Elliott's Singer Blasts Leadership Of 'Western Civilization'

Feb 29 2012 | 4:25am ET

When Elliott Management founder Paul Singer calls for new global leadership, it's not hard to guess who he's talking about.

In his annual letter to investors, Singer made short work of discussing Elliott's performance in 2011—it returned about 4%—but spent page after page decrying the "stupidity" and "arrant idiocy" that has brought the Western world, in his eyes, so low. And the hedge fund honcho says there's no hope unless "the right leaders" emerge.

As far as Singer's concerned, those leaders do not include U.S. President Barack Obama. The longtime Republican supporter has already given about $1 million to GOP causes this election cycle, including to Republican frontrunner Mitt Romney.

Singer did not spare leaders outside of the U.S. his fury, writing that "a great deal of stupidity has chipped away at the massive advantages of Western civilization, which could terminally decline if it remains on the current path." Notably, he calls the euro "a failed experiment" that should be abandoned.

But his most caustic critique is for leaders closer to his fund's Connecticut home.

"In America, the current leadership seems determined to prioritize redistribution of wealth over growth," he wrote. The Federal Reserve's monetary policy is "arrant idiocy" that "is likely to ultimately lead to serious inflation," while new hedge fund regulations are "worse than pointless."

"We wonder if the Securities and Exchange Commission, the regulatory body tasked with policing hedge funds in the U.S., has the sophistication and resources to sniff out issues related to the myriad of complicated trades, strategies and securities that these firms manage,” Singer mused. “Hopefully this new crop of regulators will be more astute than those who ignored a 15-page detailed analysis of the Madoff fraud that was handed to them on a platter years before his unmasking."

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