Griffin Says Ultra-Rich Have Too Little Influence In Politics

Mar 12 2012 | 1:42pm ET

Most people think that money plays too big a role in American politics. Citadel Investment Group's Kenneth Griffin isn't one of them.

Griffin, who is backing former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney for president this year, told the Chicago Tribune this weekend that the "ultra-wealthy" like himself actually have "insufficient influence" in politics.

"I think they actually have an insufficient influence," Griffin said. "Those who have enjoyed the benefits of our system more than ever now owe a duty to protect the system that has created the greatest nation on this planet. And so I hope that other individuals who have really enjoyed growing up in a country that believes in life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness – and economic freedom is part of the pursuit of happiness – (I hope they realize) they have a duty now to step up and protect that. Not for themselves, but for their kids and for their grandchildren and for the person down the street that they don't even know."

"At this moment in time, these values are under attack. This belief that a larger government is what creates prosperity, that a larger government is what creates good (is wrong). We've seen that experiment. The Soviet Union collapsed. China has run away from its state-controlled system over the last 20 years and has pulled more people up from poverty by doing so than we've ever seen in the history of humanity. Why the U.S. is drifting toward a direction that has been the failed experiment of the last century, I don't understand. I don't understand."

Griffin told the newspaper that he spends "way too much of my time thinking about politics these days because government is way too involved in financial markets these days." But he'd like to become more involved himself, in a sense, calling for an end to the $2,500 limit on individual donations to political campaigns.

More locally, Griffin said he has lobbied hard to keep a casino out of downtown Chicago, having spoken with both former Chicago Mayor Richard Daley and current Mayor Rahm Emmanuel, and written a letter to Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn.

"There is no great city in America that has a casino (downtown)," he said. "And there's a reason for it. Casinos do not represent the values of a great city."


In Depth

Q&A: Open Season For Closed-End Funds

Aug 29 2014 | 10:00am ET

When Maury Fertig and Bob Huffman, former Salomon Brothers coworkers, launched...

Lifestyle

Och Funds Women In Finance Initiative At U-M

Aug 28 2014 | 3:01pm ET

Och-Ziff Capital founder Daniel Och and his wife have made a "generous donation"...

Guest Contributor

Looking Ahead: What’s In Store For Managed Futures?

Aug 22 2014 | 12:52pm ET

The last five years were phenomenal for investors in equity indices. Will the next...

 

Editor's Note

    Get A Sneak Peak Of The Alpha Pages

    Aug 25 2014 | 11:21am ET

    As many of you know, FINalternatives was recently acquired by the owners of Futures magazine, a firm called The Alpha Pages LLC. Today marks the soft-launch of a new sister site for both publications. As its name suggests, The Alpha Pages will cover all types of alternative investments, going far beyond the more well-known ones such as hedge funds and private equity. Read more…

 

Futures Magazine

July/August 2014 Cover

The time was right

Commodities/Futures magazine launched at the precipice of a revolution in the futures industry—really a revolution in the idea of risk management—that would move it from a small niche industry to ...

The Alpha Pages

TAP July/August 2014 Cover

The Alpha Pages Interview: Senator Rand Paul

Senator Paul sat down in the debut series of the Alpha Pages Interview to discuss the broken tax code, regulation surrounding Bitcoin, and his plans for the 2016 Presidential election.