Peter Schweizer, president of the Government Accountability Institute, joined Monday’s edition of SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Tonight to discuss revelations in his latest book, Secret Empires: How the American Political Class Hides Corruption and Enriches Family and Friends, including how former President Barack Obama’s “smash and grab” strategy allowed friends to buy up various companies for “pennies on the dollar” following market devaluations resulting from the Obama administration’s regulatory policies. Some of the ill-gotten funds later found their way into the Obama Foundation.
Breitbart News Editor-at-Large Rebecca Mansour asked Schweizer to explain Obama’s “smash and grab” policy. “Tell us about this thing with Obama because I’m looking at all the characters on your cover here of your book. … Tell us about Obama and his best friend and what they did.”
Schweizer spoke of Martin Nesbitt — whom he described as Obama’s “best friend” — monetizing his knowledge of Obama’s regulatory plans.
“This one was really surprising because, I have to say, I did not think of Barack Obama as somebody who was necessarily involved in financial corruption,” replied Schweizer. “I mean, there are all these controversies or certain issues about his policies, but Barack Obama has this best friend that few people have ever heard of, a guy named Marty Nesbitt. When Barack Obama is reelected in 2012, his best friend in the world, Marty Nesbitt, sets up this private equity fund called Vistria, and Vistria says in its corporate documents, explicitly, that it is designed to invest in highly regulated industries, and when your best friend is the regulator-in-chief, I guess that makes sense, and what happens is, they make a series of investments or deals based on companies or industries that are being smashed by the Obama administration’s regulations.”
Schweizer pointed to the acquisition of the University of Phoenix by Vistria Group — the private equity firm run by Nesbitt that he co-founded in 2013 — as an illustration of Obama’s “smash and grab” strategy.
“So to give you one brief example, [the] University of Phoenix, it’s a for-profit school — a lot of people have heard of it — the Obama administration declares that the company is not serving students well, and they say, ‘We are going to suspend GI dollars from the Pentagon for soldiers to study at the University of Phoenix,’” explained Schweizer.
“Well, you can imagine, this for-profit university, its stock price goes from like a hundred dollars a share down to three dollars a share overnight. So what happens? Marty Nesbitt, Barack Obama’s best friend, says, ‘Hey! We’ll step in and buy it. We’ll step in and buy the company.’ They do. They basically buy it for three cents on the dollar, and then, lo and behold, imagine what happens next. The Obama administration decides that, ‘No, we are going to allow GI dollars flow to the University of Phoenix,’ thereby boosting the valuation of the company again.”
Schweizer described Obama’s “smash and grab” strategy as repeatedly used across Obama’s presidential tenure, with beneficiaries such as Tom Steyer and George Soros. He further noted that such ill-gotten funds partly find their way into the Obama Foundation via Nesbitt’s financing.
“This pattern is repeated over and over and over again, not just with Marty Nesbitt, but with people like the environmentalist investor Tom Steyer [and] George Soros,” Schweizer said. “Barack Obama smashes coal companies, [and] what do these guys do? They go in, they buy them for pennies on the dollar, and when the regulatory weight is lifted, their valuations increase, and they make a lot of money, and you see that pattern in all of these industries. So what you see is these crusades that Obama is going on related to companies that are supposedly doing all these evil things really has this profit or money-making component to it that I was unaware of, and a lot of other people were unaware of. Now, in a sense, the favor gets returned because Marty Nesbitt is now the chairman of the Obama Foundation and is pouring money into that institution and is responsible for raising it so Barack Obama’s legacy can be applauded in Chicago.”