Andrew Weeraratne has served as Chief Executive Officer of NGFC Equities and as a member of its board of directors since the company’s inception – as well as being their Chief Financial Officer since August, 2014. Mr. Weeraratne has been an entrepreneur since he was 14-years old and has been involved in various start-up ventures in many parts of the world – including Asia, Middle East, Europe and the U.S., in a variety of industries including communications, construction, and entertainment in addition to forming various global joint ventures.
Andrew acted as a financial consultant working in a variety of industries including work with the Embassy of the United States of America in Iraq as a financial advisor to form an Iraqi Accounting Association to introduce International Accounting Standards to Iraq as part of a plan to privatize State owned enterprises after the Iraq war.
He is also an author, and wrote a book entitled Uncommon Commonsense Steps to Super Wealth, where he illustrates how some people beginning with very little ended up in the list of richest people on earth by focusing only one out of four ways to make their wealth.
I had the opportunity to interview him – and found out.. He’s feeling the Bern and supporting Bernie Sanders for President!
It may be hard for some people to understand why a hedge fund manager/CEO would desire a Bernie Sanders presidency due to the fact that he is a strong advocate of high taxes. I asked Andrew what Sanders’ main appeal to him personally was ;
“Bernie Sanders, I believe, is one of the most honest politicians in the world. Often he needs to be practical to go along with some things he may not even agree with, as all of us have to compromise in life, but within certain bounds you can expect Sanders to rise up to do the right thing for all the people. He has been consistent with his track record of helping working people, fighting to provide healthcare to all, provide safe retirement for ordinary people and stand up to the most powerful individuals who would like to takeover the country only for their own benefit.”
One of the main critiques of Bernie Sanders is that his economic policies are simply not credible enough to justify electing him as President and that some of his initiatives simply don’t statistically add up. I asked Andrew, as someone with a strong knowledge of economics, if he felt this criticism was warranted ;
“I think Bernie should take the advise of a group of economists called the”Modern Monetary Theory” group. Some of the economists involved are Randall Wray, Stephanie Kelton, Warren Mosler and Mike Norman James Galbraith in the USA and there are many more of them in Europe, Australia and even in Japan. They would address this issue much better than I could. This group follow Keynesian economics but have modified it to the current economy. When Sanders becomes President the most important thing he should do is to get rid of the bankers who are advising both parties at this time and hire this group!
Personally – I believe Sanders should not try to hit the 1% immediately without having a solid economic plan since they (the economic elite) would do everything they could to get rid of him immediately. As you may agree, we cannot underestimate the power of money. These people have trillions in wealth, are getting trillions in government welfare currently and badly want to continue receiving this. Therefore, anyone who stands in their way could be in mortal political danger. He needs to create more wealth – but this time going to the hands of the small guy.
Sanders should begin the process of setting up his team even before getting elected, as they do in the UK (a shadow cabinet). Then he can communicate their strategy openly and if most voters hear his vision, they will realize what he says makes lot of sense and will support him. Also the creation of a possible shadow cabinet will help him to dispel the name calling and speculation going on currently. Let people hear that Sanders has a real economic solution, which Obama never gave to people when he was running (yet we elected him). I think if Sanders waits till he is elected to put this cabinet together it would simply be too late. His economic policies are definitely credible – but he needs to communicate this to the general public through different ways.”
One of the main issues facing the next President will be the unemployment level – with many pundits suggesting that the current level of unemployment is far greater than 5.5%, which is what the government currently say it is ; I asked Andrew why he felt Sanders was the best candidate to create employment and help improve the situations of small businesses in America who are currently struggling in a tough economic climate.
“A core part of Sanders’ plan is raising the minimum wage. If you increase the minimum wage that will have a multiplier effect which, subsequently, will increase aggregate demand forcing the private sector to hire people. Also, until that happens, Sanders should use the government to create jobs in a massive job creation program – such as ones we have seen in the past. He could also possibly make the FED lend to small banks more who in turn should work with small businesses. There should be more small investment banks set up to raise equity for the small guy. I trust Bernie Sanders to implement these changes. ”
The final big issue people within the Democratic Party have with Sanders is that they feel he is incapable of winning a general election – even though recent polls suggest he is beating Hillary when it comes to facing the GOP. I asked Andrew if he felt Sanders had the political gravitas and likability to win ;
“He has already won. What is more important (than him winning the general election) is that his message is spread properly. He has to imagine and behave as though he has already won. Subsequently, he will be able to get his shadow cabinet out there and let them talk to media and to the American people. What is important is that Sanders needs to stick to principles and hammer the message. But, yes, he can win. I hope he will win. Right now – there is no other candidate for me.”
Every day more and more successful people, such as Andrew, are coming to the realization that Bernie Sanders is the candidate for all of America – do you agree?
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