Soros green hedge fund hires Obama crony
Yesterday, I blogged that Cathy Zoi, acting undersecretary of Energy at the Department of Energy, was leaving office to go to work for private industry. The New York Times article that mentioned the transition failed to note where exactly she would be working.
Timothy Carney at the Washington Examiner found out today. The answer is George Soros.
George Soros -- whom we're always told is not serving his own economic interests at all by promoting liberal politicians and big-government policies -- is launching a new investment fund, that plans to profit off of the "green energy" boom, which is entirely dependent on government subsidies.
As the press release puts it, this fund will "leverage technology and business model innovation to improve energy efficiency, reduce waste and emissions, harness renewable energy, and more efficiently use natural resources, among other applications." As Soros puts it in the same release: "Developing alternative sources of energy and achieving greater energy efficiency is both a significant global investment opportunity and an environmental imperative." Cadie Thompson at CNBC's NetNet flagged this.
So, yeah. The big-government policies advanced by the liberal outfits he funds -- like Center for American Progress -- will enrich the companies in which Soros is investing.
But this story gets better.
The press release casually mentions whom Soros is hiring to run this new fund: Cathy Zoi. As Cadie Thompson at CNBC's NetNet (edited by my brother John Carney), puts it,
Zoi was Barack Obama's "Acting Under Secretary for Energy and Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy." An Al Gore acolyte, Zoi was Obama's point-woman on subsidizing green tech. Now she's going to work for George Soros to profit off of subsidized green tech.
As I pointed out in my blog yesterday, Zoi has had a checkered career during which she appeared to take actions in her official capacity that benefited her and her husband's investments in "green energy." For example, Serious Materials, a "green buildings material" company benefited from federal stimulus dollars. But as I noted in my blog the extent of what appears to be crony capitalism extended beyond that instance.
George Soros was an early and prominent supporter of Senator Barack Obama. He is a legendary investor who looks for promising early-stage investments and who uses leverage (including the political kind) to the hilt to maximize returns. He is also an arch crony capitalist who knows his way around Washington, where so much of our money seems to wash up.
The think-tank that he funds, the Center for American Progress, has been depicted as Obama's " Ideas Factory." The CAP is headed by John Podesta who headed the transition team for President-elect Obama and the Center has provided many key officials that have staffed Obama's administration. The Center has also been in the forefront of promoting green and renewable energy.
I wrote last year in my column "Cheap Natural Gas and its Democratic Enemies" that George Soros was perfectly placed to capitalize on his friends in high places strategy to reap financial benefits from the green energy push by the Democrats he has so carefully and generously cultivated over the years. He had already announced that he planned to invest $1 billion dollars in this sector.
Now his investments in Barack Obama and the Democratic Party seem that much closer to reaching fruition. As I have pointed out before, journalists and others who condemn the Koch brothers but give a pass to George Soros because his activism and money supposedly do not benefit him financially have been very wrong. They have been covering up for George Soros .
Congressman Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform committee, has the power to issue subpoenas. Perhaps, one source of inquiry might focus on what actions Ms. Zoi has taken during her time in the administration that served to benefit herself, her husband, and her new boss: George Soros.