The Daily Bell
Thursday, December 8, 2011
Mystery company buying up U.S. gun manufacturers … Some gun enthusiasts have claimed that the power behind the company is actually George Soros, the hedge-fund billionaire and liberal activist. Soros, these people have warned, is buying U.S. gun companies so he can dismantle the industry, Second Amendment be damned. The chatter grew so loud that the National Rifle Association issued a statement in October denying the rumors.
“NRA has had contact with officials from Cerberus and Freedom Group for some time,” the NRA assured its members. “The owners and investors involved are strong supporters of the Second Amendment and are avid hunters and shooters.” Soros isn’t behind the Freedom Group, but, ultimately, another financier is: Stephen Feinberg, the chief executive of Cerberus. Cerberus is part of one of the signature Wall Street businesses of the past decade: private equity. – New York Times
Dominant Social Theme: It’s just business, nothing more to it.
Free-Market Analysis: Another subdominant social theme? It’s always the same. The Anglosphere power elite is on its way to buying up all the oil, water and farmland in the world (with or without China), or so it seems, and we are told it is the evolution of the free-market economy. Sure …
And now … guns. Not George Soros, mind you. The NRA – an elitist, Trojan Horse of an organization itself – has assured us that the folks behind the purchases are “strong supporters of the Second Amendment.” The NRA added, “We have a mighty fine bridge connecting Manhattan to Brooklyn that we’d like to sell you.”
Oh, sorry – we just made up that last part. Anyway, this is how the power elite likes to work, it seems to us. Every move to support global governance is likely cloaked and hidden. There are always justifications. If it is not a war, or a “human tragedy” that necessitates further centralization, then it is “market forces” at work. But in fact, it is always directed history …
Is it possible that Feinberg is doing the bidding of a larger and more powerful elite? We are well aware that one of the goals of the powers-that-be is to rid the US of guns. It is a major stumbling block to declaring one-world government, or so it is said by directed history observers. Here is something about Feinberg, via Wikipedia:
Stephen Feinberg was born in the Bronx, NY. At eight his family moved to Spring Valley, New York, a relatively poor suburb of New York City. His father was a steel salesman. He attended Princeton University in New Jersey, graduating with a degree in politics in 1982. While there, he captained the tennis team and joined the Reserve Officer Training Corps.
After graduating from college, Feinberg worked as a trader at Drexel Burnham and Gruntal & Co. In 1992 Feinberg teamed up with William L. Richter to found Cerberus Capital Management with just $10 million under management. Feinberg has been at the helm of the firm since its founding. Later alliances with J. Ezra Merkin were important for raising capital.
Subsequent hirings of former politicians and lobbyists John Snow, Dan Quayle and others have served as door-openers in Washington and abroad. The 2007 Cerberus purchase of Chrysler Corp. from Germany’s Daimler Benz became a major and, as of 2009, unsuccessful initiative by Feinberg into a higher-profile investment. Feinberg and others at the firm explicitly presented the investment as patriotic, but many critics ultimately questioned that characterization, especially after Chrysler had to seek and take federal aid. Chrysler now, with federal help, has been sold to Fiat.
As of 2009, Cerberus was facing major calls from its investors for redemptions, and had written down its investment in Chrysler to 19 cents on the dollar. Had there not been the federal bailout, the investment could have been worth nothing.
Well, it’s nice to know that Feinberg has friends in the federal government. Suspicious people (even more paranoid than ourselves) might suggest a quid pro quo: Feinberg gets a bailout and in return, the US gun manufacturing industry gets a roll-up. Well, on second thought, no … That’s just too darn paranoid!
Nonetheless, there is a roll-up. And the activity seems frenetic. Cerberus-controlled Freedom Group, Feinberg’s vehicle, has purchased one high profile gun manufacturer after another. The article tells us that it began with Maine-based Bushmaster before the biggest prize of all fell into its lap, Remington.
After pocketing Remington, the “Freedom Group” targeted Marlin Firearms, then DPMS Firearms, “a maker of semiautomatic, military-style rifles, as well as manufacturers of ammunition and tactical clothing.”
But there was more to come: Harrington & Richardson and L.C. Smith, and Dakota Arms – makers of rifles and something called Barnes Bullets. And more! The article mentions S&K Industries, which supplies wood and laminate for gun stocks, as well as the Advanced Armament Corp., which makes silencers.
This is a pretty hefty swath, no? The Freedom Group itself seems to think so. According to the Times article excerpted above, the Freedom Group said in a filing last year with the Securities and Exchange Commission, “We believe our scale and product breadth are unmatched within the industry.”
We are sure this is just the market at work … aren’t we? Or will there come a day in the not too distant future when the NRA announces that in order to buy a rifle you will need to be formally licensed and fingerprinted. You will need an ID or a microchip implant.
And then, perhaps, the NRA will announce that the Freedom Group, America’s number one gun owner, is firmly behind the measure! “The industry supports it,” we shall be told. “And so should you!”
Conclusion: “We fight for the independence of recreational gun owners and hunters everywhere,” the press release might continue. “And that’s why we stand side-by-side with the NRA in welcoming this most important initiative. Call your Congressperson today!” Mr. Freidman, the wire reports inform us, could not be reached for comment …