Sunday, June 26, 2011

Politics is a Scam – Why I Will Never Vote Again

By James Altucher

I had five seconds to make the secretive most powerful man in the world like me so I could potentially make millions. “James,” Bill McCluskey said to me, “this is Alan Quasha.” Bill was CEO of Brean Murray, one of the mini-banks I considered selling my fund of hedge funds to in 2006. We had a deal on the table and I was desperate at the time to make it work. The table was circular, there were papers on it with numbers, I was bullshitting every which way I could about “synergies”. Whatever. That was months later. But first I had to meet Alan Quasha, the owner of Brean Murray, at an event they were throwing, and he had to like me. Because…

Alan Quasha squinted his eyes, shook my hand. He had no idea who I was. I certainly wasn’t anything like George W. Bush, the man Quasha had personally saved in 1986. The man Bush owes his sobriety to. In 1986 Bush was CEO of some oil company that was going down in flames. Possibly the worst oil company in Texas history.

Some calls were made and Quasha’s Harken Oil bought Bush’s company for millions of dollars. Then, of course, a few years later, Bush sold his shares in Quasha’s Harkin Oil right before Harkin Oil announced a mega-loss and the stock tanked. Bush used his profits to buy a stake in the Texas Rangers, sold that stake later for 10-15 million dollars and was finally able to follow his father’s sage advice (“don’t go into politics until you get rich” ***).

Let’s spell out what that means: if Alan Quasha called up W on September 12, 2001 in the middle of Bush pouring over maps of the jungles of Afghanistan to see where we would invade (do they have jungles in Afghanistan? Do we really need an “h” in Afghanistan?), Bush would say “hold all calls”, close the doors of the Oval Office and say “Hi Daddy Number 2″, to Quasha. He owed his life, his livelihood, the Texas Rangers, the Presidency, all to Alan Quasha and now I was shaking Quasha’s hand. I had five seconds to make Alan Quasha like me almost as much as he liked Bush so he would buy my company. Why? Alan Quasha was Chairman of Brean Murray.

Fast-forward about ten seconds. Alan Quasha had moved on. Now I was being introduced to Terry Mcauliffe. Terry was the Vice-Chairman of Brean Murray. Terry was known in most circles as “Bill Clinton’s best friend”. Terry raised the bulk of the money for the two Presidential campaigns that Bill was in (the first, of course, where he crushed Bush, the Elder). I’m guessing Terry also raised the money for all of Hillary’s political races. If Chelsea Clinton ever ran for Mayor of New York (now that Weiner is out of the running so you never know) I bet Terry would raise all the money for her race as well.

So there you have it. The biggest mastermind in Republican politics, the behind the scenes mover and shaker across the entire Bush family, was Chairman of the company. And the biggest mover-and-shaker in Democrat politics, was Vice Chairman. The war of values, between Democracy and Republicanism that our founders had fought for, had shed blood for, was over between them, if it ever even existed. Screw “The Federalist Papers”! Let’s make some money!

Read the rest here.


  1. So, did he buy your company?

    I wouldn't bother voting in the next election cycle except for Ron Paul. He wasn't "made" by anyone and isn't beholden to special interests. Now that might mean he doesn't stand a chance, but still; there's always hope.

  2. 'someone asked on twitter, "whats the alternative?" My response on twitter: " better if it was a true democracy (instead of a republic) and better if all advertising was banned except for equal air time as the president."'

    Is he being serious? Shame.