Hedge fund billionaire Ken Griffin says Citadel may bail on troubled Chicago

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‘Chicago is like Afghanistan on good days’, says Griffin

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Citadel founder and CEO Ken Griffin says his investment firm may have to move its headquarters from here Chicago Due to many problems in the city including its high crime rate.

The billionaire hedge fund manager held a meeting at The Economic Club of Chicago on Monday, where he was reminded of a 2013 quote where he described Chicago and Illinois As a city and state “with broken schools, bankrupt pensions, rising crime, a dwindling tax base and public corruption.”

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When asked how he felt about how Chicago was doing eight years later, Griffin replied, “The bottom line is, it’s worse.”

“We have our work cut out for us because our state has a government that consistently votes in front of the people, votes in front of life, votes in front of schools,” Griffin said. “We have to start taking the state an inch behind those who put their politics first and our people second.”

Griffin explained that despite Chicago being Citadel’s home base, the firm now has more than 1,000 employees in its New York office, which has become the “focal point” of the company’s hedge fund. He added that if Chicago “doesn’t change course,” his company will leave the city “in years, not decades.”

“It’s going to be even more difficult to have this as our global headquarters, a city where so much violence takes place,” the CEO said. “Chicago is like Afghanistan on a good day, and that’s a problem.”

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“There’s nowhere you can feel safe walking home at 9:30 tonight, and you worry about your kids going and going to school,” he explained. “It’s no way for our city to exist, and it’s really hard to recruit people to Chicago. When they read the headlines, they know the facts.”

“I can’t look people in the eye like I did 20 years ago” [and say]’It’s a great place to have a family. It’s a great place to call home,” Griffin said. “I can’t give the same speech today. I can’t be in good conscience.”


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