Billionaire hedge fund operator and “green” energy magnate Tom Steyer has pledged $100 million in the 2014 election cycle to help Democratic candidates who oppose the Keystone pipeline and who favor “green” energy over fossil fuels. Steyer claims to be a man of principle who has no financial interest in the causes he supports, but acts only for the public good. That is a ridiculous claim: Steyer is the ultimate rent-seeker who depends on government connections to produce subsidies and mandates that make his “green” energy investments profitable. He also is, or was until recently, a major investor in Kinder Morgan, which is building a competitor to the Keystone pipeline. Go here, here, here, here, here and here for more information about how Steyer uses his political donations and consequent connections to enhance his already vast fortune.
But Steyer’s hypocrisy goes still deeper. Today, he is a bitter opponent of fossil fuels, especially coal. That fits with his current economic interests: banning coal-fired power plants will boost the value of his solar projects. But it was not always thus. In fact, Steyer owes his fortune in large part to the fact that he has been one of the world’s largest financers of coal projects. Tom Steyer was for coal before he was against it[…]
The former hedge fund of one of the Democratic Party’s most important donors was involved in a scheme to defraud foreign investors out of tens of millions of dollars, according to documents filed in a Texas court.
Farallon Capital Partners L.P., a fund run by Farallon Capital Management, the multibillion-dollar hedge fund founded by Democratic donor Tom Steyer, became a limited partner in a project to build a large shopping mall near Seattle, Wash., in the mid-1990s after it guaranteed a line of credit for the project.
According to the Texas case, Farallon and other parties involved in the deal operated ‘in conjunction with’ foreign-owned corporations in Texas ‘to defraud a group of over three-hundred German investors out of approximately sixty-million dollars.…’