Elected Reps, Hear Doc Asness

This article by a hedge fund manager offers a risky response to the Chicago-style political power plays that have been making “progress” in reforming the auto industry. (BTW, unless something changes drastically, I don’t see myself ever buying a GM or Chrysler product again, used or new.) The author’s words seem to be aimed at the President, but they should really be heard by the elected representatives in Congress, and in every state house. Those representatives are the ones we rely upon to provide the needed checks and balances, in this case.

In addition, the author writes something that every elected representative of the people (including the Senators, since the 17th amendment) should personally take to heart. He applies it to himself as a steward of other people’s money. However, the exact same principle also applies to those responsible for our taxes: the principle of stewardship.

Let’s be clear, it is the job and obligation of all investment managers, including hedge fund managers, to get their clients the most return they can. They are allowed to be charitable with their own money, and many are spectacularly so, but if they give away their clients’ money to share in the “sacrifice”, they are stealing.

He echoes the reported words of a congressman from the early 19th century, Davy Crockett. Like hedge-fund managers, let Congress be charitable with its own money, not with the taxes belonging to the people they represent. Also, let Congress see that this principle is not broken by the other two branches of government.

On an individual level, Christians are stewards too. However, the divine Owner of all our possessions has instructed us to be charitable with them, particularly in ways that “earn friends in heaven,” i.e., that correspond with faith in Jesus Christ. Congress has no similar imperative. Instead, its imperatives are delineated exactly by the Constitution.

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