Meet The Hedge Fund Puppetmaster Behind The US Presidential Election

Tyler Durden's picture

In the world of hedge funds, few have achieved as much consistent success and profitable returns as Jim Simon's Renaissance Technologies, the multi-billion fund which unleashed and popularized quant investing, and whose legendary "Medallion" fund, run mostly for fund employees, has been the object of LP lust for years. However, just as notable is that Jim Simons, who Forbes calculated recently is the 50th richest person in the world and who made $1.7 billion last year alone, is not only a prominent Democratic donor, but has been one of the most generous sponsors of Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign.


A recent analysis by the WSJ calculated that, of the $48.5 million donated by hedge funds to the Hillary presidential campaign, Renaissance, and mostly Jim Simons, is the second most generous with $9.5 million, a runner up only to Saban Capital Group with $10 million, followed by such Democrat stalwarts as Paloma Partners ($8.1 million), the Pritzker Group ($7.9 million), and of course Soros ($7.9 million).

To be sure, Simons' appreciation of Clinton has been duly noted in the past, most recently by the Observer:

Mr. Simons’ Rennaissance Technologies has begun pouring millions of dollars into Hillary Clinton‘s campaign, as the hedge fund has donated over $2 million to Ms. Clinton so far this election cycle. Euclidean Capital—also owned by Mr. Simons—has given the Clinton campaign over $7 million in contributions, and the figures are likely to increase as Ms. Clinton slowly transitions her attention from Democratic Primary opponent Bernie Sanders to the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump. Renaissance Technologies was called out by Senator John McCain in 2014 for evading nearly $6 billion in taxes by disguising day-to-day investments as long term investments, and in 2015, Bloomberg ran an article describing how the firm lobbied the U.S. Labor Department for special tax evading privileges.

More recently, Jim Simons spoke to CNBC and said that "if you compare the presidential candidates using the Sharpe ratio, presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump is 'not a good investment.'"

"Now even if those two candidates had the same expected return — which I doubt — but even if Trump's was as good as Hillary's, his volatility is so enormous that his Sharpe ratio is terrible," Simons said. "So as an investment, Trump is not a good investment, no matter what you might think of his potential return. He's just a wild man," he said.


Simons said that he is a supporter of Clinton, who he said would "make a fine president." When asked what a Trump presidency would mean for the U.S. outlook, Simons said "it wouldn't be good for the country."

Yet while Simons' unabashed support for Clinton, both ideological and financial, and criticism of Trump is very public, what is perhaps less known is that Rentec's Co-CEO, billionaire Robert Mercer, is the man who is now  pulling the string behind Donald Trump's entire campaign.

It did not start off that way. Robert Mercer began the presidential campaign by throwing millions, some $13 million to be exact, in financial donations at the person who was Trump's final challenger, Ted Cruz, through a SuperPac run by Kellyanne Conway, Keep the Promise, before the republican's campaign was extinguished by Donald Trump.


Much more importantly, Mercer is the person who secretly instigated last week's bloodless putch inside the Trump campaign, which saw the surprising overthrow of Paul Manafort as Trump's campaign chairman (who subsequently resigned from the campaign due to allegations of undisclosed links to Ukraine lobbying and potential corruption which also implicated the consultancy firm of Tony Podesta), and the appointment of Breitbart's Steve Bannon and Republican pollster Kellyanne Conway. Here are the details:

Mr. Mercer, co-chief executive of the hedge fund Renaissance Technologies, has longstanding ties to both people elevated to top posts in the campaign on Wednesday. He and his daughter, Rebekah, had recommended both Breitbart News chairman Stephen Bannon and Republican pollster Kellyanne Conway, who already worked for the campaign, according to people familiar with the matter. The Mercers met privately with Mr. Trump at a fundraiser last weekend at the East Hampton, N.Y., home of New York Jets owner Woody Johnson, according to a person at the event.

And just like that the man who Rentec's founder, Jim Simons, said "is not a good investment" because his "Sharpe ratio is terrible", has become the investment of RenTec's CEO.

Top Trump donors said the staff reshuffling showed the Mercers’ widening role in the campaign and was a potential setback for Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who had sought to tailor Mr. Trump into a more traditional political figure. The expansion of a billionaire donor’s sway in the campaign follows more than a year of Mr. Trump criticizing major donors on the trail and casting his rivals as “puppets” for accepting the backing of super PACs.

It's not just Bob: it's a family affair:

Doug Deason, whose family was also a top contributor to the Cruz super PAC network, said Ms. Mercer and Ms. Conway worked together closely. “She and Kellyanne had a great working relationship and did a really good job of spending their dollars wisely,” he said. He called Ms. Mercer “very driven and very focused.”

As for Mercer's relationship with Steve Bannon, Trump's new right hand man, it also has a simple trace: money. "Mr. Mercer has also funded Mr. Bannon’s employer Breitbart News, a conservative media outlet that delights in bashing the GOP establishment, and a nonprofit organization, the Government Accountability Institute, that was co-founded by Mr. Bannon, who runs it. Mr. Mercer’s daughter, Rebekah, is listed as a board member for the organization in 2014 tax filings."

Here another curious link emerged: "The Trump campaign recently hired Cambridge Analytica, a data analytics firm owned in part by Mr. Mercer that offers “psychographic” analysis related to the personalities and values of voters.”

And while the emergence of the true puppetmaster behind Trump's campaign is fascinating, we were more curious to dig deeper into the potential influence of Renaissance not on just one, but both candidates. We were not surprised by what we found.

According to OpenSecrets, for the 2015-2016 period, Renaissance is not just generous; it happens to be the most "generous" financial contributor in the world, ranking 1 out of 16,867 tracked contributors.

As a result, in the ranking of top contributors, RenTec is higher than such iconic names as Tom Steyer's Farallon, Elliott Management, and Soros.

Broken down by recipients...

... we find that while the biggest recipients of cash is the Cruz-supporting Keep the Promise SuperPAC, whose effectively only donor was Robert Mercer, the second biggest recipient is the Clinton-supporting Priorities USA SuperPAC, where the top two donors are Jim Simons and George Soros.


But what we find most fascinating is the dramatic ramp up in campaign spending by RenTec not just over the past two elections cycles, but most notably the current one, which is already bigger in one year than all previous contributions in RenTec's entire donation history combined...

... but the republican-democrat split. It's effectively identical.

Why this recent surge in political spending, and why the attempt to fund not just one both both presidential candidates' campaigns? Some answers can be found in recent articles, such as "How RenTec Made More Than $34 Billion In Profits Since 1998: "Fictional Derivatives", "Renaissance Said Probed by Senate Panel on Tax Maneuver" and "Senate Report: Tax Move Helped Hedge Funds Save Billions", however not even the utmost determination to perpetuate a beneficial tax avoidance regime can explain this unprecedented level of campaign funding or, in the case of Mercer, micromanagement and orchestration.

Perhaps the answer is far simpler: having learned that the best way to make virtually unlimited profits in the markets is to be as close to cornering them as possible (or being first, or cheating), RenTec's executive team has applied the same philosophy to the presidential race, because if you are the primary source of strategy and/or cash for both presidential candidates, you are by definition, "perfectly hedged." And, by that same definition, you are about to buy yourself a presidential election.

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gregga777's picture

Torches and pitchforks for Hillary MacEvil's enablers!

The Merovingian's picture

Torches and pitchforks for the establishment, period!

johngaltfla's picture

And the nice thing about "hedge funds" is if terrorists, er, Islamic radicals, er, Arab Sheiks are donating via the hedge fund, it is untraceable.

Xatos's picture

I'm glad we are getting all of these lists... they'll be handy during the revolution. 

leanux's picture
leanux (not verified) Xatos Aug 22, 2016 8:22 PM

The 1% controls America.

californiagirl's picture

Strange that the Uihlein family, which owns Uline Inc., was pouring money into the Republican party just 2 years ago.

orelius's picture

James Harris Simons was born to a Jewish family,[10] the only child of Marcia (née Kantor)[11] and Matthew Simons, and raised in Brookline, Massachusetts.[12]

nightwish's picture

Guillotine bowling would be a fun game to see come revolution time, but the prominent probacis on those folks will inhibit a straight head roll toward the pins.

HowdyDoody's picture

Ukraine has given $10 million to the Clinton Foundation. G-d knows where they got the money from.



Liberty2012's picture

Soros, et all is an easy guess

californiagirl's picture

Actually, I think it is our taxpayer dollars in the form of the IMF $17 billion Ukraine bailout 2 years ago (most of the money probably coming from American and German taxpayers).  It is par for the course.  The Clinton Foundation is a massive accumulation of money-laundered taxpayer dollars, fleeced for the furtherance of the gobalist, NWO, meglomeniachal elites' agenda and personal wealth accumulation.

iinthesky's picture

No its definitely Soros through the Atlantic Council and other "foundation" money laundering type operations 

JRobby's picture

Flamethrowers and shotguns

Infocat's picture

These (((GLobalists))) are enemies of humanity!

3rdWorldTrillionaire's picture


A native of Alexandria, Egypt, Mr. Saban immigrated to Israel at the age of 12 where he attended agricultural school and served in the Israeli Defense Force. While in Israel, he built the country's premier tour promotion business.


Saban Capital Group ("SCG") is a leading private investment firm based in Los Angeles specializing in the media, entertainment, and communication industries. SCG was established by Haim Saban, co-founder of Fox Family Worldwide, a global television broadcasting, production, distribution and merchandising company owned in partnership with Rupert Murdoch and The News Corporation, following its sale to The Walt Disney Company in October 2001.


Of course.....

Ms No's picture

Donald Sussman:  Financier and chairman of the Jewish Democratic council who married daughter of Preston Robert Tisch (Laurie).  Daughter Carolyn Tische Sussman went to Yale and mariied William Blodgett in Jewish ceremony.  Preston Tische is a producer who Married Laura Steinberg the daughter of financier Saul Steinberg NY.

James Simons: Hedge Funder who married to Marilyn H Simons.  Jewish father owned a factory.

George Soros:  Everybody knows this one.

Fred Eychaner:  Token methodist and a part of the Chicago polical machine, who supposedly came from a humble background yet is now worth at least 500 million.  He is considered a man of mystery by many because nobody knows shit about him and he is very private.  Couldn't find any real info on the women in his family and who they married.

Via Wikipedia and Muckety.


Colonel Klink's picture

Funny they're 2% of the population but the cause of 98% of the world's pain.  But poor poor them because they're always picked on.

Ms No's picture

That's why John Stewart had to go cloak and dagger and change his name.  They just can't get ahead because of such extreme harassment.  I am sure the cloak and dagger tactics have nothing to do with the fact that he was destined to operate a very influential television program that completely brainwashed people during pivotal political times. 

any_mouse's picture

When a lineage is murky it often means a cover manufactured by Intelligence to hide the connections.

consider me gone's picture

I'm pretty sure it was SCG that the massive naked shorts that brought down Lehman went through. SCG was also used to process shorts for the hit on Bear Stems. Nobody knows who our where the orders came from but it was a concerted hit on both BS and Lehman designed to start a chain reaction and breed fear in the markets.The BS hit was contained but Lehman, not so much. Source: Secret Weapon by Kevin Freeman. He lays out a pretty compelling case, the stock market plunge resulted from financial terrorism. 

Mr. President's picture
Mr. President (not verified) gregga777 Aug 22, 2016 7:29 PM

Yeah, that insider trading sure is nice ain't it?..


Croesus's picture

A rich Jew, dumping millions into Shillary's campaign? The hell you say....

Secret Weapon's picture

Tell me again why my vote matters. 

knukles's picture

Where was it the Barilla pasta was on sale 4 for $1 special? 

inosent's picture

This article does not say Mercer has a controlling interest in DT. They presume to be able to control the outcome after the fact by (supposedly) dictating policy to DT that favors their financial interests. Good luck with that. But, OK, your vote doesn't matter, but just fr the heck of it, vote for Trump anyway. Who knows, it might turn out it does matter :)

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

It's a Jedi Mind Trick thing:  Your vote only 'matters', insofar it convinced Sheeple that

   (a) Their vote matters, and 

   (b) Their participation matters, and

   (c) If no one participated, that 'Democracy' would end in America.

Oh, the guilt, the shame!  Say, this guy sounds good!  We'd better vote.  

GreatUncle's picture

The not voting is a vote for them and actually voting with so many dumb sheep is for them that wanting to vote for somebody other than the appointed one to win is not possible.

/SARC if the most vile not appointed one wins = TRUMP famine, pestilence, murder, corruption ... all crime will be justified because sheep are being led to believe this is what he represents.

FIRST FUCKERS TO LEGALLY KILL IN THE NWO OF TRUMP ... add the list if politicians, statemen, money men, bankster, MSM and it is all legal.

Go Trump we can shoot the fuckers in your world after you win.

cart00ner's picture

This tangled web the 1% weave will be their noose in the end.

thecondor's picture

Or the end of a rifle barrel. 

LadiesLoveCoolJames's picture

Because "billionaire" New Yorker, silver spoon, 3 times married, TV star, playboy, socialite Donald Trump is a man of the people who understands the plight of the working man from middle America. He's just like you. So vote and get ready for the rebirth of our country. Milk & honey baby!

debunker's picture

Yeah, and he builds things, too!  Outta cement and stuff. 

Liberty2012's picture

And that is something of which to scoff?

Think again - check your premises - or acquire some if you find you are deficient.

Blankenstein's picture

2 weeks 5 days

And the Clintons are for the People!

Brought to you by "Correct the Record" Super PAC  / David Brock




Al Bondiga's picture

Indeed, I can't wait for the Cheeto Messiah to save us and make Merika great again. Rolling eyes and making wank, wank gesture.

MasterBaitor's picture

HIS TELEVISION SHOW WAS BASED UPON WORK and JOBS, christ! You are commenting as if he is a Kardashian. He's a human being and he's all we've got against that bloated communist pig.. so, HE HAS MY VOTE!

BeanusCountus's picture

So it's all about a Sharpe ratio? Bet his Sharpe ratio doesn't like the second amendment either.

chunga's picture

The tribe ratio of these frauds supporting Honest Hill'rey is off the charts.

new game's picture

hope and pray, lol...

decided to turn my life over to a soveriegn nation of one, myself...

all donations have been depositied in my account for reelection and president

of my nation of one.  no challengers present, but donations always welcome...


thecondor's picture

Repeal Citizens United.

OverTheHedge's picture

F you made $1.5 billion last year, just how impressive is $10 million as a donation? It is less than 1% of his income, so roughly equivalent to me making a donation of $50. It's on a par with the small change hiding down the back of the sofa/couch. It's taking the kids to McDonald's. It's irrelevant. Why wouldn't you buy the system for pennies?

What we need to do is make elections so expensive, only governments can afford the bribes. Or make everyone so poor, only governments can afford the bribes. It's the same thing, really.

Or perhaps, you Americans ought to actually pull your fingers out and change the system. Same as us sad sacks here in Greece. Somebody should do something. (As long as it is not me, obviously. I'm busy, and besides, it's not my job)


GreatUncle's picture

Or to donate $10 mill they arte taxed $10 mill so now a 50% contribution into a people fund. All donors will comply.

Now the population has a vote, every one now 2 months before the election.

Now my cheesy political runners you will be handed your % share of this money to spend.

It must be spent before the election day.

Would Trump get 70% of the juice?

duck dodgers's picture

Trump an outsider? Laughable.

debunker's picture

B F D 

Four years ago Mitt Romney's top three donors were:

$34.2 million, Sheldon Adelson, owner of the Las Vegas Sands casino empire.

$16 million,  Harold Simmons, owner of Contran Corp., a Dallas-based conglomerate worth an estimated $9 billion.

$15.3 million, Bob J. Perry, head of a Houston real estate empire worth an estimated $650 million.