||Griffin is once again caught over a
schism...this one political.
lifted his firm above its high watermark, Ken Griffin
wasted little time in thrusting himself before the body politic
by suggesting that the rich should have more sway in the
In a Q&A with the Chicago Tribune, his
hometown paper, Griffen was asked whether the ultra wealthy
have an inordinate amount of influence on the political
"I think they actually have an insufficient influence," he
responded. "Those who have enjoyed the benefits of our system
more than ever now owe a duty to protect the system that has
created the greatest nation on our planet."
At least one of his industry colleagues on the other end of
the political spectrum was quick to disagree. Quipped Jim
Chanos, head of $6.5 billion Kynikos Associates, "Come
on… I’ll bet you $10 million he
didn’t really mean that…."
Griffin is worth approximately $3 billion, according to
Forbes. Though he raised millions for fellow
Chicagoan Barack Obama in the last election,
he recently donated $100,000 to "Restore Our Future," a
political action committee supporting Republican candidate Mitt
Romney. In the Tribune interview, Griffin said he had
donated an additional $100,000 to Romney in the past month, and
suggested Obama’s policies implied a belief that
government creates prosperity. "We’ve seen that
experiment," he said. "The Soviet Union collapsed."
"Why the U.S. is drifting toward a direction that has been
the failed experiment of the last century, I don’t
understand. I don’t understand," Griffin said.
Don’t expect for Griffin to grow quieter as
"I spend way too much of my time thinking about politics
these days because government is way too involved in financial
markets these days," he said, adding later: "I’m
seeing the manifestation of an over-involved government in
every dimension of what we do here at Citadel.
It’s really brutally unfair what it’s
doing to large segments of our population. I’m not
really sure who the winners are."
See more in politics:
Carried interest controversy •
Occupy Wall Street’s hedge fund fans •
Hedge funds top list of Obama boosters