Can the wealthy save the rest of us from themselves? Venture capitalist Nick Hanauer tells us what’s wrong with rich people, and former Goldman Sachs Vice President Raphaële Chappe tells us about her work to even the playing field between the 1% and the 99% with the Robin Hood Hedge Fund.
Laura Flanders: All right, folks. Are you ready? We are actually allowing an investor and entrepreneur to our cameras. Nick Hanauer is actually a lot more than simply a venture capitalist and entrepreneur. He is someone who is raising alarm bells everywhere from Ted to Davos about the perils of inequality, not to your conscience but to your pocketbook and to the sustainability of our world as we know it. Nick Hanauer, welcome to the program. Glad to have you.
Nick Hanauer: Thank you
Laura Flanders: We have a lot of grassroots activists and people who are against people like you so I want to give you a chance to talk. [...] Give us a bit of background. Where did you come from?
Nick Hanauer: I live in Seattle and I grew up in a family business. A bed pillow and down comforter manufacturing business and grew up in that business. Still own and help manage that business but starting other companies when I was very young and am now basically a technology entrepreneur and venture capitalist.
Laura Flanders: Raphaële Chappe, a former VP of tax law at Goldman Sachs is now the co-founder of a suite of investment tools under this Robin Hood banner. Could finance capital really be used to redistribute power and resources? Not just to amass private wealth? Perhaps. Raphele, tell us a little bit about what we just saw. There's a London office of this Robin Hood operation, what are we looking at?
Raphaële Chappe: We have an algorithm, we call it the parasite. What it does is, it replicates the investments of what we consider to be insiders in Wall Street. We form a portfolio that replicates those investments, and so far we've gotten great returns. I think last year was 40% return, which made it the second hedge fund in the world. Of course, it's a little bit of impertinence. We're trying to hack it, derail it.
Laura Flanders: De-privatize all that private information about the markets.
Raphaële Chappe: Sure. I think that it's just a very small dent if you think about all the types of strategies out there that hedge funds are using to make investments. We're basically mimicking a very small segment. There are things that we cannot track, or trace. High frequency trading, for example. You have hundreds of trades happening every minute, we wouldn't be able to do that. We do our best to hack it with the tools we have.