Taking Action On The Short We Should Have Seen Coming

The current upsurge of antisemitism reminds me of the infamous economic bubble, portrayed in “The Big Short.”

For those who haven’t seen the movie, one of the main characters in the movie was the eccentric hedge fund manager Michael Burry (played by Christian Bale) who discovered that the United States housing market, based on high-risk subprime loans, was extremely unstable. Anticipating the market’s collapse in the second quarter of 2007, he gravitated to create a credit default swap market, allowing him to bet against, or short, market-based mortgage-backed securities, for profit.

The wave of funds pouring into the United States from foreign governments to push agendas has been ramping up for decades. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, “the number of 501(c)(3) establishments increased every year from 2007 to 2017, with no slowdown during the 2007–09 recession”. In fact, at the height of the recession “from 2007 to 2010, the number of nonprofit establishments grew by 9.4 percent. Coming out of the recession, from 2010 to 2017, the number of 501(c)(3) establishments increased by 17.8 percent”. If I were Mr. Burry, looking at all the not-for-profit entities and other shell companies being set up to receive funds from a variety of NGO’s and foreign governments, I would have been able to bet against the educational success of graduates from United States high schools and universities and would have made a fortune.

Unfortunately, (or not) other matters were at the forefront of my attention, like raising kids, and starting a family and my opportunity to hedge my winnings is over. However, another opportunity presents itself, and that is action. Below are two tools that you might find helpful in protecting your community against the tsunami of antisemitism crashing into our neighborhoods.

The first tool likely appeals to those with a creative mind. This article which appears in the Jewish Link, highlights the concept quite well. The article encourages the local community of Teaneck to come up with slogans that are impactful and could produce a message that the broader population resonates with. The organizers and producers of this contest are wonderful people and happen to be filled with energy and enthusiasm. I encourage you to look and submit your creative entries here. You might even be inclined to create similar contests in your own communities or on the digital battlefield.

Taking a complete 180, the second tool, will likely appeal to those more with a financial mindset and relates to IRS Form 13909, which is a Tax-Exempt Organization Complaint (Referral) Form. The Form is designed to enable individuals to report potential misconduct or abuse by tax-exempt organizations. This includes charities, non-profits, and other entities that have been granted tax-exempt status under the Internal Revenue Code. Properly utilizing Form 13909 ensures that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) can effectively investigate, and address issues related to tax-exempt organizations.

Anyone can file out the form and it can also be filed anonymously. It is an easy to use form and only takes about 3-4 minutes to fill out. So, if you see or come across an organization that is questionable, reporting it to the IRS through this form can be helpful. Most of the information you would need to fill out the form is publicly available. You can this simple search tool on the IRS website to find the Employer Identification Number (EIN) of any 501(c)(3) organization. That would be the extent of the research you would need to do. It is important to understand that the filing of this form will notify the IRS that a tax-exempt organization is inconsistent with its tax-exempt status, so no action with law enforcement agencies will be taken. However, it can be helpful in starting to help stem the tide of organizations out there that are intent on poisoning the US educational system.

Research institutes such as NGO Monitor are similarly great organizations to reach out to as you research the history of entities either formed abroad or domestically.

Like anything else, as organizations become more sophisticated and political lawfare becomes more common, the tools we use will need to evolve, but hopefully these two tools (one offensive and the other defensive in nature) will help contain the surge of antisemitism one data byte at a time.

About the Author
Throughout my professional career, I have held several senior accounting and finance related roles at multiple, innovative publicly traded and privately held technology companies. I have a strong background in leadership, compliance and M&A, along with a strategic mindset, which has enabled me to lead teams through leveraged buy-outs, transactions and other transformation initiatives. I have an MS/MBA in Professional Accounting from Northeastern University and a BS from New Jersey Institute of Technology in Engineering Science. I have been a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), since 2004.
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