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Griffin ups the ante, threatens to move business out of Chicago

Thursday, May 19, 2022

* Katherine Doherty, Natalie Wong and Shruti Singh for Bloomberg

Billionaire Ken Griffin is reaching a tipping point with Chicago, the home to his market maker and hedge fund business, as the city wrestles with rising crime.

“We’re getting to the point that if things don’t change, we’re gone,” Griffin, who founded both the hedge fund Citadel and the market-making business Citadel Securities, said Thursday in an interview. “Things aren’t changing.” […]

“I am involved in politics because I’ve seen what happens when you have poor political leaders,” Griffin said during a Bloomberg Intelligence event in New York on Thursday. “Right now, I live in a state that’s the case study of this.” […]

“My patience is wearing thin,” Griffin said Thursday in the interview, citing an incident he witnessed outside his office this past weekend.

I’ve asked which incident he was referring to.

* From Natalie Edelstein at the Pritzker campaign…

No one should take Ken Griffin’s moral outrage seriously, considering one out of every four guns recovered from city homicides in the past five years came off the assembly lines of companies in which Citadel held shares. If public safety––not scoring cheap political points––truly kept Griffin up at night, he would divest himself from the very weapons that perpetuate cycles of violence. Instead, he’s allowed his investments in gun and ammunition companies to grow to more than $139 million, up 62% from three months ago from when he first claimed to be aware of them.

Governor Pritzker has added hundreds of new troopers to the depleted ranks of the Illinois State Police and funded state-of-the-art crime labs to provide law enforcement with the tools they need to quickly solve crimes and put dangerous criminals behind bars. He’s also made unprecedented investments in violence prevention programs, ensuring people have access to the tools that prevent crime in the first place, such as mental health support, job training opportunities, and summer youth employment programs.

Crime is a complex and multifaceted issue that Illinoisans are understandably concerned about, but we will not be lectured by those actively profiting off of gun violence.

…Adding… Griffin’s spokesperson said his boss witnessed this incident.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

69 Comments
  1. - Chicago Blue - Thursday, May 19, 22 @ 4:26 pm:

    Defund the Unions and social services or I’m taking my ball and going home. Wah Wah.


  2. - Jed - Thursday, May 19, 22 @ 4:29 pm:

    I missed the part where Natalie answered your question.


  3. - former cubs fan - Thursday, May 19, 22 @ 4:30 pm:

    maybe griffin and musk can share an apartment somewhere in texas?


  4. - Real - Thursday, May 19, 22 @ 4:31 pm:

    Please go.


  5. - Arsenal - Thursday, May 19, 22 @ 4:31 pm:

    == I missed the part where Natalie answered your question.==

    I don’t think Rich asked her a question?

    To the post:

    I just want to post the “Well…bye.” Gif.


  6. - Real - Thursday, May 19, 22 @ 4:33 pm:

    I’m so tired of crime but don’t worry about my investments in guns which the criminals use.


  7. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, May 19, 22 @ 4:33 pm:

    “I am involved in politics because I’ve seen what happens when you have poor political leaders”

    You mean like the worst governor in state history, who he funded? Who deliberately hurt the most vulnerable to rip away the economic security of middle class workers? Who purposely tore apart violence prevention programs and social services while his income skyrocketed?

    Elon Musk left California and it is thriving. Good riddance, dude.


  8. - TheInvisibleMan - Thursday, May 19, 22 @ 4:34 pm:

    It’s not an airport Ken, you don’t have to announce your departure.

    But I’m sure the network latency to the trading floors in NY and Chicago will be outstanding in whatever state you move into that isn’t spending any money on infrastructure.


  9. - 47th Ward - Thursday, May 19, 22 @ 4:35 pm:

    Maybe he can sleep on Ruaner’s couch in Florida?


  10. - pawn - Thursday, May 19, 22 @ 4:36 pm:

    Gah. Let him go. It’s not like billionaires pay their fair share of taxes anyway.


  11. - Unionman - Thursday, May 19, 22 @ 4:39 pm:

    Maybe he should donate a couple of billion to CPD. I am sure that with the extra money, they could hire more officers and the increased police force on the streets would deter much of the violent crime.


  12. - Lt Guv - Thursday, May 19, 22 @ 4:41 pm:

    Goodbye & good riddance.


  13. - charles in charge - Thursday, May 19, 22 @ 4:41 pm:

    He seems to massively overestimate how many people would care or even notice if he left.


  14. - Nick - Thursday, May 19, 22 @ 4:43 pm:

    He must be mad his Irvin investment isn’t paying off


  15. - ChicagoPT - Thursday, May 19, 22 @ 4:46 pm:

    Don’t let the door hit you on the way out


  16. - Excitable Boy - Thursday, May 19, 22 @ 4:51 pm:

    No one cares, Ken. You aren’t important, go away.


  17. - vern - Thursday, May 19, 22 @ 4:56 pm:

    The Chicago murder rate decreased every year from 2001 to 2014, then nearly doubled over the next 2 years. I wonder what was happening in Illinois politics in 2015 and 2016. I wonder if Griffin was threatening to leave the state unless we got a new Governor. Was his patience wearing thin then?


  18. - Streator Curmudgeon - Thursday, May 19, 22 @ 5:05 pm:

    Griffin said, from the back seat of his armored limousine.


  19. - Excitable Boy - Thursday, May 19, 22 @ 5:08 pm:

    - I’ve asked which incident he was referring to. -

    I think it was the severe wounding of the Irvin campaign last week. It was brutal, to be fair.


  20. - Rich Miller - Thursday, May 19, 22 @ 5:11 pm:

    ===I missed the part where Natalie answered your question. ===

    Wasn’t my question. I asked her for the full response she sent to Bloomberg.


  21. - 47th Ward - Thursday, May 19, 22 @ 5:13 pm:

    There was a shooting in the Loop on the same night the teen was killed near the Bean. It happened later in the evening, near State and Adams, which is basically in front of his office tower.

    He’s not wrong that the violence has to stop, it’s just that most of his ideas for stopping the violence are bad ideas.

    He should move to South Dakota where he can purchase the entire state government for less than what Irvin is costing him.


  22. - Real - Thursday, May 19, 22 @ 5:20 pm:

    Griffin witnessed a crime from his ivory tower while checking his gun investments. Go sail into the sunset. Try growing up in a high crime area rather than seeing it with your binoculars in your high tower.


  23. - Rabid - Thursday, May 19, 22 @ 5:33 pm:

    aurora or bust


  24. - Left of what - Thursday, May 19, 22 @ 5:35 pm:

    Such a tired talking point. No one is leaving. Ever. Where are you going that also has two international airports and elite universities, all the other stuff that makes big cities appealing to recruiting corporate talent?


  25. - vern - Thursday, May 19, 22 @ 5:35 pm:

    … that’s the incident that drove him over the edge?

    A kid threw a chair. If moving a company is a proportional response, then Griffin should’ve been calling for nuclear strikes when the Cubs won the World Series. But that would require Griffin to have cared about crime when his buddy was Governor.


  26. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, May 19, 22 @ 5:37 pm:

    Maybe Griffin should run for mayor. That’s one way to have a direct impact on crime. You got money, you got name. Run for something.


  27. - Real - Thursday, May 19, 22 @ 5:43 pm:

    The reality is Griffin cares nothing about timing crime. He just believes using it as a campaign point will get his guy in to continue what Rauner did. Must be a miserable billionaire that’s mad that people are in public sector unions or having a min wage increase.


  28. - Proud Papa Bear - Thursday, May 19, 22 @ 5:52 pm:

    He heard the census report and now thinks it’s too crowded in Illinois.


  29. - MisterJayEm - Thursday, May 19, 22 @ 5:55 pm:

    Few of these big-taking goofs ever leave — and when they do, no one notices.

    So go be a big fish in a different pond, Kenny.

    Who cares?

    – MrJM


  30. - Give us Barabbas - Thursday, May 19, 22 @ 6:00 pm:

    We can give him a thousand-hand-gun salute as he leaves.


  31. - Precinct Captain - Thursday, May 19, 22 @ 6:06 pm:

    Did people forget he threatened this last year?

    https://dealbreaker.com/.amp/2021/10/griffin-moots-moving-citadel


  32. - Precinct Captain - Thursday, May 19, 22 @ 6:19 pm:

    October 4, 2021: “Hedge fund billionaire Ken Griffin tells Economic Club of Chicago that Citadel may move its corporate headquarters unless the city changes course”

    https://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-biz-ken-griffin-hedge-fund-billionaire-chicago-economic-club-20211004-itadbjs3ebhojiog4pcxuhfyia-story.html


  33. - OK go - Thursday, May 19, 22 @ 6:38 pm:

    I think a general principle of law enforcement is not to negotiate with terrorists. Ken Griffin is acting exactly like a terrorist. At some point don’t we just say OK leave?


  34. - Blue Dog - Thursday, May 19, 22 @ 6:42 pm:

    money talks…and…


  35. - Baloneymous - Thursday, May 19, 22 @ 6:46 pm:

    Why did he donate $45 million if he’s gonna leave?


  36. - B Team - Thursday, May 19, 22 @ 6:50 pm:

    I always wondered why he didn’t settle in NYC the financial capital of the world. I do expect him to move Citadel out of Chicago in the next couple years, the government in both the city and state are not going to change much to his dislike.


  37. - danray - Thursday, May 19, 22 @ 6:57 pm:

    ‘bye Felicia


  38. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, May 19, 22 @ 7:04 pm:

    How did Chicago and Illinois ever survive and thrive before Griffin?


  39. - Da big bad wolf - Thursday, May 19, 22 @ 7:05 pm:

    Ken Griffin’s going to leave because someone threw an empty box at a car? Where’s my smelling salts?


  40. - Steelyards - Thursday, May 19, 22 @ 7:39 pm:

    Over 1,000 very well paying jobs will likely be gone with Citadels departure. Not good, too bad LL is too focused on “equity”.


  41. - Chicago 20 - Thursday, May 19, 22 @ 8:23 pm:

    Pritzker should try to get the Progressive Income Tax amendment pushed through again.

    If the Progressive Tax Amendment passes Illinois will finally have billionaires pay their fair share, if it doesn’t pass, Griffin will be out another $50 million.

    Win - win.


  42. - Mary Poppins - Thursday, May 19, 22 @ 8:25 pm:

    my first thought was, “what IS his business?” but I’m sure he thinks a pleb like me couldn’t ever understand it. whatever is is, it’s not helping the people of Illinois. that’s for sure.


  43. - Springfieldish - Thursday, May 19, 22 @ 8:50 pm:

    So we’ve devolved to hostage-taking? Good Lord man, you’re actually making Darren Bailey look like a viable alternative. A pox on your privileged house!


  44. - Lincoln Lad - Thursday, May 19, 22 @ 9:18 pm:

    Can we revisit the Fair Tax when he leaves? He’s cost us more tax money than he currently pays I’m sure. Bye bye… don’t let the door hit you in…


  45. - Lynn S. - Thursday, May 19, 22 @ 11:20 pm:

    What 47th Ward said in their final paragraph.


  46. - Amalia - Thursday, May 19, 22 @ 11:35 pm:

    what’s the matter Kenny, are you afraid some people in the crowd might have guns?


  47. - James - Friday, May 20, 22 @ 12:43 am:

    the man has no humility


  48. - Glengarry - Friday, May 20, 22 @ 5:55 am:

    Goodbye.


  49. - ZC - Friday, May 20, 22 @ 6:37 am:

    “Dang it, if Illinois’ population won’t shrink, I’m gonna do it myself.”


  50. - DuPage Moderate - Friday, May 20, 22 @ 7:54 am:

    Yet another 10 people are shot.

    I’d leave as well if I had the resources.

    But go in, continue to mock him. But don’t complain when Citadels departure blows a massive hole in tax collections.


  51. - AD - Friday, May 20, 22 @ 8:06 am:

    Mass shooting in Chicago last night outside a McDonald’s across from a Whole Foods near Loyola’s campus. You guys can hate on Ken Griffin all you want and I agree that he shouldn’t invest in gun manufacturers if he wants to voice concerns, but the shootings are going to scare away a lot more people than just billionaires and corporations.


  52. - Pundent - Friday, May 20, 22 @ 8:30 am:

    Think about how much further along we could have been if we made this a priority of the last administration and didn’t starve the state, public safety and social service agencies of funding.

    Ken Griffin isn’t going anywhere. His ego and name on the Museum of Science & Industry demands he stays. He enjoys the prominence that his wealth affords him in this state. He merely wants the state to show the deference to him that his social circuit does. But at the end of the day Ken Griffin is merely a citizen and tax payer like the rest of us. And that’s what bothers him more than anything.


  53. - Pundent - Friday, May 20, 22 @ 8:47 am:

    =You guys can hate on Ken Griffin all you want…=

    I don’t hate Ken Griffin. I simply know that he doesn’t care about crime. Because if he did he would have made it a priority in the last administration and, other than the occasional dog whistle, there was barely a mention of it. When Ken Griffin decided to deprive the state of a budget, given his disdain for public sector unions, he made his priorities clear. And his investment portfolio tells me that he’s a-okay with crime if there’s money to be made off of it. Ken Griffin, and the gun manufacturers he supports, have had more of a direct hand in our crime problems that the Governor of the state.


  54. - Back to the Future - Friday, May 20, 22 @ 9:08 am:

    Got a chuckle out of the rubbish being peddled by the Pritzker Campaign Spokesperson.
    Let’s fix it for her.
    Governor Pritzker appoints people to employee pension funds. Those funds, like millions of other American Investors, invest in passive and active managers that invest in gun manufacturing concerns.
    It follows, using the ridiculous statement by Team Pritzker, that Pritzker is responsible for criminals that use guns in the commission of crimes.


  55. - Montrose - Friday, May 20, 22 @ 9:23 am:

    Ditto on what 47th said. And adding that Griffin’s only way to look at this situation is through how he perceives it to affect him, and he assume others care how a billionaire feels it is impacting him.


  56. - Anthony - Friday, May 20, 22 @ 10:33 am:

    — Elon Musk left California and it is thriving. –

    Oh now this is a good one. California. & Thriving.


  57. - Da big bad wolf - Friday, May 20, 22 @ 10:47 am:

    === Governor Pritzker appoints people to employee pension funds. Those funds, like millions of other American Investors, invest in passive and active managers that invest in gun manufacturing concerns.===
    Fair enough.
    Name those companies. Show your work.


  58. - Back to the Futere - Friday, May 20, 22 @ 10:58 am:

    For example, these gun manufacturers are in mid cap index funds. Pritzker appointed members of the new Police and Fire funds They invest in index funds as do the other state employee pension funds.
    My point is that blaming Ken Griffin for gun violence is rubbish.
    Team Pritzker operates on the approach to campaigning that if you say anything enough and put your trust fund money behind it you can say anything regardless of how ridiculous it is.


  59. - Cool Papa Bell - Friday, May 20, 22 @ 11:30 am:

    @Anthony - “Oh now this is a good one. California. & Thriving.”

    The state does have a nearly $100 billion bduget surplus this year.


  60. - Da big bad wolf - Friday, May 20, 22 @ 11:54 am:

    === For example, these gun manufacturers are in mid cap index funds.===
    Yes. You said the first time. Which mid cap index funds? What are the names of the gun manufacturers?


  61. - Back to the Future - Friday, May 20, 22 @ 12:14 pm:

    Really not trying to give you a hard time, but respectfully not trying out to be your Google or college instructor.
    You can look up any Vanguard mid cap, Schwab mid cap index products, any Russell set of mid cap indexes, or a set of S and P indexes that retail investors can purchase and then review their holdings to find Smith and Wesson or Ruger.
    If you want to learn more about the how and why Citadel operates as a market maker you can go to You Tube. Interviews of Ken Griffin by David Rubenstien are good places to start.
    Again not trying to give you a hard time. Hope this helps.


  62. - Pundent - Friday, May 20, 22 @ 12:23 pm:

    =If you want to learn more about the how and why Citadel operates as a market maker you can go to You Tube.=

    Where can I go to hear Ken Griffin explain why this wasn’t an issue with the prior government but now suddenly is? Or perhaps here him explain how resources that could have been derived from the fair tax aren’t needed to fix the problem?

    The issue with Ken Griffin’s investment decisions is that it’s part of his history of hypocrisy. It’s not so much the criticism of where he chooses to put his money, it’s merely highlighting that the man doesn’t care about crime.


  63. - Da big bad wolf - Friday, May 20, 22 @ 12:30 pm:

    Another question is how much authority does the governor have over controlling what investments the boards make? Wouldn’t divestment of an industry have to be something that the Illinois State Legislators vote on and pass in the form of a law?
    Are you saying that governor can unilaterally order divestment?


  64. - Da big bad wolf - Friday, May 20, 22 @ 12:36 pm:

    === You can look up any Vanguard mid cap, Schwab mid cap index products, any Russell set of mid cap indexes, or a set of S and P indexes that retail investors can purchase and then review their holdings to find Smith and Wesson or Ruger.===

    You keep repeating your original point. We already get it that some mid cap funds can be bought by an individual today can have Smith and Wesson stocks. Which of mid cap funds held by Illinois pension funds today contain gun manufacturers?


  65. - Back to the Future - Friday, May 20, 22 @ 12:38 pm:

    Pungent
    I appreciate your opinion on the gun investments.
    I don’t think KG is being a hypocrite on crime. I do think Team Pritzker’s representation about KG supporting gun violence is rubbish.
    I also appreciate KG’s financial contributions to U of C to come up with some ideas on how to improve things.
    I can also appreciate his concerns about trying to run a business in an area that has gangs of folks basically throwing a riot in front of his place of business. His shop runs 24/7 and he has every right to expect them to have a safe place to do their jobs. That film of what occurred on Dearborn was just not what any of us should put up with.


  66. - Pundent - Friday, May 20, 22 @ 12:54 pm:

    =I don’t think KG is being a hypocrite on crime.=

    Fair enough. What ideas has Richard Irvin advanced that lead you to believe that he and Ken Griffin have a plan to tackle this problem? Because they are clearly suggesting that solving the problem of crime in the City of Chicago is within the Governor’s purview. What has Griffin done in the past to suggest this has always been a priority? Because absent that this sounds like nothing more than a dog whistle too me. And that leads me to wonder, what does Ken Griffin really want Richard Irvin to do once elected.


  67. - Back to the Future - Friday, May 20, 22 @ 1:26 pm:

    Can not think of an idea Irvin has on anything.
    Liked his introductory video, but not much going on after that.
    His campaign has put out a lot of misleading information and I thought the dressing up of his opponents in rabbit costumes was about as stupid as this stuff gets until he put out the scissorhands commercial which I thought actually topped the rabbit mailing in terms of being dumb.
    As far as KG goes, he has been raising the crime issue for at least 3 or 4 years.
    Thinking all KG wants Irvin to do is beat Pritzker.


  68. - low level - Friday, May 20, 22 @ 1:29 pm:

    Dont let the door hit you on the way out, Ken. Seriously. No one cares if you stay, leave or fall in the lake.


  69. - Da big bad wolf - Friday, May 20, 22 @ 3:51 pm:

    === Really not trying to give you a hard time, but respectfully not trying out to be your Google or college instructor.===

    Wait a minute. By your first statement I though you knew for a fact that Illinois had pensions invested in gun manufacturers. And then you said “using the ridiculous statement by Team Pritzker, that Pritzker is responsible for criminals that use guns in the commission of crimes.”
    So for it to follow that Pritzker was responsible for criminals that use guns, the state of Illinois would have to have investments in gun manufacturers too. But when I ask you about which ones you just make mealy mouthed generalizations about index funds as a concept.
    If you don’t know, all you can say is maybe or maybe not Pritzker is responsible for criminals that use guns.
    Pritzker can’t even get the fund managers to divest in Russian companies except to say pretty please with sugar on top so it doesn’t look like he has the power to get them to do what he says anyway.
    Seems like your tying yourself up in pretzels to defend Griffin. The gun/citadel thing is a stretch but your argument is made of bubble gum.


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