Why Hedge Funds Are Betting On Obama; Earth Day: All Talk No

by Derek Loosvelt | April 22, 2008

Today, as millions of Pennsylvania Democrats head out to the polls to choose between Senators Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton, The New York Times' Andrew Ross Sorkin examines the latest campaign contributions given by the country's wealthiest hedge fund investors, finding that while "Obama might be struggling with the blue-collar vote in Pennsylvania … he has nailed the hedge fund vote."

Among other findings, Sorkin discovers that, in general, hedge fund head honchos are putting their money behind Obama to take The White House, choosing the Democratic frontrunner over Clinton and the Republican nominee Senator John McCain. The reason is "access."

"Unlike Mr. McCain and Mrs. Clinton," Sorkin writes, "Mr. Obama is relatively new to national politics and is therefore open to bringing new people—and new money—into the tent. For money types who want a table, or at least to look involved and get an invitation to the right parties, Mr. Obama is the candidate." Sorkin also notes that "hedge fund managers like to think of themselves as outsiders with fresh perspectives," and "the Obama campaign is trying to project a similar image."

Today is also Earth Day, and so The Wall Street Journal asks the "Burning Question: Is Earth Day Actual Bad For the Planet?"

According to its manifesto scribed in 1970, its inaugural year, Earth Day is a "commitment to make life better, not just bigger and faster, to provide real rather than rhetorical solutions … [It's] a day to re-examine the ethic of individual progress at mankind's expense—a day to challenge the corporate and governmental leaders who promise change, but who short change the necessary programs."

But 38 years later, according to the Journal, some activists now "fear that something gets lost in the pop-environmentalism this once-a-year celebration has come to epitomize: bold action."

Even Denis Hayes, the coordinator of the first Earth Day, "likens the event today to Americans who drive their SUV to the supermarket—and then grab a canvas bag from the back of the truck to pick up a quart of organic milk."

Hayes is still heavily involved in Earth Day, and to read more about how he helped create the huge event and about the background that led him to action, you can go here to download a PDF version of an article entitled "Angry Coordinator of Earth Day," which ran in the Times on April 22, 1970.

In the piece, you'll learn of Hayes' unorthodox undergraduate schooling, which included studying at Ohio's Denison University, Washington State's Clarke College, Tokyo's Jochi Daigaku University and Palo Alto's Stanford University, where he graduated from and was the president of the student body. You'll also discover that at the time he was coordinating the first Earth Day, Hayes was on a leave from his studies at Harvard Law School.  Later, he officially dropped out of Harvard and received his law degree from Stanford.

Filed Under: Finance


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