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Dan Loeb to Obama’s Hedge Fund Supporters: You Are Like a Battered Wife

Friday, 10 Dec 2010 | 4:54 PM ET

Yesterday Third Point founder Dan Loeb sent a mocking letter to a group of hedge fund managers who have supported Barack Obama, comparing them to battered wives.

“I am sure, if we are really nice and stay quiet, everything will be alright and the President will become more centrist and that all his tough talk is just words; I mean he really loves us and when he beats us, he doesn’t mean it; he just gets a little angry,” Loeb wrote.

Loeb is famous for his poisonous pen. He once wrote to Irik Sevin, the chief of Star Gas Partners, calling him “one of the most dangerous and incompetent executives in America.”

“Do what you do best: retreat to your waterfront mansion in the Hamptons where you can play tennis and hobnob with your fellow socialites,” Loeb said.

AR’s Josh Frielander got his hands on the letter. Here’s how he describes the situation:

Loeb’s enmity toward the current administration’s policies has been evident at least since an August 27 letter to investors, in which the founder of Third Point and former Obama supporter, said the President and his team, by proposing to raise taxes on hedge funds and private equity managers, were creating a hostile environment for investors. And in his third quarter investor letter, sent to clients yesterday, Loeb continued bashing the administration, saying that Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke’s recent appearance on CBS show 60 Minutes “came off as a staged infomercial.” He also accused Obama of suffering from cognitive dissonance for supporting policies that have been rejected by the electorate.

It has been a sharp reversal for Loeb, who was a major supporter of Obama and helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for his 2008 campaign. In yesterday’s letter to the political supporters, Loeb implied that Obama never wanted his ideas, only his money.

The letter was sent at about 10 a.m. yesterday to a group that included Frank Brosens of Taconic Capital Advisors, James Chanos of Kynikos Associates, Marc Lasry of Avenue Capital Group and Eric Mindich of Eton Park Capital Management, among others, according to an individual who has seen the e-mail.

The letter, which compares wealthy investors’ continued support of Obama’s policies to battered wife syndrome, is addressed “Dear Friends/battered wives.”

Bess Levin at DealBreaker gives us the entire letter:

From: Daniel Loeb

Subject: Holiday Gift

Dear Friends/battered wives:

It is that time of year and I just thought of the perfect gift in light of some of you. In case the President’s hostage rant wasn’t enough to turn you off, I thought I’d buy any of you a great book for gals who just keep on pursuing the wrong guy. Made popular on Oprah a few years back, “He’s Just Not That Into You” seems like the perfect holiday stocking stuffer for true blue Democrats who just can’t get enough of our President’s smack downs on hard working successful Americans known as “the 2%”

I am sure, if we are really nice and stay quiet, everything will be alright and the President will become more centrist and that all his tough talk is just words; I mean he really loves us and when he beats us, he doesn’t mean it; he just gets a little angry….i mean when I am alone with him —at $30,000 a plate fund raisers—he’s really nice and once I got invited to the White House! It was so cool, because I could tell all my friends…and when he gives speeches, I mean i get to sit in the front row and my friends see me on TV…..and he usually doesn’t hit me in the face to it doesn’t show except for that one time…he’s not that bad really, unless he gets drunk (from power) and…..well, he really does love me or he wouldn’t invite me to all those $30,000 a plate fund raisers and ask my opinion all the time, right?

Henninger said it best in case you haven’t read his article:

(an excerpt below):

He lashed “the wealthiest Americans” three times, not to mention “the wealthiest 2% of Americans,” “tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires,” “wealthy people” and—channeling the French revolution—”the wealthiest estates.” (Louisiana Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu, answering the party’s casting call for the role of Madame Defarge, denounced the deal as “morally corrupt.” Keep her away from knitting needles.)

I don’t buy that all this was said as a sop to the angry left. One month into his presidency, the Obama budget message repeatedly ripped into “those at the commanding heights of our economy.” When at the White House Monday Mr. Obama suggested his next campaign will be “a conversation with the American people” about ending those rates (35%!) for “wealthy people,” I take him at his word. He won’t be at peace until this violation is erased.

Franklin Roosevelt in his speech to the 1936 Democratic Convention attacked what he called “economic royalists.” Nearly 75 years later, Barack Obama, everyone around him in the White House and the kind of Democrats who migrate to Washington seem stuck in some sort of Ma Joad idea of the American economy.

But they’ve gone FDR and John Steinbeck one better. In the world of the Grapes of Wrath Democrats now gagging over Barack Obama’s “sell-out” to the rich, the new economic royalists aren’t limited to “the Ishmael or Insull.” Now it’s any single person or married couple in America with a pre-tax income at $200,000 or $250,000.

DL

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