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Wed Oct 3, 2012, 02:36 PM


Another billionaire now meddling in politics & 'reform' [View all]

Last edited Wed Oct 3, 2012, 03:15 PM - Edit history (2)

Twelve years ago, Nicolas Berggruen sold his apartment, which was filled with French antiques, on the 31st floor of the Pierre Hotel in Manhattan...he no longer wanted to be weighed down by physical possessions. He did the same with his Art Deco house on a private island near Miami...

Now he keeps what little he owns in storage and travels light, carrying just his iPhone, a few pairs of jeans, a fancy suit or two... At 51, the diminutive Berggruen is weathered, but still youthful... Thereís something else he hung on to: his Gulfstream IV. It takes him to cities where he stays in five-star hotels....Berggruen can afford to live like this because heís chairman of Berggruen Holdings, a New York-based private equity firm that buys troubled companies and fixes them up....

But Berggruen isnít satisfied with mere wealth and glamour. He also wants to be taken seriously as an intellectual. As the financial crisis unfolded, he became convinced some political systems were failing in America and Europe. He thought he could help rescue them by using his disposable income to advance wonky reforms. By his own admission, he didnít know much about such matters, but that didnít stop him.

In 2009 he started the Nicolas Berggruen Institute, a think tank whose stated mission is to improve global governance, and promised to spend more than $100 million to further its goals. In California heís pushing to overhaul the fiscally troubled stateís tax code, education system, and problematic initiative and referendum system. He would like to see greater political integration in crisis-plagued Europe, preferably under a single leader. He thinks it would be great if the Group of 20 nations become more of a permanent global policymaker....


Editorial comment:

- "Buys companies & fixes them up" = He makes his money like Mitt Romney does.

- "Nicolas Berggruen Institute" = tax-free depository and investment arm for his profits, 5% of the interest from which he uses to manipulate political & social developments. IOW, he's not giving away anything, he's *making* money & using it to push public policy in his chosen directions.

- "he doesn't know much about such matters" = he is probably advised by other billionaires on what political and social developments to 'invest' in.

Why do these people get to avoid taxes AND game politics? How is pushing their own interest while avoiding democratic oversight a 'charitable purpose'?

Eli Broad, education deformer, is one of the members of his "Think Long" committee for California...


His major interest seems to be in ushering in the new corporate world government.

The Nicolas Berggruen Institute is dedicated to exploring new ideas of good governance. The NBI is an independent, non-partisan think tank which Ė with the commitment and dedication of elder statesmen and women, global thinkers, leading entrepreneurs who volunteer their time and advice - engages in the design and implementation of systems of governance suited to the new and complex challenges of the 21st century.


BTW, according to this source, Berggruen is registered to vote in Florida as a Democrat and helped fund california's prop 23, which would have stalled cutting greenhouse gasses until the unemployment rate came down below 5.5% for a year.


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HiPointDem Oct 2012 OP
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