What the financial crisis, subsequent taxpayer bailouts, zero prosecutions of financial industry participants and further consolidation of the economy by oligarchs has taught us more than anything else is that the super rich and politically connected are not allowed to fail. Apparently, this may also apply to the head of one of the largest firms in what is quickly becoming the most despised “industry” in the nation.
By now, pretty much everyone in America knows about Michael Lewis’ book Flash Boys, which exposes the high frequency trading (HFT) industry for the money-sucking parasite it is. However, what will really get your blood boiling, particularly if you live in Florida, is how the CEO of one of the biggest players in the HFT space, Virtu Financial, is looking for taxpayers to bail-out his poorly performing investment in the Florida Panther NFL hockey franchise. This takes having “some nerve” to a whole new level of absurdity.
Vincent Viola, whose high-frequency trading firm plans to raise millions of dollars in an initial public offering next month, is seeking tax dollars to help cover the bills for the Florida Panthers hockey team he bought six months ago.
Viola asked lawmakers in South Florida’s Broward County to use $64 million in taxpayer funds for arena bond payments owed by the team, which says it’s losing money as attendance has fallen to a 14-year low. Officials in Broward, which encompasses Fort Lauderdale on the Atlantic Coast, disagree on how to proceed, with some saying that if they don’t pick up the tab, the team may move and leave taxpayers with $225 million in debt and an empty arena.
Sounds a lot like the nonsense we all head that went something like “we must bail-out and not regulate banking criminals otherwise they will leave the U.S.” Oh the horror, these crooks might take their organized crime elsewhere…
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