The results of Leftism are immediate. And predictable.
Chicago fired Leftist Lori Lightfoot only to jump from the frying pan into the fire. And when it comes to fire, Brandon Johnson is an inferno.
Based on ideas proposed by Johnson, one of Chicago’s most iconic businesses may leave.
The Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) opened in 1898. But that history means nothing to Leftists, despite the company being heralded as a major part of the city’s rebirth post the Great Fire. The CME catapulted Chicago as a financial bastion.
For Johnson, the CME represents a potential cash cow. And he proposed new taxes that would hit the CME for approximately $800 million, mostly due to a financial transactions tax (FTT).
Johnson sees the CME as “easy money”. However he hasn’t looked at all the angles.
In a recent interview with Bloomberg, CME CEO Terry Duffy revealed his thoughts on the potential move by Johnson:
[Mayor] Johnson has no legal authority to impose a transaction tax on my business. [He also shouldn’t] get too bogged down on how he’s going to short-term-think he’s going to raise taxes on certain people in order to fit his agenda.
We have sold all of our property in the state of Illinois, in the city of Chicago. We don’t own anything any longer. In our leases, we have a language in there that says if there’s something that’s ill-conceived from the city or the state, our leases are null and void.
As a management consultant, I find it shocking that such an iconic company prepared “poison pills” to escape the politics of the city.
Think of what Duffy did as a prenup. Actually, his plan is more like, “We will just date and never marry, because I may have to leave you at a moment’s notice.”
He sold all their property to eliminate his one of his company’s biggest encumbrances. And he likely improved his bottom line given post-scamdemic property values. It’s a renter’s market.
And what a smart deal he cut for leasing. Forget force majeure, Duffy put a clause in for “Leftist government”.
Smart moves have positioned CME to leave Chicago so fast, they create a vortex.
“We’re in a very strong position, Duffy added. “If we had to leave, we could leave.”
The saddest part of this story involves what I indicated earlier: the history.
Leftists seem to have no love of nostalgia. Out with the old tried and true practices; in with the “woke”. Forget history, say Leftists. Because despite the failure of almost all their ideas, they love reinventing failure.
Still Duffy remains optimistic. The man who grew the CME into the world’s largest derivatives market doesn’t want to leave the city:
We like Chicago. We have options coming up on our long-term leases already. So that doesn’t mean we’re leaving. [But] Chicago’s been on its back foot before, and it can get back on its front foot, but it takes all of us to do so. So I want to be a part of the solution, not a part of the problem.
I’m not sure Duffy has a choice. Leftists like Johnson take a scorched earth policy to capitalism. They see venerable organizations like the CME as part of the problem.
And let’s face it. Chicago politics won’t change. The city has been on a downward spiral for decades. The demise of Chicago has moved slower than others, however it’s only a matter of time. Cities can’t forego the constant unrelenting pressure of Leftism.
Massive crime, a shrinking tax base due to companies and people leave doesn’t bode well for the Windy City.