Business

Davos: Rich 'should intervene' in politics - financier

Anthony Scaramucci, founder and co-managing partner at SkyBridge Capital Image copyright Reuters
Image caption "I've always viewed myself as a business person," says hedge-fund manager Anthony Scaramucci

Nowhere do the worlds of business and politics merge as seamlessly as in Davos, and perhaps no one personifies that blend better than Anthony Scaramucci.

The sharp-talking American founded the hedge-fund firm Skybridge Capital, which manages $14.5bn in assets ("it was $15bn, but we got hit in the market", he jokes), and is a staple on the World Economic Forum circuit.

Back home, he is courted by Republican presidential candidates in pursuit of financial contributions, as well as his ability to persuade other wealthy donors to support a particular candidate.

But as the funding of political campaigns by a select group of billionaires comes under fire in the US - from Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders on the left and Donald Trump on the right - Mr Scaramucci unapologetically makes the case for the wealthy intervening in the political process.

"I've always viewed myself as a business person," he says.

"I never got involved in the political process until 2008-09, when it dawned on me that I have now become a minority partner in my own life.

"Whatever money I'm making the government is taking more than 50%, so I should be involved, in my opinion, with the hiring decisions on the people that are the majority partners in my life".

Donald Trump critic

Although avowedly a Republican, his gripes with the Obama administration revolve around deficit spending, financial regulation and security - rather than around immigration or reproductive rights, for example.

It's hardly surprising, therefore, that he's no fan of some of the current candidates, who have, he claims, "hijacked reality TV ideas".

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Donald Trump has accused hedge fund managers of "getting away with murder"

That's a direct jab at Mr Trump, who fronted the US version of The Apprentice.

But the frustration with Mr Trump, who has accused hedge fund managers of "getting away with murder" for not paying enough in taxes, is that being a billionaire he can afford to finance his own campaign, cutting big donors out of the process.

For now, Mr Scaramucci is backing Florida's Jeb Bush, and is confident that someone other than Mr Trump will become the next US president.

But, what if his worst nightmares come true?

"If Donald Trump becomes the next president, I'm looking forward to the BBC helping me find a flat somewhere in London," he jokes.

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