As the nation gears up for another political season, hedge fund chieftain Ken Griffin is sounding the alarm about socialism and boosting taxes on the rich, which many on the Democratic Party’s left wing have advocated.
A heavy contributor to Republican candidates, billionaire Griffin also slammed high government spending during the Milken Institute Global Conference this week.
The record of socialism is “one of complete failure,” he said. As an example, Griffin cited the economic and political turmoil in Venezuela, where the opposition leader is locked in a conflict with the socialist president, Nicolás Maduro.
“Soaking the rich doesn’t work,” said Griffin, who recently bought a Manhattan penthouse for $238 million, a record for a home in the US.
In the same vein, Griffin railed against the education system, which he charged the government has ruined, saddling students with huge debt and pumping up the cost of education at the same time.
Today’s students, he said in an interview with Michael Milken, are “completely disillusioned with their economic prospects given the huge amount of debt that they’ve been saddled with, courtesy of the US government, combined with the extraordinarily high cost of education they’ve been paying, courtesy of the US government.”
The audience cheered when Milken, the former junk bond kingpin, played a video of Margaret Thatcher, Britain’s prime minister in the 1980s, extolling capitalism.
Griffin’s $30 billion Citadel hedge fund company had good returns last year, a turbulent time in capital markets.
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