Cantor at Moelis Shows Government Can Do Something: Opening LineLaurence Arnold
Following his defeat at the hands of an unknown in Virginia’s Republican primary, Eric Cantor, the No. 2 leader of the House of Representatives, urged his stunned supporters to keep fighting for the “many working middle-class families” as well as society’s “most vulnerable.”
“It’s disappointing, sure,” he said in concession remarks on June 10. “But I believe in this country. I believe there’s opportunity around the next corner for all of us.”
There certainly was for him.
In his new job with New York-based investment bank Moelis & Co., Cantor will be paid at least $3.4 million from now through 2015, Annie Linskey and Roger Runningen reported after tallying up the pieces of his compensation (including an “initial cash payment” of $400,000 plus $1 million of stock) from the company’s regulatory filings.
Shocking? Of course not. Cantor was a friend to Wall Street from his time on the House Financial Services Committee through his roles in leadership. And though his last financial disclosure filings suggested he and his wife had a net worth ranging from $6.2 million to $20 million -- including more than $1 million of stock in Domino’s Pizza -- his annual salary as U.S. House majority leader was a relatively paltry $193,400.
“The well-worn path from Washington to Wall Street has rarely been as clear, nor the entrenched culture of mutual behind-kissing,” Robert Reich, who was U.S. Labor secretary under Bill Clinton and now teaches at the University of California-Berkeley, wrote of Cantor yesterday on his Facebook page.
Just in case the criticism gives Cantor second thoughts, here are some other job ideas that would be logical extensions of his work in Congress:
STORE OWNER: “A former small businessman, Eric has emerged as a leading voice on the economy and job creation,” his no-longer-active congressional website said.
PATIENT ADVOCATE: “He has long been a key player in health care, fighting for greater choice for families.”
REAL-ESTATE LAWYER: He has a law degree from William & Mary Law School and a master’s in real estate development from Columbia University.
TEACHER: “The time has come for a serious commitment to education reform in America,” Cantor said in a 2013 address at a charter school in Philadelphia.
MEDICAL RESEARCHER: “Funds currently spent by the government on social science -- including on politics, of all things –- would be better spent helping find cures to diseases,” he said in a 2013 speech to the American Enterprise Institute.
CIA AGENT: Cantor was just a rank-and-file member of Financial Services in his first term. He also was on the International Relations Committee and was chairman of the Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare.
ECONOMICS PROFESSOR: The Republican who defeated him, David Brat, teaches economics at Randolph-Macon College in Virginia. Brat’s Democratic opponent in the November election, Jack Trammell, also teaches there.
Hey, if you can’t beat ’em …
Today’s economic indicators include factory orders at 10 a.m. EDT, the Fed Beige Book at 2 p.m. and auto sales throughout the day.
Companies reporting earnings include Toll Brothers, H&R Block, Navistar and PVH.
- The Federal Reserve, FDIC and OCC are set to issue liquidity rules for banks. - About two dozen Airbnb hosts have sued the company to stop it from releasing their private information in New York’s investigation. - The theft of $144,000 in gold from a parked car is under investigation in West Philly. - IEX Group has raised money to turn itself from dark pool to registered exchange, for which it’s expected to apply soon. IEX CEO Brad Katsuyama is scheduled to appear on Bloomberg TV today at 3 p.m. EDT. - Netflix has landed the rights to Time Warner Inc.’s Batman-themed “Gotham” TV series, while HBO plans to return a remastered, HD version of “The Wire” to its lineup. - Tim Geithner turns Warburg Pincus into what sounds like a collection agency. - Jeffrey Bezos delivers new publisher to Washington Post. - Nine-year-old who accidentally killed instructor said firing Uzi was painful. - Two California judges censured for sex in chambers. - Hong Kong pro-democracy hedge-fund manager loses newspaper column. - Roger Angell rhapsodizes about Derek Jeter in the New Yorker. - New York Magazine asks, “What’s the matter with Connecticut?” - Dunkin’ Donuts reach Southern California. - Denver Broncos lose Wes Welker for four games after receiver tests positive for amphetamines. - Penn State student befriends a squirrel. - U.S. television show bothers Venezuela’s government. - Bulgaria bank seizure strands depositors.
For all the talk of U.S. sanctions, one provider of money to Vladimir Putin’s Russia has proven difficult to contain: the American investor.
Last month -- as Ukrainian leaders called Russia’s military maneuverings an invasion, as relations grew more strained between Putin and President Barack Obama, and as U.S. officials said Russian hackers had attacked U.S. financial institutions -- Americans kept betting on Russia. Exchange-traded funds based in the U.S. and focused on Russia attracted $265 million, or 14 percent of their market value, the most among 47 regions after Portugal and Hong Kong, Ye Xie reports.
Investors added $213 million to the largest Russian fund of its kind, Market Vectors Russia ETF, boosting its assets to $1.6 billion.
Just hours ago, the bets on Russia looked like smart money. After Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said he and Putin had agreed on a cease-fire, the Micex Index jumped 2.6 percent, its largest advance in three months. That was before Putin’s spokesman threw cold water on the good news.
Last week, weighing the cavalcade of provocations and hostilities emanating from Russia’s leader, we asked, “When does it become war? When does it get serious?”
Perhaps the answer is, when Americans stop seeing Putin’s antics as a buying opportunity.
Ask not what the Dallas Cowboys might do for Michael Sam, but what Michael Sam might do for the Cowboys.
News that Sam will try out today for the Cowboys’ practice squad -- mostly young auxiliary players who run drills but can’t play in games -- keeps afloat his shot at becoming the first openly gay player in the NFL. The St. Louis Rams, which created a sensation by drafting Sam, cut him last week.
As for the Cowboys, well, they could use some positive press and good vibes.
“America’s Team” -- a nickname that wasn’t sardonic back in the days of Tom Landry and Tex Schramm -- has lately put its fans through a torturous run. A franchise that once seemed guaranteed a playoff berth each year hasn’t made the postseason since 2009 and has plodded through three consecutive 8-win, 8-loss seasons. Its owner, oil billionaire Jerry Jones, makes waves whether talking about football or posing with young women who are definitely not named Mrs. Jones. The reverberations of a player’s 2012 drunken-driving car crash are still being felt.
Adding Michael Sam and his appealing story to the practice squad isn’t exactly a recipe for fixing “the laughingstock of the NFL,” as Will Leitch called the Cowboys in New York magazine. But with an injured, aging, underwhelming roster, the team isn’t likely to treat its fans to much else.
Please don’t ruin it, mademoiselle.
You must know that Americans have a thing for French women. We’re interested in what you know, how you age so well, how to impress you. Sure, Americans like to crack jokes about France, but most of them involve punchlines with the word “surrender.”
Speaking of jokes, did you hear this one from Conan O’Brien:
“France has a new president who lives with a woman that he is not married to. Their relationship is described as ‘French.’”
We hope you enjoyed that one, ma cherie. But therein lies la probleme.
To believe the reports, the woman in that joke, Valerie Trierweiler, wrote a tell-all memoir that will be released this week. It is to include details of her 18 months as France’s de facto first lady until her split in January from Francois Hollande.
The book, “Thank You for The Moment,” will be “the first time that a serving French head of state has been exposed to a ‘kiss and tell’ book while still in office,” the U.K. Daily Mail reported.
Trierweiler does have a story to tell. Hollande announced their breakup in January after cameramen caught him paying furtive visits to an actress, Julie Gayet, via motor scooter. So hurt was Trierweiler that she spent eight days in a hospital for treatment of stress, the Daily Mail reported.
Far be it for Americans to say kissing and telling has no place in politics. We may not have invented the kissing, but we’ve mastered the telling.
We’re not saying you shouldn’t write a tell-all memoir. It’s just that we like to think French women have better things to do.
Kids these days -- they have it too good.
When we were young, we had only seven TV channels to choose from. And one was PBS. If we were really lucky, we’d play a lame video game. It was called “Pong.”
IPhone? Please. We needed a dime to call home and ask for a ride. Not a “ride-share” -- a ride.
So don’t expect any sympathy for these so-called millennials and their uphill battle to rise in their careers. You want to talk uphill -- you should have seen our walk to and from school.
Anyway, our advice for these young’uns hoping to get in on the ground floor at an upward-bound company is, start your own.
Roger Federer’s 71st career win at the U.S. Open earned him a spot in the men’s quarterfinals, along with Gael Monfils, Marin Cilic and Tomas Berdych, who also won yesterday.
China’s Peng Shuai, proving that staying power has a place in a young person’s game, won a spot in the women’s semifinals. At 28, she reaches the final four for the first time in 37 career appearances in Grand Slam tournaments. She’ll face Caroline Wozniacki.
Women’s top seed Serena Williams also seeks a spot in the semifinals in a match today against Flavia Pennetta.