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George Soros buys more of Target Corp., worlds collide

George Soros, Gregg Steinhafel: Together at last.

George Soros, Gregg Steinhafel: Together at last.

George Soros, the favorite bogeyman of the wing-nut right for his support of liberal groups and politicians, just pinched a bit more stock from Target Corporation -- a favorite bogeyman of liberals for its opposition to unions and gay marriage.

Imagine Soros, the Hungarian billionaire who throws piles of cash at groups that support unions and higher taxes for people like him, hanging out with Gregg Steinhafel, the Target CEO who paid $10,000 just for him and his wife to get close to Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann last year.

Sounds like a sitcom.

No, wait! It's another of Soros's gambits, an attempt to turn Target into a business that pays more in taxes than the government asks, and is staffed entirely by baby trees.

No, wait! Steinhafel's flipped Soros, who will now spend his Target stock profits building golf courses on private yachts.

Soros probably wants this building renamed "SuperGayTarget."

Soros probably wants this building renamed "SuperGayTarget."

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Eh, probably it's just business.

Soros now owns more than 552,000 shares in Target, about 544,000 of which were bought last quarter, according to the Star Tribune. That's a decent number, and cost him a pretty penny -- around $26 million -- but still makes him a minor player, owning less than one-tenth of one percent of the company.

But still, Soros's name, often spoken in only a whisper, makes people's heads turn and issue conspiratorial utterances, as Glenn Johnson of Mairs & Power, a St. Paul firm with 2.7 million shares of Target stock, did for the Star Tribune.

"When Soros takes a stake, it certainly draws attention," Johnson said. "But what are Soros's real intentions? Who knows?"

Nobody knows, Johnson. That's the Soros enigma. All the people who know what he's doing are already dead.

Actually, Soros is probably just being something of a predator in a down time for the bull's-eye-logoed company. Target stock is down 16 percent in this year, but might be headed for a rebound.

Two weeks ago, the company announced that its second-quarter profits -- that is, during the time Soros swooped in -- were up 3.7 percent from last year. Target closed trading at $50.96 per share yesterday, a nice boost from the $48.97 it averaged last quarter, and was already up to $51.17 thanks to pre-market trading this morning.

In probably related news, Glenn Beck is crying into his cereal.

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