Siedle: WikiLeak Exposes Seth Magaziner’s Dependence on Daddy

Tuesday, November 01, 2016


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Seth (L) and Ira (R) Magaziner

As a father, I can understand Clinton Foundation Ira Magaziner’s wish that his 30 year old son Seth have a successful career. 

It’s touching—sort of—that Pappa supported his son’s dream of becoming Rhode Island General Treasurer in 2014 by writing his well-heeled friends, as disclosed by WikiLeaks last week, asking each to donate thousands to Kid Magaziner’s campaign.

Read WikiLeakHERE

As a political insider Pappa knew exactly how much a promising bid for state treasurer requires—approximately $500,000—and made sure his Kid got from Pappa’s friends the funds needed to succeed.
I only wish that all fathers could afford to give their sons the same career kickstarter.

Having Pappa Magaziner’s lifelong friend Bill Clinton campaign for his son surely helped.

However, Pappa (and Clinton) seemingly overlooked some glaringly obvious facts about his Kid. I get that we fathers often have blind spots when it comes to boys but this case is over-the-top. Surely Pappa must have known Kid Magaziner had no meaningful experience or qualifications to manage the state’s $7.5 billion pension. Pappa must have known the state pension is in dire straits—so much so that workers and retirees had been forced to accept benefit cuts.

You’d think Rhodes Scholars like Pappa, Bill (and don’t forget Governor Gina Raimondo) might have questioned whether state Rhode Island state treasurer was a suitable opportunity for a Kid in need of On the Job training.

Add to this bonfire of the vanities the fact that the pension had recently loaded-up—under Raimondo—on the highest-cost, highest risk investments ever devised by Wall Street, and you have to wonder if Pappa was teaching Kid to swim by throwing him off Niagra Falls.

Already the Kid has had to jettison Raimondo’s disastrous hedge fund gamble after $500 million in losses to the pension and, trust me, there will be more losses to come. Will the Kid take the blame?

How Seth Magaziner succeeded in getting elected to public office is clear: Pappa and friends handed him the opportunity. What I find inexcusable is the notion that a few wealthy, influential, over-educated families believe they and their progeny are destined-to-rule—even when they are clueless—and the public, including retired state workers, be damned.     

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Edward "Ted" Siedle is a columnist for Forbes and he is the President of Benchmark Financial Services, Inc.


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