December 9, 2011



Some people have all the luck

by Jim Hightower


Ah, tis the season for heart tugging stories — such as underdogs winning one for a change, or some have-nots finally get a lucky break.


So get out your hankies friends, for I'm going to tell you a true-life weeper about little Timothy, Brandon, and Gregory. These three lads recently pooled their pennies to buy a $1 Powerball lottery ticket at a gas station near their homes in Connecticut. And — bingo! — despite almost impossible odds of one-in-195,000,000 that their numbers would pop out, Timothy, Brandon, and Gregory won the biggest lottery jackpot in state history. "The lottery is all about dreaming," says the director of the Connecticut gaming agency, adding that "everyday people win the lottery every day."


So, prepare to sob once you learn the touching backgrounds of these everyday boys. Timothy Davidson, Brandon Lacoff, and Gregory Skidmore are top executives of Belpointe Asset Management, a multimillion-dollar hedge fund headquartered in toney Greenwich, Connecticut. Far from underdogs, these are over-the-top dogs, three have-everythings who now have much, much more. It's a happy holidays story for the 1 percent — and isn't that touching? Like a kick in the head.


The threesome is getting a lump sum Powerball payment of nearly $152 million. Of course, they'll have to pay taxes on their good luck, which will subtract $48 million from their haul. That's a tax rate of about 31 percent, which is ironic, since hedge fund guys are used to paying a privileged, special tax rate of only 15 percent on the big incomes they draw from their everyday speculative gambles in the magical world of hedging.


To their credit, the three fortunate ones say they intend to give a "significant amount" of their bonanza to charity. Really? Half of it? A third? A tenth? A dollar? They decline to specify.

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Copyright 2010 by Jim Hightower & Associates
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