Noam Neusner, a former George Bush speech writer, wrote an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal which he framed as an assessment of Obama as an investor. It was in the form of a memo to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. This is my edited summary.
Obama’s current portfolio of investments includes:
A major stake in an auto company with $12 billion on an original investment of $26 billion which is not a good market gain. His legal team pushed out the prior investors which included retirees who were counting on the money to finance their retirement.
A $7 trillion portfolio of mortgage-backed debt plagued by late payments and assets well below the price of the original debt.
A portfolio of low-interest or no-interest unsecure loans to speculative solar-energy plants, wind farms and biofuel plants many of which have gone out of business.
A loan portfolio of $1 trillion to post-adolescent adults for colleges but they cannot find jobs to pay back the loans. The default rate on these loans has gone up to an alarming 13%.
A long-term commitment of funds for high speed rails which have not produced any substantial return on the funds. They have lost money.
A program giving free cell phones to low-income families at taxpayers expense.
What is troubling is that he criticized the borrowers who paid back the money on time with interest. This is an unusual way to do business.
For Romney investments, see my prior blog entitled “Who is the better investor?”