Sunday, October 11, 2020

Milken Global Institute Starts 10-12


The Milken Global Institute, the U.S. version of Davos, begins tomorrow.  This is the first gathering since President Donald Trump pardoned junk bond king Michael Milken.  The theme is "Meeting the Moment."  How can those in positions of power continue to steer the system to their advantage during dual crises, a global pandemic and racial injustice?   That is the unstated objective of most Institute sponsors.  Two Institute sponsors recently admitted to breaking the law, Citadel and Citigroup

Politicians Red and Blue love PEU and the speaker list is full of high profile Republicans and Democratic names.  The Red Team has Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, FDA Chief Stephen Hahn and Republican political advisor Frank Luntz.  The Blue Team has a broader showing with John Kerry, Senators Mark Warner and Chris Coons, Congressman James Clyburn, and former Obama officials Eric Holder and Susan Rice.

Carlyle Group CEO Kewsong Lee will be in a panel on "Leadership:  Moving Beyond Conventional Thinking".  Moderator Andy Serwer will tackle:

Even before the pandemic, the need for agility and constant innovation had become evident as technology disrupted every sector. How can you foster entrepreneurial spirit within corporate structures and ensure creative destruction? And how can leaders motivate others to embrace the need for constant transformation?

The Carlyle Group schooled on COVID-19 via its Chinese medical holdings and began to compile a coronavirus portfolio in February.

Carlyle affiliates can conduct retrospective studies on COVID-19 (TriNetX), disinfect surfaces (Victory Innovations), screen airports for people with fever (Schneider Electric & HGH), test for COVID antibodies (Ortho Clinical), assist with blood plasma collection (MAK Systems), produce antibody drug conjugate (Piramal Pharma Solutions), ensure the maximum hospital bill for COVID-19 patients (TrustHCS), manufacture Ivermectin treatment (SeQuent Scientific) and make federal coronavirus purchasing something other than a clown show (Unison).  Coronavirus tea leaves suggest more PEU profits to come.

The Milken Global Institute will continue enriching the rich and empowering the powerful.  It's the PEU way.

Update 10-13-20:  Apollo founder Leon Black sent a letter to investors expressing his regret for associating with Jeffrey Epstein. 

Update 10-14-20:  Treasury Secretary Mnuchin commented on the stimulus package delay from Milken Global Institute.  Dealbook reported how private White House meetings helped the greed and leverage boys make big money as the pandemic hit the U.S.

Update 10-17-20:  Vista Equity founder Robert Smith reached a $140 million settlement with the Justice Department for tax evasion.  More greed from the PEU boys.

Friday, September 25, 2020

Carlyle Adds Two COVID-19 Investments, TriNetX and Victory Innovations

 

The Carlyle Group added disinfecting equipment maker Victory Innovations and research organization TriNetX to its substantial coronavirus profit portfolio.  The private equity underwriter (PEU) took a majority stake in both firms and did not share transaction details.

TriNetX raised $40 million in March 2019 to fund growth.  March 2020 saw the coronavirus hit the U.S. Northeast hard.   

TriNetX enables researchers to apply a data-driven approach to health research by providing web-based, on-demand access to harmonized global electronic health record (EHR) and claims data


TriNetX sounds similar to recently disgraced Surgisphere, which withdrew a COVID-19 paper from The Lancet due to data intergrity questions.  Science reported:

Surgisphere founder Sapan Desai publicly aspired to combine big data and artificial intelligence (AI) in ways that he said can replace randomized controlled clinical trials. For a brief moment, it seemed that Surgisphere’s enticing data set, said to include nearly 100,000 detailed patient records from about 700 hospitals on six continents, would settle questions about the possible benefits of various drugs—including the controversial antimalarial hydroxychloroquine—for COVID-19 patients. 

Carlyle's press release quoted TriNetX CEO Gadi Lachman.

CEO Gadi Lachman added "To accomplish this we need to continue to develop solutions to support clinical research at our healthcare organizations and bring more global data and technologies such as AI, machine learning and analytics to researchers so that they can ask more questions and generate more real-world evidence. Carlyle's investment accelerates our growth plans and will shorten the time it takes to turn our vision into reality." 

Carlyle schooled on the coronavirus via its Chinese medical holdings.  President Trump's lingering inaction means many more cases to come, thus more Carlyle Group profits.  

Carlyle affiliates can conduct retrospective studies on COVID-19 (TriNetX), disinfect surfaces (Victory Innovations), screen airports for people with fever (Schneider Electric & HGH), test for COVID antibodies (Ortho Clinical), assist with blood plasma collection (MAK Systems), produce antibody drug conjugate (Piramal Pharma Solutions), ensure the maximum hospital bill for COVID-19 patients (TrustHCS), manufacture Ivermectin treatment (SeQuent Scientific) and make federal coronavirus purchasing something other than a clown show (Unison).  Coronavirus tea leaves suggest more PEU profits to come.

Sunday, September 6, 2020

Rubenstein's PEU Life: How to Greed


Carlyle Group co-founder David Rubenstein authored the book "How to Lead:  Wisdom from the World's Greatest CEOs, Founders and Game Changers."  Rubenstein pioneered private equity, the practice of buying companies with borrowings and flipping them for huge gains on the initial equity investment.  He helped innovate the offering of additional debt for an affiliate company in order to pay Carlyle a monster dividend.  His achievements in the greed arena are not in his book

“I’m not a journalist,” Rubenstein says. “My job is not to ask questions that might embarrass somebody … people can judge whether that’s a good or bad thing.

“The people that I interview are people that I have known, generally, for a reasonably long time. So the appeal of it is they feel comfortable with me, and they might be willing to say some things they might not to a professional journalist. And here’s the cost of that: I won’t ask the embarrassing questions, because they won’t expect it from me.

Rubenstein does not ask the tough questions because he does not allow such questioning in his financial media interviews.   Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Rubenstein in a friendly chat:

Trump is “very focused on where the money is, and how we use economic leverage to achieve our diplomatic ends”.

Rubenstein has a laser like focus on the money, as well.  His ex-wife gave a less than charitable assessment while they were still married:

In 2016, Rubenstein gave the National Park Service $18.5 million to help restore the Lincoln Memorial. In private, Alice Rogoff Rubenstein has described those acts as publicity grabs and claimed all her financier husband really cares about is making money. 

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg quoted Judge Learned Hand:

‘If the fire dies in the hearts of the people, no constitution and no judge can restore it.’ My faith is in the spirit of liberty.”

Private equity crushed the hearts of many people.  Consider this 2011 statement from a journalist with a major financial media company.

I have seen so many people -- particularly those in their 50s - 70s -- taken apart by what has happened in their industry as greed has hollowed out the economy. These are people took pride in their jobs and held themselves to this invisible standard that we all just took for granted, but is being wiped out.

The Carlyle Group scares me more than anything I've ever seen on Wall Street. It seems to exist to corrupt politicians and it's hard to know who they even represent.

I watched a video interview of (David) Rubenstein and his arrogance is really beyond tolerance. He was going on about the debt ceiling problem and how there would need to be cuts in services and higher taxes. When the reporter asked him about tax on carried interest he turned really disdainful and said that this "only" amounted to $22 billion over some number of years and this was not serious money. Boy, nothing like everybody doing their small part to save the country from oblivion!

Carlyle's David Rubenstein fought very hard over more than a decade to keep private equity's preferred taxation. There is another book to write about the greed and leverage boys and the damage they've done to the spirit of our country.   

Rubenstein recently said private company CEOs are realizing they won't need as many workers as they once thought.  That is part of Carlyle's PEU insight, marketed as OneCarlyle.  Rubenstein ignored Yahoo Finance's Andy Serwer when asked if he would donate to any groups helping millions of unemployed Americans.   

For decades Carlyle has counted on the U.S. government and officials in both political parties.  The financial media learned long ago not to challenge Rubenstein.  His billionaire status, patriotic philanthropy connections and authorship have his face all over the general media.

I don't know how you write a book on leadership and. when asked. not eviscerate Donald Trump for failing to meet the basics of compassion, empathy, integrity and competence.   David Rubenstein can.

Sunday, August 23, 2020

Trump Keeps Carlyle's Convalescent Plasma Profit Hopes Alive


President Donald Trump announced that convalescent plasma would continue as a therapeutic drug for COVID-19.  Several days ago weak data from randomized control trials raised concerns as to whether the treatment would receive emergency authorization.

The Carlyle Group has plasma play MAK Systems, a blood products software company.  Carlyle's Piramal Pharma Solutions makes antibody drug conjugate.

I expect Carlyle lobbied hard to overcome NIH's recommending the FDA delay allowing the use of convalescent plasma.  Carlyle co-founder David Rubenstein's phone call is one any U.S. President would take.

The day before Trump's announcement he attacked deep state operatives in the FDA for holding up treatments and vaccines. 

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

PEU Lover Bill Clinton


The American people were subject to former President Bill Clinton last night.  Jeffrey Epstein's close friend spoke at the Democratic National Convention. Clinton, slayer of Glass-Steagall, allowed greed and leverage to overtake our country.  He did his part by privatizing government services.  After his presidency Clinton joined Yucaipa, a private equity underwriter (PEU). 

Consider what Clinton said to fellow sexual predator Harvey Weinstein in June 2012.


“If you go in and try and save a failing company…you can go into a company, have cutbacks and make it more productive with the goal of saving it, and when you try, like anything else you try, you don’t always succeed…so I don’t think that we ought to get into the position where we say this is bad work. This is good work.”
Clinton worked for consulting firm Teneo, bought by BC Partners in 2015.  PEU BC Partners flipped its stake to CVC Capital in 2019. FT reported

Former US president Bill Clinton became honorary chairman although he left in 2012.
Chairman roles usually come with an equity stake. 

The Clinton Foundation ran Fondo Acceso, a private equity firm in Colombia   It took a week for the PEU to disappear from the internet after news became public.

A Guardian columnist lamented Clinton's speaking role:

Along with George W Bush and Ronald Reagan, it’s Clinton who is to blame for the hollowing out of America over the last 30 years
A former business reporter wrote this blog in July 2011:

I have seen so many people -- particularly those in their 50s - 70s -- taken apart by what has happened in their industry as greed has hollowed out the economy. These are people took pride in their jobs and held themselves to this invisible standard that we all just took for granted, but is being wiped out.
The Carlyle Group scares me more than anything I've ever seen on Wall Street. It seems to exist to corrupt politicians and it's hard to know who they even represent.
Politicians love private equity.  The greed and leverage boys return the favor.  The Clintons headlined The Carlyle Group's annual investor meeting of limited partners.  Bill spoke in September 2012 and Hillary got the 2013 gig. 

Bill received $250,000 for a speech for PEU Apollo Global as Hillary ran for President.  He served as honorary chancellor for KKR owned Laureate Education for a cool $17.6 million. 

President Clinton's being front and center last night is a sign that the raw deal for many won't end anytime soon.  Insiders have done and will continue to do quite well.


Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Supreme Avoids Carlyle PEU


Supreme sponsored an Instagram video by comedian Katt Williams.  Williams tackled the coronavirus, President Trump and Black Live Matter. 

Supreme founder James Jebbie has avoided serious fire for The Carlyle Group's selling flashbangs, pepper spray and other crowd control measures via affiliate Combined Tactical Systems.  Such products have been used to harm peaceful demonstrators.

How long before Carlyle co-founder and comedian David Rubenstein makes a video for Supreme like he did for Beats?  Stay tuned.


Monday, August 17, 2020

PEU Developer of Hawaiian Oceanfront Property for Obama


President Obama's Foundation head and private equity underwriter (PEU) Martin Nesbitt is developing oceanfront property in Oahu, Hawaii for the Obamas.  Nesbitt's property received an easement for the refurbishment and maintenance of a seawall and steps for fifty five years from the state legislature and the governor in 2015.


ProPublica reported:

In order to protect the property from flooding because of sea level rise in the coming decades, developers are seeking to nearly double the height of some sections of the wall. After construction, the entire structure would stand between 9 and 11 feet tall. They also plan to build two more walls totaling 70 feet in length behind it for support.
The report added:

By the 1990s, scientists were warning that those seawalls were causing significant beach loss on all the Hawaiian islands.

Alarmed by these losses, state officials in 1997 released a roadmap for protecting the state’s beaches. The report emphasized that the seawalls were destroying coastal ecosystems, threatening the state’s tourist-driven economy and limiting the public’s access to beaches and the ocean, a right enshrined in the Hawaii Constitution.
Hawaii's state legislative session opened in January 2015 with great fanfare.

In her opening remarks, state Sen. Donna Mercado Kim (D-Kapalama, Alewa, Kalihi Valley, Ft. Shafter, Moanalua Gardens) highlighted several issues to be addressed this session, including the fight against invasive species and beach erosion.
Australia's New South Wales commissioned an engineering study to deal with its Wamberal beach erosion problem.  It stated:

“A seawall will provide benefits to beachfront properties by reducing the impacts of coastal processes,” the report by Marsden Jacobs found. “However, in the longer term, more properties in this area are likely to experience greater damage and loss of property values from the increased flooding of Terrigal lagoon associated with sea level rise.
“Higher sea levels will result in the increasingly frequent inundation of hundreds of properties surrounding the Terrigal lagoon, the loss of the beach, and impacts on council assets such as water, electricity, sewerage and roads,” it found.

“The key beneficiaries from construction of a seawall are the approximately 60 owners of beachfront properties at Wamberal.” 
After Marty bought the property President Obama pushed disaster financing.

Obama's friend navigated the development process like a true PEU.  He subdivided the land to avoid a zoning restriction, had neighbors sign confidentiality agreements and worked the political process to get approval for an expanded seawall that is not allowed.


Environmentalist Obama and his buddy Nesbitt knew about sea level rise when they bought their oceanfront properties.  The Obamas have a property on Martha's Vineyard and may soon have another courtesy of Waimanalo Paradise LLC.

It's a PEU world, where politicians Red and Blue love PEU.  The rest of us don't matter but every few years at election time..