Who Is Thomas Peterffy? Entrepreneur Pays for Republican Ad Warning About Socialism and Losing Incentive

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Thomas Peterffy video: “I grew up in a socialist country; and I have seen what that does to people.”

Thomas Peterffy grew up in socialist Hungary. Despite the fact that he could not speak English when he immigrated to the United States in 1956, Thomas fulfilled the American dream. With hard work and dedication, he started a business that today employs thousands of people. In the 1970s, Thomas bought a seat on the American Stock Exchange. He played a key role in developing the electronic trading of securities and is the founder of Interactive Brokers, an online discount brokerage firm with offices all over the world.

I grew up in a socialist country; and I have seen what that does to people.

There is no hope, no freedom, no pride in achievement.

The nation (Hungary) became poorer and poorer.

And that’s what I see happening here.

As a young boy, I was fantasizing about one day going to America.

Making a success of myself.

The American Dream.

America’s wealth comes from the efforts of people striving for success.

Take away their incentive with badmouthing success.

And you take away the wealth that helps us take care of the needy.

Yes, in socialism the rich will be poorer.

But the poor will also be poorer.

People will lose interest in really working hard and creating jobs.

I think this is a very slippery slope.

It seems like people don’t learn from the past.

That’s why I’m voting Republican and putting this ad on television.

Thomas Peterffy
Founder, Interactive Brokers

Who is Thomas Peterffy?
Thomas Peterffy (born 1944) is a Hungarian-born American entrepreneur, and the founder and head of Interactive Brokers (Nasdaq: IBKR) and played a key role in founding the Boston Options Exchange. Peterffy worked as an architectural draftsman after immigrating to the United States and later became a computer programmer. In the 1970s, Peterffy purchased a seat on the American Stock Exchange and played a key role in developing the electronic trading of securities.

In the 1980s, Peterffy created a major controversy among traders when he introduced handheld computers onto the trading floor.

Interactive Brokers is one of the joint owners of all-electronic exchange OneChicago along with the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and CME Group. One Chicago is a privately held company that is regulated by both the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. The OneChicago corporate headquarters is located in the Chicago Board of Trade Building in Chicago’s financial district. OneChicago offers approximately 2,272 single-stock futures (SSF) products including those of Apple Google, and IBM. All trading is cleared through Options Clearing Corporation (OCC). OneChicago currently operates the only U.S. based securities futures marketplace. The Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000 legalized U.S. trading in single-stock futures, and two exchanges began operations in November 2002. In 2006, Interactive Brokers Group, Inc. or IB Exchange Group bought 40% of OneChicago, with Chicago Mercantile Exchange and CBOE — each retaining 24% and the remainder belonging to the Chicago Board of Trade and OneChicago management (The Chicago Mercantile Exchange and the Chicago Board of Trade merged in 2007 to form CME Group).

Interactive Brokers was in talks to acquire the majority of online trading broker MF Global’s operating assets just before MF Global had a global meltdown in October 2011. The fall was caused by improper transfers of over $891 million dollars, from customer accounts to a MF broker-dealer account to cover losses created by trading losses.

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden campaigned for Democrat Jon Corzine (chairman and CEO of MF Global when it collapsed) as he fought in 2009 for re-election as New Jersey’s governor. In May 2009, Vice President Joe Biden spoke highly of Jon Corzine, saying “he’s the smartest guy that I know in terms of the economy and on finance, I really mean this.”

The NRCC “Where’s the MF money Jon Corzine?” ad showing Biden’s comments made about Corzine before MF Global collapsed and customer funds disappeared (National Republican Congressional Committee).

Thomas Peterffy is currently #78 on Forbes 400 Richest Americans list with a net worth of $4.6 Billion. He lives in Greenwich, CT. His favorite charitable organization is Teach for America.

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