It is an amazing coincidence that within one day two notable hedge funds/asset managers have been linked to big players in U.S. intelligence. If the announcement that former CIA director David H. Petraeus was hired as the head of KKR Global Institute was not enough, now we know that Bridgewater Associates’ general counsel is Obama’s lead pick for the upcoming appointment of FBI director. The expected nominee, James Comey, was also No.2 in Bush’s Justice Department.
Unnamed sources familiar with the nomination process have said that the Obama administration is going to pick James Comey, reports Associated Press. Comey was the lead counsel at the largest hedge fund of the world, Bridgewater Associates, until earlier this year. Comey’s selection will not be cemented until the Senate votes on it and the nomination will also not be made official until several days later.
Comey Resigned From Bridgewater
Comey resigned from Bridgewater in February and is currently serving at Columbia University as senior researcher and lecturer. Comey is a registered Republican and has served as Deputy Attorney General under the Bush administration. During that time, Comey received high praise for his vicious opposition of Bush’s no holds barred surveillance program. Reports say that he had threatened to quit if the NSA implemented the intrusive program. He was also against the interrogation tactics practiced under the Bush regime.
Comey had showers of praise for Bridgewater’s ‘radical truth’ policy when he was interviewed in one of the firm’s promotional videos. He said that before joining Bridgewater in 2010, he had never heard of the firm but once employed was enamored by its culture of transparency and truth, something he had always imagined in a workplace but had never experienced. Guess he will get a lot of that if he gets into the FBI’s hotseat.
If elected, Comey will also be expected to clean up the mess that has been clogging Wall Street, especially now that he has had some first hand exposure to the hedge fund industry. Comey has extensive experience in fraud prosecution which could come in handy while uncovering insider trading scams and falsification of financial records.