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Стивен Шварцман
24 февраля, 13:00

Trump and the forgotten workers: 'We want to be treated fairly' – video

Strikers at Momentive, a New York chemical plant partially owned by Donald Trump’s billionaire ‘jobs czar’ Stephen Schwarzman, had been hoping for a better deal under Trump. But after 105 days of industrial reaction, they are returning to an uncertain future, one shared by many blue collar workers in the US Continue reading...

13 февраля, 03:55

Trump reviews top White House staff after tumultuous start

Michael Flynn is under fire, but he’s not the only one about whom Trump is voicing his doubts.

04 февраля, 02:15

From Atop The Government, Trump Takes Care Of 'Friends'

function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); During his presidential campaign, Donald Trump was fond of telling anecdotes about anonymous “friends” of his to help illustrate his policy positions. There were his farmer friends, for example, struggling under the burden of regulations. And his manufacturer friends, who didn’t like paying corporate taxes. At the time, Trump’s stated desire to help these friends seemed to serve as a metaphor for his desire to help America at large. But on Friday, Trump got more specific, telling a group of CEOs at the White House how ― now that he’s president ― he is, in fact, using his authority to help his friends. “We expect to be cutting a lot out of Dodd-Frank, because frankly, I have so many people, friends of mine, that have nice businesses and they can’t borrow money,” Trump said. “They just can’t get any money, because the banks just won’t let them borrow, because of the rules and regulations in Dodd-Frank.” The landmark consumer protection bill known as the Dodd-Frank Act was passed in response to the 2008 financial crisis. It requires the nation’s biggest banks to submit to greater scrutiny, and to keep enough capital on hand to make sure taxpayers never again have to cover the institutions’ losses. Banks have complained for years that the new capital requirements and stress tests make it impossible for them to lend as much money as they’d like to. Trump was speaking at a meeting of the President’s Strategic and Policy Forum, a group of 18 business leaders who have agreed to advise the president on economic issues. The group is chaired by Blackstone CEO Stephen Schwarzman, and includes chief executives from many of the nation’s largest companies, among them Walmart, Boeing, IBM and PepsiCo. After brief remarks from Schwarzman, Trump told an extraordinary story about how he’d tried to get spots for his friends on the prestigious forum, but Schwarzman told the president that his friends were, essentially, too sleazy to appoint to the group. “So many people who are friends of mine, in big business, they wanted to be on the committee. And I’d call Steve and say, ‘Steve, can we get so-and-so [on the committee]?’” Trump said. “’Nope, we’ve got enough,’” the president said Schwarzman would tell him. “Every once in a while, I’d call and say, ‘How about this one?’” Trump went on. “[And Schwarzman would say,] ‘No, Donald, he’s a corporate raider. These people don’t want to be sitting [on the president’s committee] with corporate raiders.’” The group laughed nervously. “Five raiders that wanted to come on here,” Trump boasted, before pointing to Schwarzman. “But he’s been very, very selective.” With that, the group began introducing themselves around the table. The anecdote was fascinating in that it offered a window on two different aspects of Trump’s presidency. The first is the former real estate developer’s willingness, as president of the United States, to do favors for his friends, and his apparent lack of qualms about appointing his “corporate raider” buddies to a presidential commission. The other interesting element of Trump’s story was that Schwarzman evidently overruled him by arguing that Trump’s commission would lose prestige if the president named people to it who’d made their fortunes in controversial ways. Schwarzman was right, but Trump is known to have very little patience for people who tell him “no.” However, it seems that when Schwarzman framed it as a question of prestige, Trump acquiesced. Mind you, Schwarzman didn’t say that the advice Trump would receive from the CEOs would be any less valuable if there were a junk bond king sitting on the panel. Or even that the press might ask questions about why someone with a questionable business background, and a close friendship with Trump, was sitting next to the CEO of Walmart. No, it was all about how such a move would look to the kind of people Trump hoped to have on his panel. As Trump continues to seek out qualified people for his administration, his friends are likely to stay on the front burner. Chances are, it will be up to his staff, and informal advisers like Schwarzman, to draw the line for the president. Earlier this week, Miami real estate tycoon Jorge Perez recounted how Trump recently sent him an email with plans for the administration’s notorious border wall with Mexico. Perez has worked with Trump to build Trump-branded towers in Florida for years. Now the president was asking Perez if he’d like to be part of the official effort to build the wall. Perez declined the offer, telling Bloomberg News, “The wall is the most idiotic thing I’ve ever seen or heard in my life.” -- 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.

04 февраля, 02:15

From Atop The Government, Trump Takes Care Of 'Friends'

function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); During his presidential campaign, Donald Trump was fond of telling anecdotes about anonymous “friends” of his to help illustrate his policy positions. There were his farmer friends, for example, struggling under the burden of regulations. And his manufacturer friends, who didn’t like paying corporate taxes. At the time, Trump’s stated desire to help these friends seemed to serve as a metaphor for his desire to help America at large. But on Friday, Trump got more specific, telling a group of CEOs at the White House how ― now that he’s president ― he is, in fact, using his authority to help his friends. “We expect to be cutting a lot out of Dodd-Frank, because frankly, I have so many people, friends of mine, that have nice businesses and they can’t borrow money,” Trump said. “They just can’t get any money, because the banks just won’t let them borrow, because of the rules and regulations in Dodd-Frank.” The landmark consumer protection bill known as the Dodd-Frank Act was passed in response to the 2008 financial crisis. It requires the nation’s biggest banks to submit to greater scrutiny, and to keep enough capital on hand to make sure taxpayers never again have to cover the institutions’ losses. Banks have complained for years that the new capital requirements and stress tests make it impossible for them to lend as much money as they’d like to. Trump was speaking at a meeting of the President’s Strategic and Policy Forum, a group of 18 business leaders who have agreed to advise the president on economic issues. The group is chaired by Blackstone CEO Stephen Schwarzman, and includes chief executives from many of the nation’s largest companies, among them Walmart, Boeing, IBM and PepsiCo. After brief remarks from Schwarzman, Trump told an extraordinary story about how he’d tried to get spots for his friends on the prestigious forum, but Schwarzman told the president that his friends were, essentially, too sleazy to appoint to the group. “So many people who are friends of mine, in big business, they wanted to be on the committee. And I’d call Steve and say, ‘Steve, can we get so-and-so [on the committee]?’” Trump said. “’Nope, we’ve got enough,’” the president said Schwarzman would tell him. “Every once in a while, I’d call and say, ‘How about this one?’” Trump went on. “[And Schwarzman would say,] ‘No, Donald, he’s a corporate raider. These people don’t want to be sitting [on the president’s committee] with corporate raiders.’” The group laughed nervously. “Five raiders that wanted to come on here,” Trump boasted, before pointing to Schwarzman. “But he’s been very, very selective.” With that, the group began introducing themselves around the table. The anecdote was fascinating in that it offered a window on two different aspects of Trump’s presidency. The first is the former real estate developer’s willingness, as president of the United States, to do favors for his friends, and his apparent lack of qualms about appointing his “corporate raider” buddies to a presidential commission. The other interesting element of Trump’s story was that Schwarzman evidently overruled him by arguing that Trump’s commission would lose prestige if the president named people to it who’d made their fortunes in controversial ways. Schwarzman was right, but Trump is known to have very little patience for people who tell him “no.” However, it seems that when Schwarzman framed it as a question of prestige, Trump acquiesced. Mind you, Schwarzman didn’t say that the advice Trump would receive from the CEOs would be any less valuable if there were a junk bond king sitting on the panel. Or even that the press might ask questions about why someone with a questionable business background, and a close friendship with Trump, was sitting next to the CEO of Walmart. No, it was all about how such a move would look to the kind of people Trump hoped to have on his panel. As Trump continues to seek out qualified people for his administration, his friends are likely to stay on the front burner. Chances are, it will be up to his staff, and informal advisers like Schwarzman, to draw the line for the president. Earlier this week, Miami real estate tycoon Jorge Perez recounted how Trump recently sent him an email with plans for the administration’s notorious border wall with Mexico. Perez has worked with Trump to build Trump-branded towers in Florida for years. Now the president was asking Perez if he’d like to be part of the official effort to build the wall. Perez declined the offer, telling Bloomberg News, “The wall is the most idiotic thing I’ve ever seen or heard in my life.” -- 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.

03 февраля, 19:19

Trump convenes business leaders as immigration fight looms

Flanked by business executives wary of his recent actions on immigration, President Donald Trump Friday opened a meeting with companies including IBM and SpaceX by pledging “a tax bill very soon” while taking credit for reports that show 227,000 jobs were created last month.At the inaugural meeting of his so-called Strategic and Policy Forum, Trump said the group would “discuss all the things you think we can do to bring back our jobs.” He ticked off other items, like “cutting a lot out of Dodd-Frank,” a reform of the country’s banking system, as well as revising other regulations.Absent from the president’s opening remarks, however, was any mention of his immigration order — a ban on refugees from many Muslim-majority countries and other restrictions on travel from those nations that has executives in the tech industry and other sectors of the economy reeling.But Stephen Schwarzman, the president of private equity firm Blackstone, which helped organize the forum, acknowledged the order is on the agenda."We're going to cover some of the immigration things, we're going to cover regulatory relief, we're going to cover tax and trade, women in the workplace, infrastructure, education,” Schwarzman said before the meeting began. “Each of these areas, we're going to have suggestions, ways to make things happen, happen faster."Many of the forum’s members — and broad swaths of the business community — have vocally opposed the president’s immigration order, signed last week, and some tech giants have signed onto legal efforts to challenge it. Elon Musk, the founder of SpaceX and Tesla, is attending and pledged he would press Trump on it heading into the Friday gathering.Uber CEO Travis Kalanick initially had planned to do the same — but Kalanick, facing an immense backlash for joining in the group, announced hours before the meeting that he was withdrawing from Trump’s panel. In an email to employees Thursday, the Uber executive said his decision to participate was “not meant to be an endorsement of the President or his agenda but unfortunately it has been misinterpreted to be exactly that.”

16 декабря 2016, 01:11

Donald Trump Could Double The Wealth Of Private Equity Billionaires And Change Wall Street Forever

Tax reform could create the biggest change in the private equity industry since firms like Blackstone and Apollo listed their shares, doubling the wealth of billionaires like Stephen Schwarzman and Leon Black.

15 декабря 2016, 01:02

Трамп назначил Илона Маска советником по экономике

Избранный президент США Дональд Трамп назначил трех новых советников по экономике: основателя компании SpaceX Илона Маска, главу Uber Трэвиса Каланика и главу Pepsi Индру Нуйи. Об этом сообщается на сайте штаба Трампа. Фото: Илон Маск/ Droider.ru Фото: Трэвис Каланик/Хабрахабр Фото: Alwaysbusymama Бизнесмены войдут в состав форума по стратегии и политике в числе 16 самых успешных американских предпринимателей страны. С их помощью Трамп собирается реализовать свою экономическую программу. Председателем станет Стивен Шварцман, председатель, генеральный директор и соучредитель Blackstone. Позднее 14 декабря Трамп должен встретиться с Маском и топ-менеджерами Apple, Facebook и Google, чтобы обсудить, как политика Белого дома отразится на работе технологических компаний. Во время избирательной кампании Трампа Илон Маск выступал с резкой критикой кандидата от республиканцев. В частности, за четыре дня до выборов он заявил: «Трамп — неправильный парень. Он не обладает теми качествами, которые нужны сейчас Штатам». Читайте также: Ирландец подарил дочери на Рождество увеличение груди>> Крупный пожар в Алматы>> Русская художница бюстом нарисовала портрет Роналду>> 92-летний президент Зимбабве собрался на новый срок>> Похоронная процессия на 10 часов застряла в снежном заторе в Караганде>> Рискуя жизнью, пожарный спас двух детей из горящей квартиры в Алматы (фото)>>

14 декабря 2016, 21:20

Трамп назначил Илона Маска советником по экономике

Дональд Трамп заявил, что основатель компании SpaceX Илон Маск войдет в число его советников по экономике. Об этом сообщается на сайте штаба избранного президента. Маск присоединится к Президентскому форуму по стратегии и политике — группе из 16 наиболее успешных и уважаемых предпринимателей США, которые будут консультировать Трампа по вопросам, связанным с экономическим ростом, созданием новых рабочих мест и повышением производительности труда.

14 декабря 2016, 20:58

Трамп сделал Илона Маска своим советником

Избранный президент США Дональд Трамп назначил трех новых советников по экономике, среди них основатель компании SpaceX Илон Макс, сообщает штаб будущего главы государства. Он войдет в состав президентского форума по стратегии и политике в числе 16 самых успешных предпринимателей страны, сообщается на сайте штаба. Отмечается, что с помощью форума Трамп намерен реализовать свою экономическую программу. Председателем станет Стивен Шварцман, председатель, генеральный директор и соучредитель Blackstone. Республиканец Дональд Трамп одержал победу на выборах и избран 45-м президентом США. Он обошел на выборах кандидата от Демократической партии, экс-госсекретаря США Хиллари Клинтон. Новая администрация США во главе с Трампом вступит в полномочия после его инаугурации 20 января 2017 года.

09 декабря 2016, 03:38

Billionaires, Big Oil Flooded Mitch McConnell's Super PAC In Campaign's Final Weeks

WASHINGTON ― Senate Leadership Fund, a super PAC run by former aides to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, raised an astonishing $39 million in the three weeks before the 2016 election, according to a report filed on Thursday. The huge injection of money helped backstop Senate Republicans and protect their majority on Election Day. The gigantic fundraising surge for the super PAC pushed its total above $100 million, making it one of the best-funded super PACs of the 2016 election cycle. The late contributions from usual suspects among Republican donors paid for advertisements that helped protect incumbent Sens. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and elect newcomer Todd Young in Indiana. Many of those donors will have key interests in front of the next legislative session. Sheldon Adelson and his wife Miriam combined to give $15 million ― the largest donation to McConnell’s group. Adelson, the billionaire casino operator, has long pushed for Congress to ban online gambling. Republicans have introduced legislation in the past two sessions to do this. The second-biggest donor to the super PAC is unknown, because it came in the form of a $9.2 million contribution from One Nation, a dark-money nonprofit run by the same people as Senate Leadership Fund. The group ran millions of dollars in advertisements early in the campaign season attacking Democratic Senate candidates. Stephen Schwarzman, chairman of the private equity titan Blackstone Group, contributed $2.2 million. Schwarzman is an avowed opponent of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law passed in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. He supports radically reducing regulations for financial firms and cutting taxes, or keeping them as low as they already are, for billionaires like himself. “We’re so overregulated as a country that we just crushed our productivity,” Schwarzman said in the past. “That’s temporary because it’s reversible if anybody politically chooses to reverse it. If they wanna accelerate it, good luck.” After President Barack Obama called for raising the tax rate on carried interest, which is how private equity investors make their money, Schwarzman said, “It’s like when Hitler invaded Poland in 1939.” Blackstone Group spent more than $2 million on lobbying through September on issues ranging from tax reform, financial regulation, support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal and housing. The private equity company owns Hilton Worldwide, a hotel competitor of President-elect Donald Trump. Blackstone bought up at least 50,000 foreclosed homes in the wake of the financial crisis and ensuing bank-led fraud that immiserated millions by wrongly evicting them from their own homes. Blackstone is now taking its home-rental business public. Paul Singer, a billionaire hedge fund manager known for investing in distressed foreign debt, gave $2 million to Senate Leadership Fund. Singer and other hedge fund and private equity managers recently created a new industry lobbying group called CIRCA to advocate for policies favorable to billionaire investors like themselves. Collectively, members of the billionaire DeVos family of Michigan contributed $1.2 million. These contributions came from 11 members of the family. Their wealth derives from Richard DeVos Sr., who founded the multi-level marketing company Amway. His son, Richard DeVos Jr., is married to Betsy DeVos, picked by Trump to be the next education secretary. The Senate will vote on her nomination. Petrodome Energy, an oil and gas company owned by investor W. Ed Bosarge, gave $1 million. This contribution, however, does not relate to the energy industry, but rather to another business run by Bosarge. The multi-millionaire owns stem-cell company Bosarge Life Sciences that has been lobbying Congress to pass legislation that would speed Food and Drug Administration approval of medications and medical devices by bypassing final regulatory scrutiny of whether the products actually work. Legislative language very similar to this was included in the just-passed 21st Century Cures Act. The provision was denounced by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) as a “special deal” for a “major Republican donor.” There also was a contribution to Senate Leadership Fund from an oil and gas company still interested in energy policy. Polar Tankers Inc., a subsidiary of ConocoPhillips, gave $1 million. The oil giant has been lobbying on issues related on natural gas pipelines and Alaska oil exploration. Republican senators also chipped in money from their own leadership PACs to Senate Leadership Fund to help colleagues win tough races. Sen. Orrin Hatch’s (R-Utah) OrrinPAC gave $500,000. Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) gave $250,000 from his Freedom Fund PAC. McConnell’s own Bluegrass Committee gave $150,000. Sen. John Cornyn’s (R-Texas) Alamo PAC also gave $150,000. Sen. Tim Scott’s (R-S.C.) Tomorrow is Meaningful gave $100,000, as did Sen. John Thune’s (R-S.D.) Heartland Values PAC and Sen. John Barrasso’s (R-Wyo.) Common Values PAC. Other leadership PAC contributions came from Sens. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Jerry Moran (R-Kan.). Hatch will be able to count on support from Senate Leadership Fund if he faces a primary in the 2018 election. In a statement issued on Thursday, the super PAC’s head, Steven Law, said, “Senator Orrin Hatch has been an invaluable ally to SenateLeadership Fund and a conservative champion for Utah, and should he decide to run for reelection, we will have his back in both the primary and the general election.” -- 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.

09 декабря 2016, 03:19

Volcker criticizes Trump's CEO-heavy jobs panel

The former fed chief warns new group will be saddled with bureaucracy and transparency rules.

05 декабря 2016, 13:01

Глава IBM присоединилась к команде бизнес-советников Трампа

Главный исполнительный директор IBM Corp. Вирджиния (Джинни) Рометти вошла в команду из 16 бизнес-лидеров, которые будут консультировать избранного президента США Дональда Трампа, пишет The Wall Street Journal.

03 декабря 2016, 09:55

Дональд Трамп создаст форум для обсуждения предвыборной программы с бизнесменами

Избранный президент США Дональд Трамп создаст форум для обсуждения реализации своей предвыборной программы с представителями крупнейших американских компаний. Как сообщает Politico со ссылкой на переходную команду господина Трампа, форум по стратегии и политике создан для того, чтобы президент мог «в честной и небюрократической манере» получать информацию «от лучших и самых выдающихся людей из мира бизнеса».В форуме примут участие председатель совета директоров компании Blackstone Стивен Шварцман, руководитель JPMorgan Chase & Co Джеймс Даймон, глава компании BlackRock Ларри Финк, глава General Motors Мэри Барра, директор The Walt Disney Company Роберт Айгер, исполнительный директор Wal-Mart Даг Макмиллон и еще 10 других представителей бизнеса.«Члены форума будут ответственны за предоставление президенту своего личного мнения,— с учетом их уникальных знаний частного сектора,— о том, как решения правительства влияют на экономический рост, создание рабочих мест и производительность»,— добавили представители…

02 декабря 2016, 23:39

Трамп учредил фонд для «прямого доступа» бизнесменов к президенту США

Победитель выборов президента США Дональд Трамп учредил Фонд стратегии и политики, призванный обеспечить прямой доступ представителей крупного бизнеса к президенту США.

29 октября 2016, 16:00

Billionaire Stephen Schwarzman Makes $250 Million In Five Days As Blackstone Posts Big Numbers

The private equity titan's net worth has more than doubled in the last five years.

28 октября 2016, 20:30

Blackstone's Stephen Schwarzman Says Middle-Class Americans Have Reason To Worry These Days

(Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg) As one of Wall Street’s richest and most powerful titans, Stephen Schwarzman, chairman and CEO of Blackstone (and #45on FORBES 400) seems a pretty unlikely voice for the economically dispossessed. But in front of a room full of journalists last night, he said he understood why many in [...]

28 октября 2016, 01:28

Secret money fuels last-ditch GOP Senate blitz

The super PAC got $11 million from a partner group that doesn't disclose its donors.

27 октября 2016, 21:28

Прибыль Blackstone Group выросла на 20%

Чистая прибыль американской инвестиционной компании Blackstone Group по итогам первых девяти месяцев 2016 года составила 1,479 миллиарда долларов, что на 20% больше показателя за аналогичный период 2015 года, сообщается в отчетности компании.

10 сентября 2016, 05:10

Blackstone's Schwarzman launches ambitious scholars program in China

BEIJING (Reuters) - When Blackstone Group Co-founder and Chief Executive Stephen Schwarzman was asked by the president of China's elite Tsinghua University to design a major initiative for the...

28 августа 2016, 20:13

Here's How The AP Should Have Written Its Hillary Clinton Article

On Tuesday, The Associated Press published a sweeping new investigation into the mingling of Clinton Foundation donors and official State Department business. It has since come under fire for conceptual and structural flaws. By limiting its investigation of the Clinton Foundation to specific financial contributions that led to direct and specific benefits for donors, The Associated Press left itself vulnerable to criticism that no verifiable “quid pro quo” could be established from its findings. By trying to cram its findings into a small box, it distorted what it found, and missed the bigger picture. If the AP had conceived of the donations as just one of many exchanges of money, prestige and reciprocal back-patting that bind global elites, its case against the Clintons would be considerably stronger. So, with that vision in mind, we’ve done a write-through of the AP’s story ― a heavy edit that relies in many places on their words and reporting, but casts the article in a broader light. The parts in bold come directly from the AP. The rest are our additions. You’re welcome, AP. WASHINGTON ― At least 101* people who met or had phone conversations scheduled with Hillary Clinton while she led the State Department donated to her family charity or pledged commitments to its international programs, according to a review of State Department calendars released so far to The Associated Press. Combined, the 101 donors contributed as much as $326 million. At least 40 donated more than $100,000 each, and at least 20 gave more than $1 million. Among those granted time with Clinton included an internationally known economist who asked for her help as the Bangladesh government pressured him to resign from a nonprofit bank he ran; a Wall Street executive who sought Clinton’s help with a visa problem; and representatives of Gulf state governments working to undermine negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program. Her calendars and emails released as recently as this week describe scores of contacts she and her top aides had with foundation donors. The AP’s findings represent the first systematic effort to calculate the scope of the intersecting interests of Clinton Foundation donors and people who met personally with Clinton or spoke to her by phone about their needs. Some of Clinton’s most influential visitors donated millions to the Clinton Foundation and to her and her husband’s political coffers. They are among scores of Clinton visitors and phone contacts in her official calendar turned over by the State Department to AP last year and in more-detailed planning schedules that so far have covered about half of her four-year tenure. The AP sought Clinton’s calendar and schedules three years ago, but delays led the AP to sue the State Department last year in federal court for those materials and other records. The case of Muhammad Yunus, a Bangladeshi economist who won the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize for pioneering low-interest “microcredit” for poor business owners, may be among the most instructive. Although critics such as GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump charge that the frequency of the overlaps shows the intermingling of access and donations, fueling perceptions that giving the foundation money was a price of admission for face time with Clinton, the reality is that the overlap is a function of a worldwide capitalistic system in which oligarchs, corporate CEOs and celebrity heads of state mingle to form a global elite that dictates a global agenda. This can sometimes take the form of quid pro quos, but it is more often a subtle form of exchange, in which exclusion from or inclusion within an elite club depends as much on whom you know as the size of the check you can write. The use of the Clintons in this way, and their willingness to be used, is ‘crony capitalism’ in a very clear form. James Galbraith, University of Texas The Clintons did not create this system, but they have become central players within it. It is a cozy world inhabited by a select coterie of political, business and media elites, where tomorrow’s news is often the product of a not-so-serendipitous conversation between a TV pundit and a corporate CEO who were introduced by a foreign minister they both know. In addition to “talking shop” ― exchanging the tips of their respective trades ― they speak about solutions to social ills they rarely encounter directly, typically entertaining ideas within a narrow spectrum of proposals that do not threaten their world view. So many such encounters occur at the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland ― more commonly known as “Davos” ― that the gathering has become a descriptor for a certain breed of cosmopolitan, international elite: the Davos set. Hillary and Bill Clinton are stars of the Davos set; so is Muhammad Yunus. [Yunus] met with Clinton three times and talked with her by phone during a period when Bangladeshi government authorities investigated his oversight of a nonprofit bank and ultimately pressured him to resign from the bank’s board. Throughout the process, he pleaded for help in messages routed to Clinton, and she ordered aides to find ways to assist him. “The use of the Clintons in this way, and their willingness to be used, is ‘crony capitalism’ in a very clear form,” said University of Texas economist James Galbraith. “It’s a matter of forming your views of merit on the basis of what wealthy people and their acolytes advise you, and on the basis of personal connections made over the years. Connections that are not made with people who are not wealthy.” American affiliates of [Yunus’] nonprofit Grameen Bank had been working with the Clinton Foundation’s Clinton Global Initiative programs as early as 2005, pledging millions of dollars in microloans for the poor. Grameen America, the bank’s nonprofit U.S. flagship, which Yunus chairs, has given between $100,000 and $250,000 to the foundation - a figure that bank spokeswoman Becky Asch said reflects the institution’s annual fees to attend CGI meetings. Another Grameen arm chaired by Yunus, Grameen Research, has donated between $25,000 and $50,000. But Clinton didn’t need checks from Yunus to know who he was. In fact, the Clintons have a longstanding friendship with Yunus and admiration for his microcredit work that predates any financial contribution he made to the Clinton Foundation. Then-Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton highlighted Yunus and Grameen Bank as a model for harnessing the “power of the government … to create market forces that work” in an interview with the Rolling Stone during his 1992 presidential run. Clinton had met Yunus several years prior in an encounter organized by a friend of Hillary’s, Clinton told Rolling Stone. Hillary Clinton first met Yunus in 1983, as first lady of Arkansas, she said in a January 2009 speech, at the start of her term as secretary of state. She had invited him to visit Arkansas so she could learn about ways microfinance ― a broader field of low-income banking of which microcredit is a part ― could relieve poverty in the state. AP said Muhammad Yunus got access to HRC in '09 as a Fdn donor. But here she is with him in '90s before Fdn existed pic.twitter.com/3xvc7OcJLF— Brian Fallon (@brianefallon) August 24, 2016 As a U.S. senator from New York, Clinton, as well as then-Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry and two other senators in 2007 sponsored a bill to award a congressional gold medal to Yunus. He got one but not until 2010, a year after Obama awarded him a Presidential Medal of Freedom. Yunus first met with Clinton in Washington in April 2009. That was followed six months later by an announcement by USAID, the State Department’s foreign aid arm, that it was partnering with the Grameen Foundation, a nonprofit charity run by Yunus, in a $162 million commitment to extend its microfinance concept abroad. USAID also began providing loans and grants to the Grameen Foundation, totaling $2.2 million over Clinton’s tenure. By September 2009, Yunus began complaining to Clinton’s top aides about what he perceived as poor treatment by Bangladesh’s government. His bank was accused of financial mismanagement of Norwegian government aid money ― a charge that Norway later dismissed as baseless. But Yunus told Melanne Verveer, a long-time Clinton aide who was an ambassador-at-large for global women’s issues, that Bangladesh officials refused to meet with him and asked the State Department for help in pressing his case. “Please see if the issues of Grameen Bank can be raised in a friendly way,” he asked Verveer. Yunus sent “regards to H” and cited an upcoming Clinton Global Initiative event he planned to attend.  Clinton ordered an aide: “Give to EAP rep,” referring the problem to the agency’s top east Asia expert. Yunus continued writing to Verveer as pressure mounted on his bank. In December 2010, responding to a news report that Bangladesh’s prime minister was urging an investigation of Grameen Bank, Clinton told Verveer that she wanted to discuss the matter with her East Asia expert “ASAP.” Clinton called Yunus in March 2011 after the Bangladesh government opened an inquiry into his oversight of Grameen Bank. Yunus had told Verveer by email that “the situation does not allow me to leave the country.” By mid-May, the Bangladesh government had forced Yunus to step down from the bank’s board. Yunus sent Clinton a copy of his resignation letter. In a separate note to Verveer, Clinton wrote: “Sad indeed.” Clinton met with Yunus a second time in Washington in August 2011 and again in the Bangladesh capital of Dhaka in May 2012. Clinton’s arrival in Bangladesh came after Bangladesh authorities moved to seize control of Grameen Bank’s effort to find new leaders. Speaking to a town hall audience, Clinton warned the Bangladesh government that “we do not want to see any action taken that would in any way undermine or interfere in the operations of the Grameen Bank.” Grameen America’s Asch noted that all foundation donations were made by Grameen entities and not personally from Yunus. The trouble with Clinton’s actions is not that she intervened on behalf of Yunus, a friend who predated her term as secretary of state. In a sea of hundreds of millions of dollars in foundation contributions, the six-figure contributions from institutions Yunus ran likely did not stand out. It is that their longstanding friendship ― and shared membership in the Davos club ― blinded Clinton to the credibility of the malpractice claims against Yunus. Clinton simply asked her staff to intervene on his behalf without any apparent request to check into the allegations first. Despite Yunus’ protestations, the investigation into his business activity was not without merit. The Norwegian government objected to Yunus’ reallocation of $100 million meant for microloans in Bangladesh, after finding that Yunus had improperly moved it from his bank to a separate entity he owned. But Yunus only restored $30 million of the donation to the fund it had been earmarked for, according to the Danish-made documentary film “Caught in Micro Debt.” When Norway expressed its concerns over Yunus’ handling of the money, he appealed to the country’s aid ministry to ensure that their rebukes did not reach a wider audience. “If the people, within and outside government, who are not supportive of Grameen, get hold of this letter, we’ll face real problems in Bangladesh,” Yunus wrote in a letter to the director-general of the Norwegian aid ministry, which was revealed in the documentary. Beyond Yunus’ alleged financial misdeeds, there is ample scholarship casting doubt on the scale of the success of the very microcredit techniques that are the source of his prestige. As microlending operations have grown, they have become vulnerable to exploitation by unscrupulous individuals, who have turned many into for-profit, high-interest enterprises that trap poor borrowers in a never-ending cycle of debt.   The left likes the attention to the poor, whereas the right like the individual responsibility aspect of a loan rather than a grant. Dean Karlan, Yale Yunus’ Grameen Bank itself appears to have avoided accusations of this kind. Yunus nonetheless felt obligated to condemn the trend in a 2011 op-ed in The New York Times. But even many experts who respect the achievements of microcredit and believe Grameen is a force for good overall argue that the strategy has failed to live up to its promise as a pathway out of poverty in developing countries.  Microcredit “seems to have consistent benefits for keeping people out of extreme poverty,” but not allowing them to escape poverty entirely, said Kentaro Toyama of the University of Michigan, who has studied the practice. Why then does Yunus continue to enjoy such acclaim for his microfinance work? One answer may lie in Bill Clinton’s 1992 comments to Rolling Stone about finding antipoverty policies that work within the free market rather than trying to upend or counter it. The tiny loans have gotten traction with the Davos set, because the idea “appeals to all sides of the political fence,” said Dean Karlan, a global poverty reduction specialist at Yale who expressed a view similar to Toyama’s about the practice’s efficacy. “The left likes the attention to the poor, whereas the right like the individual responsibility aspect of a loan rather than a grant,” he said. “It is a good example of markets working to make the world a better place.”   In this way, microcredit has the advantage of indulging the Davos set’s self-serving conviction that there is no global problem that free markets cannot solve if properly oriented. That exonerates these elites from confronting the fact that the same capitalist system that has enriched them may be responsible for some of the world’s worst human suffering ― and that resolving those ills would require them to make more profound sacrifices than a tax-deductible donation that conveniently provides access to the world’s most powerful couple.  Toyama attributes the popularity of Yunus’ microcredit among the philanthropic crowd to something much simpler: low risk and guaranteed return in the form of interest payments and perceived poverty reduction on the ground. “You get your money back,” he said. “You really don’t have to do anything other than take a small hit on interest you might make on other means.” By contrast, deeper anti-poverty measures like funding high-quality education in the developing world ― which has the potential to lift people out of poverty rather than merely alleviate it, as microfinance does ― require lots of “money, effort and extremely good management and leadership,” according to Toyama. “All of those things are very hard and things wealthy people are reluctant to give to because it never pays itself back in the short term,” he said.   In another case, Clinton was host at a September 2009 breakfast meeting at the New York Stock Exchange that listed Blackstone Group chairman Stephen Schwarzman as one of the attendees. Schwarzman’s firm is a major Clinton Foundation donor, but he personally donates heavily to GOP candidates and causes. One day after the breakfast, according to Clinton emails, the State Department was working on a visa issue at Schwarzman’s request. In December that same year, Schwarzman’s wife, Christine, sat at Clinton’s table during the Kennedy Center Honors. Clinton also introduced Schwarzman, then chairman of the Kennedy Center, before he spoke. The Schwarzman meetings are typical of how elites are able to get better access to government officials and service than those who are not honored guests at the Kennedy Center. The visa issue Schwarzman needed assistance with was quite likely legitimate. His ability to get the personal assistance of the secretary of state does not add up to a bribe exchanged for a visa. But it reflects a stratified society in which the rich and well-connected can easily call in government favors to resolve issues that might require painstaking navigation of bureaucracy for ordinary citizens.  Blackstone donated between $250,000 and $500,000 to the Clinton Foundation. Eight Blackstone executives also gave between $375,000 and $800,000 to the foundation. And Blackstone’s charitable arm has pledged millions of dollars in commitments to three Clinton Global aid projects ranging from the U.S. to the Mideast. Blackstone officials did not make Schwarzman available for comment. When Clinton appeared before the U.S. Senate in early 2009 for her confirmation hearing as secretary of state, then- Sen. Richard Lugar, a Republican from Indiana, questioned her at length about the foundation and potential conflicts of interest. His concerns were focused on foreign government donations, mostly to CGI. Lugar wanted more transparency than was ultimately agreed upon between the foundation and Obama’s transition team. Now, Lugar hopes Hillary and Bill Clinton make a clean break from the foundation. “The Clintons, as they approach the presidency, if they are successful, will have to work with their attorneys to make certain that rules of the road are drawn up to give confidence to them and the American public that there will not be favoritism,” Lugar said.  But even if the Clintons are no longer formally involved with the foundation or its finances, the friendships and status they cultivated as celebrated members of the global elite will persist. As a result, the favoritism Clinton showed as secretary of state will likely continue if and when she occupies the White House. *The AP excluded donations from foreign governments who ended up getting meetings, “because such meetings would presumably have been part of her diplomatic duties.” That makes no sense. Nearly all of the other meetings Clinton had ― with a nonprofit doing global AIDS work, for instance ― were also part of diplomatic duties, as was overseeing the visa process. The question is not whether the duties fall within or without the scope of a secretary of state, but whether she favored one such duty over another as a result of this web of relationships. So we fixed this for the AP by adding foreign governments back in. As a result, we have removed the proportion of visits by donors that the AP calculated. -- 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.