Insight and investigations from our expert reporters
Today’s special report from Detroit, “Crunch time for America’s richest union,” takes a close look at the finances of the historic United Auto Workers union.
Over its 76 years, the UAW has built up a more than $1 billion war chest that has proven to be its big stick at the negotiating table and on the political stage.
Most of the UAW’s wealth sits in its strike fund, which stood at $763 million at end 2010. That money can only be used to fund strikes unless UAW representatives approve a change to the constitution, a step possible every four years.
The sheer size of the strike fund hides the weakening of the UAW’s finances, particularly since 2007, a period when the U.S. auto industry nearly collapsed and membership fell by about a fifth.
Wall Street and golf have had a long and storied love affair. And over the years, many a hedge fund manager has given up the trading game to spend more time on the links.
But the revelation that SAC Capital has hired a former institutional stock broker to spend most of his time on prestigious golf courses, schmoozing corporate executives and wealthy investors, is another stark example of what separates hedge fund managers from mere mortal investors. As several securities experts told me, it doesn’t really matter whether or not a corporate executive says anything of real substance to Steve Cohen’s unofficial golf pro, Sam Evans. What matters is that Cohen and his traders are getting the kind of unique and intimate access to corporate executives that ordinary investors can never dream of.