) most people can’t imagine them and (b) most of the time they don’t happen. That’s why they’re called surprises. So I can guess at “improbable disasters” like acts of war, disinflation or a sudden seizing up of the economy, but they’re unlikely to happen, and I don’t know much more about them than anyone else. The greatest single influence of the last three years was doubtless the 75% decline in the price of oil from June 2014 to February 2016. But who predicted it? In my memo “It’s All Good” (July 2007), on the doorstep of the financial crisis, I insisted that the good times couldn’t roll on forever. But I didn’t know it was sub-prime mortgages that would be the catalyst for a turn for the worst, and when I listed my candidates, I ended with “the things I haven’t thought of.” That’s still about the best I can do . . . or most others, it seems. What inning are we in? – Perhaps no one can say just what it is that will ring the bell on today’s positive trends, but people still want to know how advanced we are in the process, and thus when it will come to an end. People began to ask me what inning we’re in during the financial crisis of 2008, and they’ve continued ever since. First of all – admittedly I’m being picky here – people rarely specify which game they’re asking about. Is it the economic recovery, the credit expansion, the string of low-default years, the upswing in investor psychology, or the stock market rise? Certainly the answer could be different for each. But, more importantly, the question assumes we know how long each game will go on. A standard baseball game consists of nine innings, so “second inning,” “sixth” or “ninth” has a clear meaning. But with the things we’re wondering about here, we never know how long the game will run. So rather than “what inning,” I’d suggest investors ask whether things are or are not in an extended state. Is psychology depressed, average or euphoric? Is the capital market shut tight, normal or unthinkingly generous? These are questions that can be answered in a helpful way, not how close the game is to being over. No one knows the answer to the latter. What’s the outlook for country xyz? – The bottom line for me here is that people tend to confuse general intelligence, good investment records, expertise in specific areas, and all-around insight. Thus I’ll reiterate that I’m no economist (and even if I were, my chances of being right would be limited). And then I’ll add that being experienced as an investor and even hopefully intelligent says nothing about being able to divine a specific country’s macro potential. After I spend a day or two in a country, people often ask for my conclusions. But in the course of my visits, I generally (a) visit only big cities, (b) meet only with financial types, and (c) spend more time answering questions than gathering information. In fact, on one recent visit I responded to the usual question by telling my audience that I hoped each member knew more about their country than I did. I sometimes gain visceral impressions of the countries I visit, but they’re usually data-lite and likely to come true only in the longest run, if at all. Implications of the Election Of course, the U.S. presidential election was the biggest story of 2016, and it brought me endless questions. Who would win? I’d read the same polls as everyone else, lived on the coasts, and reached the same conclusions. I could bring no unique insight on the basis of which to question the likelihood of a Clinton victory. How would the two candidates differ as president? It didn’t take any brilliance to conclude that a Clinton administration would be quite predictable and operate within rather narrow boundaries, while anything was possible from a Trump presidency – in some cases better than a Clinton one, but also with considerable potential for worse. I was in Australia on Election Day and just after, and questions about the implications started immediately. In fact, they’re what inspired me to write “Go Figure!” over the following weekend in Seoul. In it, I described the following questions as being open: How much of what Trump said while campaigning did he mean? How much of what he actually meant will he try to implement? And how much of what he tries to implement will he be able to effect? We still don’t have answers. As for the markets, it’s clear Trump intends to be a very pro-business president. But what actions he’ll take and whether they’ll succeed is very much up in the air. Of course, only nine weeks have elapsed since the election. Any expert who tells you what’s in store from the Trump administration – or from Britain’s departure from the EU; Italy without reform and Renzi; the Indian economy with 85% of its currency cancelled (the highest-denomination notes, 500 and 1000 rupees, were declared no longer legal tender in order to rein in corruption and the underground economy); or the coming elections in France and Germany – is talking through his hat. My Opinion of Opinions Since I’ve discussed these things at great length over the years, I‘ll try here to sum up succinctly: There are no facts about the future, just opinions. Anyone who asserts with conviction what he thinks will happen in the macro future is overstating his foresight, whether out of ignorance, hubris or dishonesty. Developments in economies, interest rates, currencies and markets aren’t the result of scientific processes. The involvement in them of people – with their emotions, foibles and biases – renders them highly unpredictable.As physicist Richard Feynman put it, “Imagine how much harder physics would be if electrons had feelings!” It’s one thing to have opinions on these subjects, but something very different to be confident they’re right (and act on them). Taking bold action based on forecasts of things that are uncertain isn’t just misguided; it’s dangerous. As Mark Twain said, “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble.It’s what you know for certain that just ain’t true.” Everyone at Oaktree has opinions on the macro. And when we see extremes in markets and, especially, capital market behavior, we’re apt to take strong action. But we’re highly aware of what we don’t know, and when conditions are moderate or indistinct, we don’t bet heavily. I’ll end this section by sharing my latest epiphany on the macro. I realized recently that in my early decades in the investment business, change came so slowly that people tended to think of the environment as a fixed context in which cycles played out regularly and dependably. But starting about twenty years ago – keyed primarily by the acceleration in technological innovation – things began to change so rapidly that the fixed-backdrop view may no longer be applicable. Now forces like technological developments, disruption, demographic change, political instability and media trends give rise to an ever-changing environment, as well as to cycles that no longer necessarily resemble those of the past. That makes the job of those who dare to predict the macro more challenging than ever. What about Facts? While I take a dim view of forecasts, and especially of opinions presented as facts, I do believe there are such things as facts. Unfortunately, however, the concept of “facts” is among the casualties of the increasingly partisan environment. Recently we have seen both the elevation in status of “non-facts,” as well as the tearing down of “real facts.” “Fake news” emerged as a significant issue in 2016. Some people believe it influenced the election. Ease of access to social media makes it quite simple to create and disseminate statements that others will believe, even if they’re total fabrications. The pizzeria fronting for a child-abuse ring led by Hillary Clinton is just one of 2016’s wilder examples. I expect to see continuing discussion of the proper role of social media in taking down untrue posts, and of the conflict between defending freedom of expression and preventing the publication of falsehoods. At the same time, I’m concerned about the disappearance of real facts. Nowadays it seems almost anything can be characterized as questionable. There’s broad agreement among scientists that humans play a significant role in climate change – as there is among sitting world leaders – and yet we hear this idea dismissed as “a matter of opinion.” The other day I heard a former U.S. Senator who now leads a policy think tank describe as “fake news” a Congressional Budget Office report with which his organization takes issue. If the non-partisan CBO isn’t accepted as objective and truthful, who will be? In a time of raging partisanship, disrespect for experts, and drastically debased standards for discourse, is there such a thing as a fact? Can there be no distinction between opinion, fact and fake fact? Can there be a figure everyone trusts, another Edward R. Murrow? Can any statement be safe from disparagement even though it’s not 100% measurable and provable? Is history subject to unlimited revision if there are no video images? What will our grandchildren be taught is the meaning of the word “true”? What authorities will they trust? We certainly live in interesting times. The Last Word To close, I’ll weave together a few recent inputs: First, I had dinner with Warren Buffett about a year ago, and he pointed out that for a piece of information to be worth pursuing, it should be important, and it should be knowable. These days, investors are clamoring more than ever for insights regarding the macro future, because it’s important: it moves markets. But there’s a hitch: Warren and I both consider these things largely unknowable. He rarely bases his investment actions on them, and neither does Oaktree. Second, I want to include a final paragraph from the Observer article about the media that I mentioned earlier. I think it’s golden: “If you wish to improve,” Epictetus [first-century Greek philosopher] once said, “be content to appear clueless or stupid in extraneous matters.” One of the most powerful things we can do as a human being in our hyperconnected, 24/7 media world is say: “I don’t know.” Or more provocatively, “I don’t care.” Not about everything, of course – just most things. Because most things don’t matter, and most news stories aren’t worth tracking. (Emphasis added) Finally, I want to describe a great phone call I received this past spring, from a sell-side economist I worked with in the early ’70s and have stayed in touch with since. “You’ve changed my life,” he said. “I’ve stopped making forecasts. I study data and report on my inferences. But I no longer express opinions about the future.” Mission accomplished. Bonus section: I’ve been collecting (and recycling) quotations for almost forty years, more of them concerning forecasts than anything else. Here are five of the very best. Together they say virtually everything that has to be said on the subject: We have two classes of forecasters: Those who don’t know – and those who don’t know they don’t know. – John Kenneth Galbraith No amount of sophistication is going to allay the fact that all of your knowledge is about the past and all your decisions are about the future. – Ian Wilson (former GE executive) Forecasts create the mirage that the future is knowable. – Peter Bernstein Forecasts usually tell us more of the forecaster than of the future. – Warren Buffett I never think of the future – it comes soon enough. – Albert Einstein
ON JANUARY 17th shareholders of Liberty Media Corporation, an American firm controlled by John Malone, a billionaire, are expected to approve a transaction that many hail as the sports deal of the decade. In September 2016 Liberty agreed to buy the Formula One (F1) motor-racing franchise from CVC, a private-equity group, for $8bn. F1, which generates annual revenue of $1.8bn, is now central to Liberty’s global plans: in a sign of the importance he attaches to the deal, Mr Malone has installed Chase Carey, a former president of Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox, as F1 chairman. The main Liberty subsidiary is to be renamed Formula One Group. The deal has lots of attractions. For F1 it offers a potential solution to the problem of who will take over from Bernie Ecclestone, its 86-year-old impresario. There was no credible succession plan for the man whose wheeling and dealing has long held together the sport and its fractious collection of racing teams. With Mr Carey leading the search, there could be. As for Liberty, F1 offers the sort of live, exclusive content it needs to lock in audiences that are peeling off to on-demand streaming...
The current political debate about press regulation offers no guide of how to deal with power increasingly concentrated in the hands of internet giants and Rupert MurdochIt was this newspaper’s revelations of phone hacking by parts of the tabloid press that led in 2011 to Lord Justice Leveson’s inquiry into the “culture, practices and ethics” of an industry. The judge heard striking testimony from victims of media mistreatment, many of whom had awful tales of prolonged harassment and gross invasions of privacy. The airing of illegal practices carried out by the press over years led to very public criminal trials. Individuals went to jail. This seems the right way to do things: journalists expose wrongdoing; the agitation it produces is submitted to; and existing criminal and civil law processes kicked in to administer justice. There was a twist. Leveson clearly thought that parts of the press were out of control, and unresisted pressure built up for collective punishment.What we have ended up with is a form of press regulation – enabled by a medieval piece of constitutional nonsense, the royal charter – consisting of small carrots and big sticks. Newspapers can sign up to a state-approved regulator. The only one endorsed so far is Impress, which is hardly independent given it is funded by Max Mosley, a wealthy victim of press intrusion into his sex life. Impress has distinctly unimpressed, failing to attract any significant national or local news outlets. The sanction has been smuggled into section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act. Those that refuse to join a system of regulation would be subjected to a form of unnatural justice: non-cooperative newspapers face paying the legal costs of both sides even in cases they win. This would have a deeply chilling effect on investigative journalism and help make the wealthy and powerful unaccountable. Editors would be forced to think long and hard before confronting anyone with deep pockets, never mind taking on dozens of millionaires who were outed by this newspaper when it published the hidden offshore tax affairs of the super-rich in the Panama Papers. In cases involving national security, where deep source protection sits at the heart of a story, the result would be not just a colder climate but a freezing one. Continue reading...
President-elect Trump reportedly asked Rupert Murdoch to name picks for the FCC chair. But will she support net neutrality? (DOMINICK REUTER/AFP/Getty Images) The changing of administrations offers a fresh chance for Washington to rethink net neutrality. While it’s easy to find faults with the prior regime, it is hard to articulate [...]
On the same morning that Donald Trump blasted Meryl Streep, he singled out Rupert Murdoch for praise, tweeting that the media mogul "likes me."
Британский телеканал Sky News прервал вещание после того, как журналистка The Guardian Полли Тойнби начала обсуждать в эфире покупку канала миллиардером Рупертом Мердоком. Гостья назвала неслучайным то, что премьер-министр Великобритании Тереза Мэй дала дала Sky интервью на фоне борьбы Мердока за канал.
Ведущий Sky News прервал прямое вещание из-за критики в отношении акционера и потенциального владельца британского телеканала – американского медиамагната Руперта Мердока, компания которого – 21th Century Fo – в декабре объявила о покупке Sky Plc за 11,7 млрд фунтов стерлингов (14,6 млрд долларов), сообщают СМИ. По словам журналиста газеты The Guardian Полли Тойнби, важен тот факт, что Тереза Мэй выбрала для своего интервью именно Sky. «Это может оказаться важным, ведь сейчас Руперт Мердок пытается захватить контроль над Sky», – цитирует РИА «Новости» Тойнби со ссылкой на The Independent. После этой реплики ведущий эфира прервал обсуждение и пообещал «вернуться к дискуссии по другим вопросам после короткой паузы». Напомним, в декабре газета ВЗГЛЯД подробно сообщала о том, к каким последствиям для Европы может привести покупка телекомпании Sky олигархом Рупертом Мердоком.
Британская пресса считается одной из самых «острых» в мире. Журналистов не пугают ни гнев чиновников, ни судебные иски звезд шоу-бизнеса, ни реакция мирового сообщества. Тем болезненнее было встречено сообщение о новой идее правительства страны. Власти Великобритании намерены создать новый орган по контролю за СМИ. Эксперты и правозащитники воспринимают проект не иначе как введение цензуры. «Для […]
Martin Kemp tells the story behind the Thin White Duke’s legendary hit. Elsewhere Tristram Hunt remembers Victorian historian Asa BriggsOne of the features of recordings that qualify for the “legendary” tag is that there seems no end to the anecdotes surrounding why they turned out this way rather than that. In Exploring Life On Mars? (Monday, 10pm, Radio 2) we hear David Bowie’s demo of the English lyrics he wrote for the French hit Comme D’Habitude in 1968. This must have been the cheapest demo ever: to save session fees Bowie actually sang over the original. His lyrics weren’t taken up. Instead they decided to use Paul Anka’s, which is how the English version came to be My Way. Bowie was rueful, because he thought he’d missed out on a once in a lifetime windfall. He thought he’d make up for it by writing a big ballad for his next album. Which is how Life On Mars? ended up on 1971’s Hunky Dory, the sleeve note explaining it was “inspired by Frankie”. The presenter of this exploration is Martin Kemp. The heavy lifting is done by producer Tris Penna, who calls upon Rick Wakeman, who played piano on the record, Ken Scott, who produced it, plus old friends Wendy Kirby and Dana Gillespie, who remember when Bowie was just another scuffling hopeful.Asa Briggs: The Last Victorian Improver (Saturday, 8pm, Radio 4) is Tristram Hunt’s account of the life and legacy of the great historian of the Victorian era who died in 2016. This includes his 1951 road trip round Syria and Turkey in a Ford Zephyr with his student, one Rupert Murdoch. It also has recorded contributions from other distinguished grammar school peers such as Denis Healey, who modestly explains, “I went into Parliament to stop the third world war. I don’t know if you’ve noticed but I’ve succeeded.” Continue reading...
Fox News host Tucker Carlson will take over Megyn Kelly’s 9 p.m. time slot, the network announced Thursday. Carlson, a veteran conservative journalist and commentator, joined Fox News in 2009 as a contributor after previously hosting shows on MSNBC and CNN. He launched news and opinion site The Daily Caller the following year, and in 2013, stepped up to co-host the weekend edition of “Fox & Friends.” Since Kelly, widely seen as the future of Fox News, announced Tuesday she was leaving Fox News for NBC News, there’s been speculation that the network would want another woman hosting the coveted 9 p.m. slot between ratings leader Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity. Also, Carlson had only been in the 7 p.m. slot, vacated by Greta Van Susteren, since November. It’s a rapid rise for Carlson, though he has quickly succeeded with his show in producing strong ratings, sparking debate and generating viral moments ― metrics prized by cable news executives. “In less than two months, Tucker has taken cable news by storm with his spirited interviews and consistently strong performance,” Rupert Murdoch, executive chairman of Fox News parent company 21st Century Fox, said in a statement. “Viewers have overwhelmingly responded to the show and we look forward to him being a part of Fox News’ powerful primetime line-up.” Carlson’s show has averaged 2.8 million viewers since its launch and last month ranked 2nd in the key 25-54 demographic, behind only O’Reilly. He’s also generated plenty of headlines already. Carlson got New York Times public editor Liz Spayd to agree with him that some of the paper’s political reporters’ tweets had crossed a line and sparred with Newsweek’s Kurt Eichenwald and Teen Vogue’s Lauren Duca. She called Carlson a “partisan hack,” while he dismissively suggested she write about fashion instead of politics. Carlson, who made media criticism a recurring part of his Fox News show, had once been a highly regarded magazine writer for publications like New York and Esquire, as well as the conservative Weekly Standard. He later shifted to television punditry and served as the bowtie-clad conservative host on CNN’s partisan slugfest “Crossfire.” Jon Stewart famously appeared on the show in 2004 and urged Carlson and liberal host Paul Begala to “stop hurting America.” The show was canceled months later. In 2005, Carlson began hosting an evening show on MSNBC, which was canceled three years later as the network veered left in primetime. Carlson drew jeers from the conservative faithful at the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2009 for speaking favorably about The New York Times and suggested there needed to be better fact-based reporting from newsrooms on the right. But Carlson has also criticized the Times, and the news media more broadly, as being disconnected from much of the country. “Everybody in journalism — black, white, Hispanic, Asian — they’re all from exactly the same culture,” he told HuffPost in 2013. “They’re all coastal. They’re all secular. They’ve never held a gun before. They also have the same — they’re all pro-choice. They’re all pro gay rights. That’s fine. But the net effect is an echo chamber.” By promoting Carlson to 9 p.m., Fox News has shifted to a primetime line-up that ranges from sympathetic to president-elect Donald Trump to outright cheerleading. Kelly, who prompted tirades from Trump after she challenged his sexist comments during a Republican debate, didn’t boost his candidacy in 2016 and frequently booked critics on her show. Meanwhile, Trump frequently turned to Hannity for softball interviews throughout the election. Carlson wasn’t a Trump mouthpiece, like Hannity, but has repeatedly criticized so-called elites, and especially those in the news media, as being out of touch with Americans who voted for Trump. “In Washington,” he said last month, “no one believes anything unless it comes from The New Yorker, New York Times editorial page, or The Washington Post.” The Drudge Report first reported the news of Carlson’s promotion, which was confirmed soon after in a press release. Fox News also announced that afternoon host Martha MacCallum will move to 7 p.m. to host a new program, “The First 100 Days.” She’ll co-anchor Fox News’ inauguration coverage with chief political anchor Bret Baier too. “Martha is a versatile and skilled anchor who has proven to be an essential component of our news programming,” Murdoch said. “For the last 12 years, our viewers have trusted her reporting and we are pleased she will be part of our primetime line-up for the first 100 days of the new presidency.” This post has been updated with more details on Carlson’s career and statements from Fox News. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
His ascension to primetime ensures that the core of Fox News Channel's lineup is reliably conservative.
The billionaires and millionaires who white "working-class" people (we're told) voted overwhelmingly to put in charge of Washington have already signaled they intend to use the power of the federal government to wage class warfare against their constituents. The Republican assault on the social safety net will go far beyond repealing the Affordable Care Act and is already taking aim at Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. Representative Tom Price, the Georgia Republican who Trump nominated to be Secretary of Health and Human Services, has a long history in Congress trying to roll back these vital social insurance programs. In a recent speech, Price voiced his displeasure with the "small number of automatic spending programs like Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, which are not subject to annual appropriations." He wants to turn these insurance programs that are funded by payroll taxes with workers and employers both contributing, into "welfare" programs that his department and the Republican Congress can systematically dismantle. On the campaign trail, Trump assured voters he would defend Social Security knowing that calls for gutting it are extremely unpopular even in Trumpland. Millions of struggling working-class Americans depend on Social Security for a lifeline. And since more children are living with their grandparents privatizing it will be like stealing from the elderly, disabled, orphans and children all at the same time. Trump's promises contradict the draconian budgets that Price, who chaired the Budget Committee, and House Speaker Paul Ryan have put forward in recent years. There might be an area of disagreement between Trump, Price, and Ryan on Social Security. But as with everything else, we can't trust a word that comes out of any of their mouths The harmony among Trump and the 115th Congress comes in their quest to de-regulate every corporate special interest they can get away with including banks and credit card companies, food and drug companies, oil and gas companies, Internet Service Providers, and so on and on, leaving workers and consumers to fend for themselves. In an era when we've seen predatory behavior from corporations like Mylan (with its Epipen price gouging) and Wells Fargo (with its fraudulent accounts ripping off unwitting customers), and numerous other examples (including the massive Wall Street fraud that produced the meltdown of 2008), the Republicans' ideological commitment to vague notions of "deregulation" as a panacea for our economic woes is as stubborn as ever. When the economy is in a downturn the Republicans say "times are bad we must cut taxes and deregulate"; when the economy is growing and unemployment is relatively low, they say "times are good we must cut taxes and deregulate." It's pure ideology. The last time around when the Republicans controlled the House, the Senate, and the presidency (2003-2007) they cut taxes while launching wars that cost a trillion dollars, doubled the national debt, gave away $400 billion to their big donors among pharmaceutical companies, and presided over the worst financial crisis and recession since the Great Depression. The longest serving Republican House Speaker in U.S. history (Dennis Hastert) was later convicted for illegal pay-outs to hide his pedophilia, and Majority Leader Tom DeLay and his friend Jack Abramoff redefined the meaning of "influence peddling" on K Street. Today, the 115th Congress is gearing up to enact the same misguided policies that failed the country so miserably under George W. Bush -- but this time on steroids. Overreach is baked into their ideology. They simply cannot contain their greed. And the Republicans' blind hatred of everything Obama and their zeal to undo everything he accomplished over the past eight years might lead them to discover at some point that the first black president they loathed so much put in place some smart policies that lowered the costs of health care, stabilized the federal budget, and kept us out wars. In 2016, the Republicans brought us a new reality. "Gaslighting" became institutionalized. Instead of having a public debate about the ideas of the candidates and realistically parsing their policy proposals we got bizarre denials of fact and Big Lies that boomeranged back into the discourse in ways that challenged reality itself. One thing we've learned from the Trump juggernaut is that lying works, and lying bigly works even better. As with the run-up to the Iraq War in 2002 the corporate news media in 2016, cable news shows, the networks, and even major news outlets, proved totally unequipped to deal with the new order of things or defend the norms of democratic governance. The editor of the Wall Street Journal has even given up trying to fact check Trump's liars and gaslighters giving them an open platform for their propaganda; no Edward R. Murrows there. When Beltway reporters allow powerful people to come on their shows and lie to them with impunity, and then leave it to their viewers to sort out fact from fiction, we see how low American political "journalism" has sunk. Those in power labor tirelessly to deconstruct our political reality and corporate news media have been their greatest enablers. The same business model that motivated those Macedonian teens who flooded pro-Trump sites with false stories for click bait and eyeballs also animates Jeff Zucker at CNN, Leslie Moonves at CBS, and Rupert Murdoch at Fox. There is one area that might allow for a little pushback against the lies and gaslighting and that's the courts, law schools, and the legal system generally. Despite the inherent injustices between rich and poor in the justice system it still largely exists in the fact-based world. Lawyers can twist and misinterpret the law and the meaning of words but it's much harder to gaslight or to outright lie. In fact, there's even a crime called perjury to dissuade people from lying in court. A court even forced Trump to pay out $25 million to settle the fraud case involving his bogus for-profit eponymous "University." Trump's lawyers didn't try to gaslight their way out of his fraud case - they chose to settle. And Trump's usual tactic of smearing people who challenge him as he did with Judge Gonzalo Curiel failed to make the case disappear. For now, the legal system still functions in the world of facts largely because a lot of rich and powerful people and corporations need it to function that way. How else could Disney or ExxonMobil or Apple or JPMorgan Chase protect their bottom lines, their property and patent rights, their contracts and business dealings if the courts partook in the same kind of crazy-making and gaslighting PR departments and Trump surrogates engage in every day? With the potential conflicts of interest that are already piling up on the Trump White House there might be opportunities for the courts and the legal system generally to re-infuse facts and "reality" back into the wider political discourse. The challenge of the coming period will be to try to hold Trump and his minions accountable to the same fact-based legal standards that forced him to settle the Trump University fraud case. A key battle shaping up will be over the federal courts and whether they too can be dragged into the new Idiocracy. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
Европейский парламент готовится к обсуждению странного вопроса: "стоит ли разделить компанию Google на несколько отдельных сервисов?" У американских коллег сама идея вызывает все возможные негативные эмоции - от недоумения до негодования. Показать "Кузькину мать" Европарламент не способен разрушить Google. В конце концов, штаб-квартира компании находится в США, и кроме американских властей структуру ее бизнеса никто не может изменить. Но в Европе продолжается антимонопольное расследование деятельности Google, в рамках которого политики и чиновники придумывают новые способы ограничения экспансии американцев на своей территории. На таком фоне действия Европарламента являются скорее намеком на продолжение преследования зарубежного интернет-гиганта. Законотворцы могут поддержать идею отделения поисковика Google от других фирменных сервисов. Если это произойдет, американцы должны получить четкий сигнал, отражающий позицию властей Евросоюза. До сих пор центральное место в расследовании занимали именно антимонопольщики из Еврокомиссии. В Америке на выпад со стороны европейцев уже отреагировали сразу два правительственных комитета. Их представители, сенаторы Рон Уайден и Оррин Хэтч заявили: "Это предложение и другие подобные ему идеи способствуют строительству стен, а не мостов. При этом не учитываются в полной мере те негативные эффекты, которые могут навредить торговым отношениям США и ЕС". В США считают, что Европа нарушает принцип открытых рынков. Говорится также о "политизации" процесса. Действующие лица Интересно, что против разделения Google выступает Гюнтер Эттингер. Да, тот самый Гюнтер Эттингер, который раньше отвечал за энергетику и присутствовал на переговорах между Украиной и Россией по газу. Теперь он еврокомиссар по вопросам цифровых технологий. Эттингер уверен, что бить Google на части никто не будет. Кто же тогда решил голосовать? Это Андреас Шваб, представитель консервативного крыла Европарламента и испанец Рамон Тремоза, представляющий интересы Каталонии. Эти политики утверждают, что усилия Еврокомиссии пока не оправдали себя, а поведение Google на рынке Старого Света напоминает монополизм. "До сих пор Google отказывалась придумать какие-либо идеи, способные изменить ситуацию и снять претензии со стороны Еврокомиссии. Вместо этого компания продолжала вести дела как ей заблагорассудится. Таким образом она давит на конкурентную среду, что вредит европейским потребителям и бизнесу", - считают Шваб и Тремоза. Ссылки по теме Мердок: "Google – шайка пиратов" Европа забывает, Google хочет вспомнить все Google наконец договорилась с европейскими властями В самой Еврокомиссии произошли перестановки. Хоакин Альмуния отправился в отставку, и его место заняла Маргрете Вестегер. Интересно, какую позицию займет она и как далеко готова будет пойти ради обеспечения свободной конкуренции на интернет-рынке в том виде, в каком эту конкуренцию видят консерваторы из Европарламента. Битва за правду или зависть? В данный момент 90% поисковых запросов в Европе приходится на Google. В 2010г. конкуренты подали жалобу на американского игрока, объявив, что он мешает им развиваться. Речь идет в частности о рекламе и выгодном положении партнеров в поисковых результатах. Напомним, что ранее медиа-магнат Руперт Мердок сделал громкое заявление по поводу Google. С помощью исполнительного директора News Corp Роберта Томсона он попытался донести до антимонопольных органов мысль о том, что Google отдает предпочтение своим сайтам-партнерам. Если пользователь вбивает запрос в поисковик, то якобы получает именно те результаты, которые принесут Google максимальное количество денег. Подобные претензии озвучивались и раньше, но News Corp сформулировала их, пожалуй, максимально жестко. Отметим, что Google все-таки пытается найти мирное решение. Так в начале этого года компания согласилась выводить в результатах поиска рекламные объявления, предоставляемые конкурентами.
Они добились успеха в бизнесе и инвестициях, и теперь пытаются протолкнуть свои и чужие политические идеи в политической системе США. В нашем списке самые влиятельные миллиардеры-политики Америки. 20.Элис Уолтон Элис Уолтон - наследница богатства крупнейшей в мире розничной сети Wal-Mart, пусть и не единственная. Уолтон вполне открыто поддерживает Хиллари Клинтон и вложилась в так называемый "PAC" (Комитет политических действий) под названием "Ready for Hillary". 19.Дональд Трамп Владелец конгломерата The Trump Organization и король американского сектора недвижимости Дональд Трамп, как и многие представители большого бизнеса, придерживается республиканских взглядов. Напомним, что Республиканская партия поддерживает наиболее мягкую налоговую политику в отношении богачей. 18.Марк Андрессен Инвестор-миллиардер Марк Андрессен уверен, что будущее за Республиканской партией США. Он поддерживал кандидата от республиканцев Митта Ромни на президентских выборах 2012г. В данный момент Андрессен инвестриует в широкий спектр активов, многие из которых будут влиять и на политический фон. Стоит вспомнить хотя бы о криптовалюте bitcoin. 17.Питер Дж. Питерсон Питерсон был министром торговли при Ричарде Никсоне, а теперь управляет мощным фондом. Миллиардер ратует за уменьшение государственного долга, и с помощью Peter G. Peterson Foundation основал такие организации, направленные на борьбу с долгами США как Fix the Debt и Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. 16.Поль Зингер Поль Зингер - бизнесмен с партийным билетом. Он консервативный республиканец, но выступает за однополые браки. Именно эта идея стала для него центральной в политической деятельности. С помощью организации American Unity он вложил $2 млн в поддержку республиканцев, которые также выступают за однополые браки. Главный актив Зингера - Elliott Management Corporation. 15.Арт Поуп Бывший председатель бюджетного комитета Северной Каролины и преуспевающий бизнесмен Арт Поуп вложил миллионы долларов в продвижение своих политических идей. В первую очередь, речь идет о свободном рынке, который Поуп считает основной составляющей успешной экономики. Арт Поуп также республиканец. 14.Пьер и Памела Омидьяр Семья иранского происхождения, которая добилась успеха в США, вкладывает существенные средства в продвижение идеи прозрачности и открытости. Пьер и Памела интересуются также вопросами прав на собственность и экономического развития. 13.Джефф и Макинзи Безос Кто бы мог подумать, что руководство Amazon.com может интересоваться политикой. Однако Джефф Безос недавно приобрел издание Washington Post и вложил $2,5 млн в поддержку однополых браков. Напомним, что этот вопрос в США остается одним из наиболее острых в области внутренней политики. 12.Марк Цукерберг И снова миллиардер из высокотехнологического сектора, который интересуется политикой. Марк Цукерберг совместно с организацией FWD.us работает над иммиграционной реформой, а в Нью-Джерси проталкивает реформу начального образования. Напомним, что самому владельцу Facebook в настоящий момент всего 30 лет. 11.Питер Тиль Питерь Тиль, известный инвестор, владелец хэдж-фондов и сооснователь PayPal, вложил $2,6 млн в предвыборную кампанию в 2012г., деньги получил Рон Пол, который вылетел из гонки во время праймериз. В последнее время Тиль активно выступает в пользу увеличения минимального размера оплаты труда. 10.Уоррен Баффет Миллиардер Баффет, владелец знаменитого Berkshire Hathaway, сыграл важную роль в политике США после избрания Барака Обамы на пост президента. Уоррен Баффет выступает за ограничение власти богачей, увеличение налогов для них, и собирается расстаться с большей частью своего богатства в рамках The Giving Pledge ("Клятва дарения"). 9.Пенни Прицкер Пенни Прицкер была министром торговли и одним из главных лоббистов идей Барака Обамы. Кроме того, Прицкер является сооснователем PSP Capital Partners, Pritzker Realty Group и еще ряда крупных фирм, что придает ее голосу значимость, когда речь заходит о внутренней политике. 8.Джон и Лора Арнольд Джон Арнольд управлял крупным хэдж-фондом, и фокусировался на инвестициях в газовые активы а потом стал филантропом. Правда, не каждый найдет желание помочь людям в его стремлении добиться сокращения пенсий и добиться роста финансовой нагрузки для работников предприятий. 7.Билл и Мелинда Гейтс The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation - один из самых авторитетных благотворительных фондов, инвестирующих в борьбу с болезнями и бедностью в развивающихся странах, в частности, в Африканских. Также основатель Microsoft и его супруга сражаются за реформирование американской системы образования и легализацию однополых браков. 6.Руперт Мердок Руперт Мердок контролирует Wall Street Journal и Fox News - это важнейшие поставщики политических и экономических новостей. Таким образом, Мердок сосредоточил в своих руках активы, способные задавать новостной тон и влиять на настроения в обществе. Кроме того, Руперт Мердок сотрудничает с Bloomberg по вопросу иммиграционной реформы. 5.Джордж Сорос Джордж Сорос открыто лоббирует идеи демократов. Он потратил $1 млн в 2012г. на поддержку Барака Обамы на выборах. Кроме того, Сорос в данный момент является сопредседателем комитета политических действий "Ready for Hillary". 4.Шелдон Эделсон Наша жизнь - игра, и один из королей игорного бизнеса Шелдон Эделсон активно вкладывает средства в политику. Он потратил $93 млн, чтобы "победить Барака Обаму". Речь, конечно, не о том, что бизнесмен надеялся участвовать в выборах, а о поддержке республиканцев, которые "выполняют свои обещания". На следующих выборах Эделсон инвестирует в кампанию вдвое больше. 3.Том Стейер Стейер - сооснователь и один из руководителей фонда Farallon Capital Management. Он также основал несколько банков. Помимо бизнеса Тома Стейера интересуют вопросы охраны окружающей среды, и он активно лоббирует соответствующие идеи в политической среде. 2.Майкл Блумберг Бывший мэр Нью-Йорка и основатель агентства Bloomberg Майкл Блумберг активно борется с бесконтрольным распространением оружия. Он инвестировал $50 млн в противодействие организации NRA, которая как раз пытается добиться свободной торговли оружием на всей территории США, делая отсылку ко Второй поправке к Конституции. 1.Чарльз и Дэвид Кох Братья Кох инвестировали $30 млн в программу, которая выявляет слабые стороны демократов. Это специальная рекламная кампания, навредившая тем политикам, которым есть что скрывать. К следующим выборам общий объем инвестиций в эту программу семья Кох собирается довести до $290 млн. Еще одной жертвой стала программа здравоохранения "Obamacare".