Billionaire George Soros gave advice and direction on how President Obama should allocate so-called “stimulus” money in a series of regular private meetings and consultations with White House senior advisers even as Soros was making investments in areas affected by the stimulus program.
It’s just one more revelation featured in the blockbuster new book that continues to rock Washington, Throw Them All Out, authored by Breitbart News editor Peter Schweizer.
Mr. Soros met with Mr. Obama’s top economist on February 25, 2009 and twice more with senior officials in the Old Executive Office Building on March 24th and 25th as the stimulus plan was being crafted. Later, Mr. Soros also participated in discussions on financial reform.
Then, in the first quarter of 2009, Mr. Soros went on a stock buying spree in companies that ultimately benefited from the federal stimulus.
- Soros doubled his holdings in medical manufacturer Hologic, a company that benefited from stimulus spending on medical systems
- Soros tripled his holdings in fiber channel and software maker Emulus, a company that wound up scoring a large amount of federal funds going to infrastructure spending
- Soros bought 210,000 shares in Cisco Systems, which came up big in the stimulus lottery
- Soros also bought Extreme Networks, which, months later, said it was expanding broadband to rural America “as part of President Obama’s broadband strategy”
- Soros bought 1.5 million shares in American Electric Power, a company Mr. Obama gave $1 billion to in June 2009
- Soros bought shares in utility company Ameren, which bagged a $540 million Department of Energy loan
- Soros bought 250,000 shares of Public Service Enterprise Group, 500,000 shares of NRG Energy, and almost a million shares of Entergy–all companies that came up winners in the Department of Energy taxpayer giveaway that produced the Solyndra debacle
- Soros bought into BioFuel Energy, a company that benefitted when the EPA announced a regulation on ethanol
- Soros bought Powerspan in April 2009. Just weeks later, the clean-energy company landed $100 million from the Department of Energy
- In the second quarter of 2009, Soros bought education technology giant Blackboard, which became a big recipient of education stimulus money
- Soros also bought Burlington Northern Santa Fe and CSX, both beneficiaries of Mr. Obama’s plans for revitalizing the railroads
- Soros bought Cognizant Technology Solutions, which scored stimulus funds in education and health care technology
- Soros also bought 300,000 shares of Constellation Energy Group and 4.6 million shares of Covanta, both of which landed taxpayers’ money through the stimulus, the former of which bagged $200 million
In Throw Them All Out, Schweizer catalogs several more of Mr. Soros’s trades and says that, while “it is not necessarily the case that Soros had specific insider tips about any government grants,” nevertheless, Soros’s “investment decisions aligned remarkably closely with government grants and transfers.”
Whether Mr. Soros’s involvement in private White House meetings influenced which companies received stimulus money is unclear. What is certain, writes Schweizer, is that “crony capitalism favors the politically active, and the manipulative. It does not favor one party over the other. It does not care about policy. It just knows how to make money off any policy–your tax dollars, leveraged to the rich.”