Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Family Matters

In an idle moment I did something I haven't done for a long time, I read Socialist Worker. There's an interesting piece, in that brief, digestible, Readers Digest style the SW has, on hedge funds.

In the Indian state of Goa mines are being dug with haste and a lack of attention to health and safety for the workers and the villagers. Water is diverted and silt floods houses. The company that owns the mines, Sesa Goa
gets much of its funding from Hermitage Capital, based in Mayfair.

Bill Browder, the head of Hermitage, says he fears that governments in the West will deal with the huge bank bailout debts by printing money, instead of taking on the working class and forcing through cuts.

B[r]owder and his friends are worried this would devalue any financial investments wealthy investors own. So Hermitage is turning to betting on “hard assets” like commodities and land to make money.

Hermitage’s “Global Fund”, which manages £650 million for the rich, is pushing its money into gold and mining companies.

In the 1990s the company made money investing in the newly opened up markets of Russia. Hermitage’s London officers have a modest exterior. But it is rumoured that the interior is modelled on the St Petersburg palace in Russia that it shares a name with.
A bit of internet searching reveals that this caricature of a cigar chomping capitalist is the grandson of a former head of the CPUSA, Earl Russell Browder.

Here's a video of Earl Russell Browder


chrissie_allen said...

Neil, you're making me feel all sentimental (or indeed just the mental bit)about that distinguished
publication. It used to be meat and drink to me in my activist days. However, I became a vegetarian. ;-) Er, but still drink I should add. Anyway, what I'm trying to say is this is a quality post and thanks for bringing attention to it.

Neil said...


Anonymous said...

It does seem to be the case that political radicalism runs in families, of the left or right and frequently both. Don't you think Ear Browder has a passing resemblance to Enoch Powell? This is not to suggest that there are not large and profound real differences across the political spectrum, rather that some people engage during their lives in a kind of political romanticism, as suggested in the recent LRB article on Christopher hitchins.
Their politics must be radical and passionate and why not. However is it not possible to be a passionate and radical democrat. A small suggestion might be to make contributions to political parties,illegal,which is after all, bribery in everything but name.

Laban said...

The Communist Party's great creation, albeit smashed and mangled into the form of Putin's Russia, seems to be doing its best to exact revenge.