Thursday, January 17, 2013

Vanguard Deflects Attention From Smith & Wesson; What About Its Support for a Child-Abusing CEO?

Jack Bogle of Vanguard Group

President Obama's sweeping proposals on gun control grabbed the nation's attention yesterday, and they even showed the kind of political courage that has been all too lacking in his administration--at least in the view of many of us on the left. We applaud the president's actions in the wake of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, but we suspect the public already has largely forgotten about the investment firms that fuel America's gun culture.

That might be because one of those firms, Vanguard Group of Malvern, Pennsylvania, has done a masterful job of deflecting attention from its support for some of our nation's top gun manufacturers. And that might be because Vanguard Group, led by founder John C. "Jack" Bogle, has a lot of practice at covering up its questionable actions as America's largest mutual-fund company.

For example, most citizens probably have no idea that Vanguard Group is one of the primary supporters of private prisons, which are riddled with corruption. On a smaller scale, Vanguard is the No. 1 investor in Campus Crest Communities, the Charlotte-based company that has become a major player in the effort to privatize student housing at publicly funded universities. Never mind that CEO Ted Rollins has a documented history as a child abuser, including a conviction for assault on his 16-year-old stepson and an investigation based on a citizen complaint of suspected child sexual abuse involving the same stepson.

Some investment groups tried to distance themselves from gun manufacturers in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook shooting, but not Vanguard. Company spokesman Doug Hoffman said Vanguard pegs investments toward certain stock index funds, so it often is a passive rather than an active investor.

Published reports show that Vanguard is the No. 1 investor in Smith & Wesson and one of the top investors in Sturm Ruger--and such companies help create weapons that have led to a string of mass killings across the country. But Vanguard's position is to more or less shrug its shoulders and say, "It's all in a day's work for those of us in big-time finance. We can't be held accountable for negative outcomes from our investment decisions."

Perhaps we should excuse Hoffman's nonchalant response to the Newtown massacre because it seems to accurately reflect the view of Vanguard's founder. Jack Bogle appeared on a Philly news-talk program after the Newtown shooting and deflected responsibility as if he were a goalie for the Philadelphia Flyers, the city's NHL hockey team. Here is pretty much the take-home lesson from the Bogle interview:

If we don't invest in gun companies, someone else is going to do it. Besides, we are in no position to tell Smith & Wesson what business it should be in. Are mass shootings bad? Oh yes, but we can't do anything about them.

So much for "socially responsible" investing. Bogle is a bottom-line guy, and you have to give him credit for not pretending to be something else.

Bogle is mostly retired these days, but he remains one of the more talkative types at Vanguard. In upcoming posts, we will take a look at some of Vanguard's other decision makers. We might even give them a chance to explain their financial support for Ted Rollins, despite his history as a child abuser.

Perhaps they will say that Campus Crest Communities, like Smith & Wesson, provides a solid return on investment--and that's all the world of high finance cares about.

Meanwhile, we welcome President Obama's common-sense proposals to control the distribution of deadly weapons. We hope, in time, the president might help shine light on the investment houses that keep the gun industry churning.


Unknown said...

Yes it appears the retirement portfolios for the justices and that means the Supreme Court Judges, must come to the people of America at long last with "clean hands!?"

We would hope this to be true, however, with Obama as an imposter it appears we would hope for not.

When the "elite" of America decided in the 1800s late and into the 1920s, to direct "society," we can now see what these so called "rich" of the U.S. of A. had on their minds.

We were-are are to the "elite," nothing but their "herd." We are to be controlled as such and the experiments began to shape who we are as society. Of course Wall Street was heavy handed in the manipulations.

Fast forward and we have Vanguard that umbrellas the courts and many of the societal portfolios: doctors, nurses, and name a government "public employee" whose retirement is not managed under the umbrella of Vanguard.

It is the culture of corruption and Campus Crest is the perfect choice for society's next failure in the falling off cliff after cliff of no real money in America.

Gotta pull off the best show no money can buy and thus, the "elite" are now "the worst of our species that have ever walked the earth," Iceland said this and it is the truth.

Anonymous said...

Jack Bogle is like a God to many investors. His word is like receiving tablets from Mt. Sinai.

Bo said...

A banner day for the NRA. Gun sales will go through the roof.

Anonymous said...

LS, your eye is incredibly scary.

The image-photo of Jack Bogle is from an old real frightening horror film. Look at that hand hanging down like a knuckling dragging thug.

Face smug, one of the "elites'" chosen, as Anon 7:28am posted how it is in America.

The CIA was chosen for winning.

America's collective brain has imaged our society and the CIA is our consciences to keep US in the pen of behaving as programmed.

Our propaganda past, present and also in the future, propagandizing by the propagandists and these are indeed the Jack Bogle criminals who serve the real criminals who steal American's into cyclical realities decided by not the bewildered herd.

In the mind of Jack is a scary world out here.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing the interview with Jack Bogle in the wake of Newtown. Had not seen that. Very interesting.

Gerry With A G said...

According to Wikipedia, Vanguard manages $2 trillion in assets. Kind of scary to think of one company controlling that much money.

Anonymous said...

Good God, Vanguard is like its own country. Thanks for sharing, GWG.

Anonymous said...

I wonder what kind of political contributions Vanguard makes. Does it support candidates who oppose gun control? Will it help finance the effort to fight President Obama's proposals?

Anonymous said...

Since the Vanguard Group owns more than 5.5 million shares of ROL stock which is ROLLINS INC. (Orkin et al) it is not hard to figure out who helped set Ted Rollins and Campus Crest's deal with Vanguard.

The good ol' boy, republican, elitists put their heads together and helped the Rollins boy fund his IPO and the Rollins clan once again made millions on an initial public offering.

legalschnauzer said...

Anon at 9:16--

You ask some excellent questions. Need to do some research on that, but you have to figure that Vanguard is a major player on the political circuit.

legalschnauzer said...

Anon at 9:18--

Splendid reporting. I need to hire you. Do you work cheap? Seriously, I had not thought to look at Vanguard's ties to Rollins Inc. You provided some valuable insight. Looks like Ted R rode on his family's coat tails.

Anonymous said...

Ooops, LS, seems I did not do enough research on Vanguard and Rollins before I commented earlier. Seems that Vanguard owns 100's of millions of shares in ROL, RPC, Dover Downs Gaming which are all listed publicly traded Rollins companies.

So I guess this means that all of the Rollins publicly traded companies are somewhat controlled by Vanguard funding. Who knew the Rollins family and guns and prisons were such close friends?

legalschnauzer said...

Anon at 11:11--

More terrific reporting. I'm always amazed at what my readers can dig up.

Let's do some math: We know that Vanguard is into guns, private prisons, and private student housing. What all is the Rollins family involved in--pest control, gambling, horse and auto racing, hospitality (hotels, resorts, etc.)? I know I'm forgetting something. Aren't they somehow into oil and even fracking? Is that RPC?

Anonymous said...

I wonder if Vanguard is involved in porn. With all of the money to be made in that industry, Vanguard has to have its hands in that, don't they?

Unknown said...

Vanguard vs. Proletariat.

It is a very, very, very old saying.

Yes Vanguard umbrellas whatever can be a profit for the criminal "elite."

The elite are those, Rollins,' et al, that believe they deserve to be separate, chosen, more special, better, obviously 'elite.'

It is an apartheid. LS you have, as usual, uncovered the apartheid:

"... Goebbels, who had a PhD in philosophy (which is crucial in terms of understanding how he was able to apply his writing in the way that he did), apparently had an even larger library on propaganda than Mr. Bernays and had not only read all of his books, but had largely memorized a good deal of them as well. Goebbels was able to utilize Bernays' ideas on propaganda in a manner that was the most malicious and homicidal ever seen in the 20th century: to support the FINAL SOLUTION...."

**excerpt from letter to E. Cummings, et al

FLUORIDE. Bernays of course was in the mass hypnosis of this RAT POISON that was used in NAZI GERMANY, WWII et al, etc.

Thanks to your reader for the tip on fluoride, wow, what an important dot to connect for We People U.S. of A. MERCURY FILLINGS INTO OUR TEETH and then whatever "money" can sell US to destroy our body-mind-spirit for the "FINAL SOLUTION," see Agenda 21, same ole story!

Anonymous said...

~Did Tim Geithner Leak Every Fed Announcement To The Banks?~

Submitted by Tyler Durden 01/18/13

"... On August 17, 2007, the Fed's Board of Governors announced a key change to primary credit lending terms, whereby the discount rate was cut by 50 bp — to 5.75% from 6.25% — and the term of loans was extended from overnight to up to thirty days. This reduced the spread of the primary credit rate over the fed funds rate from 100 basis points to 50 basis points. News of the emergency measure was supposed to be kept secret from market participants as it was substantially market moving. It wasn't. And just when we thought our opinion of the outgoing Treasury Secretary and former NY Fed head Tim Geithner, whose TurboTax incompetence is now legendary, couldn't get lower, it got lower. Much lower.

.. From the August 16, 2007 transcript (page 13 of 37) of the conference call preceding this announcement.

.. MR. LACKER. If I could just follow up on that, Mr. Chairman.

.. CHAIRMAN BERNANKE. Yes, go ahead.

.. MR. LACKER. Vice Chairman Geithner, did you say that [the banks] are unaware of what we’re considering or what we might be doing with the discount rate?


.. MR. LACKER. Vice Chairman Geithner, I spoke with Ken Lewis, President and CEO of Bank of America, this afternoon, and he said that he appreciated what Tim Geithner was arranging by way of changes in the discount facility. So my information is different from that.

.. CHAIRMAN BERNANKE. Okay. Thank you. Go ahead, Vice Chairman Geithner.

.. VICE CHAIRMAN GEITHNER. Well, I cannot speak for Ken Lewis, but I think they have sought to see whether they could understand a little more clearly the scope of their rights and our current policy with respect to the window. The only thing I’ve done is to try to help them understand—and I’m sure that’s been true across the System—what the scope of that is because these people generally don’t use the window and they don’t really understand in some sense what it’s about.

.. At least we now know who the bankers' mole on the FOMC was before, as gratitude for his services, he was promoted to Treasury Secretary of the US. Because if he leaked one, he leaked them all.