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Good old Claude is the president of the Friends of Global Progress, a rather questionable charitable foundation. It's a ridiculous organization that practices the looter ideology and the illogic that it preaches. Claude is close with Philip Rearden, and near the end of the novel he is one of the people who works with Tinky Holloway to coerce Hank into accepting the crappy Steel Unification Plan. Claude treats Philip with a lot of contempt, referring to him as a "punk."