Sunday, June 25, 2017

Ackman Salts Biden's Wound in Vegas


NYPO has an odd story about a dust up between Vice President Joe Biden and hedge fund manager Bill Ackman at the SALT Conference in Las Vegas last month.  The story refers to "wise ass" Bill Ackman, who'd given a half hour talk at the conference that afternoon,  Biden closed the day with his interview.

Conference Chair Anthony Scaramucci, founder of SkyBridge Capital, hosted the dinner for the day's A list speakers.  The media focus on Biden-Ackman interpersonal scuffle could simply highlight a sincere reaction by a grieving father to an insensitive lout.

The title of Biden's talk seems odd,  "Keeping the Momentum: A Conversation on Politics, Prosperity + the American Dream."  Both political parties sold their souls to big donors, who've done remarkably well as the common person lost ground the last two decades.

Biden sat in a position of power for the last eight years, a time when prosperity went to those who already had it.  It's hard to see where Joe Biden's Blue political team has any momentum at all.

Politics now involves a series of campaign positions intended to get voters to press a candidate's button.  Once votes are counted the winner is free to jettison their promises and turn the federal budget toward their political friends and supporters.

Valerie Jarrett spoke on "Democratic Divergence" and Jeb Bush on "Republican Reformation" in a discussion for the future of American politics.  Jarrett's SALT bio omitted her recent position asmember for Ariel Investments' board.

The greed and leverage boys turn out for the SALT Conference:, which fosters one-on-one meeting throughout the event.  It's a place deals can get done.  Founder Scarmucci has his deal in hand, courtesy of China's HNA Group..

SkyBridge Capital’s flagship fund saw net outflows of $1.6 billion for its fiscal year ending March 31, leaving the fund with $5.4 billion in assets, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission earlier this month.

Scaramucci, an ardent Trump supporter and fundraiser, sold Skybridge to a team of foreign buyers earlier this year in anticipation of landing a gig with the Trump administration.

The deal is expected to close this summer although Scaramucci’s White House ambitions have been delayed.
It remains to be seen if Scaramucci makes the expected $100 million in profits from selling a declining asset to the Chinese.

Scaramucci may join the Trump White House, currently stocked with billionaire private equity underwriters wanting to help their brethren.  Carlyle co-founder David Rubenstein offered insight as to how to profit in the Trump Age.


Big money boys and politicians share out-sized egos and a twisted symbiotic relationship.  Ackman's long been in the Blue camp.  That's what makes reporting the Biden-Ackman dinner skirmish so odd. 

While the media portrays Joe Biden as the unfairly treated party a few elements don't seem quite right.  It doesn't make sense to me that a grieving father would consider running for office, especially the U.S. Presidency.  There is a time when grief is the work.  It makes less sense that a grieving father would brag that they were the better candidate for the election they skipped.  How can one be better if they were brokenhearted?

I'll leave this as another conundrum in our strange world, where the rich and powerful serve the rich and powerful. Might the disintegration our money obsessed leaders foisted on those below be spreading among the ruling class?

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Healthcare Stinks Now with PPACA


Even with PPACA out of pocket healthcare expenses have eaten up more of citizen's income.  Employers and Uncle Sam conspired to shift responsibility for healthcare to the individual while generating market opportunities for companies to profit handsomely off the suffering of people.

So how do the people feel about healthcare?  Lawyers were more esteemed than the healthcare industry in an August 2016 survey.  Only the federal government fared worse than healthcare and pharmaceuticals.


Citizens have paid more out of pocket and gotten less.  My employer sponsored insurance covers less every year and my out of pocket expenses, solely for physician visits, soared in 2016.  Healthcare earned its sorry reputation by overcharging while cutting service and coverage levels.  The data shows both.

I can imagine healthcare getting worse as healthcare corporations optimize profits for their PEU owners.  Yes, PPACA kicked off huge private equity investments in health care companies.  Those firms have funneled massive amounts to sponsors.  Some affiliates will need to be flipped or returned to debt holders, like The Carlyle Group's HCR ManorCare.

KKR's HCA and Carlyle's ManorCare are but two windows into the PEU healthcare world.  Neither reduced costs during the Obama years.

People sense something is terribly wrong in healthcare.  It's hyper-profitization, the want for the greed and leverage boys to grow their billions in holdings.   Smile pretty, because they want to profit from your misery and suffering.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

India PM Modi to Meet with Carlyle's Rubenstein

Daily Mail India reported:

American CEOs expected to meet India PM Narendra Modi on Sunday include Apple's Tim Cook, Walmart's Doug McMillon, Caterpillar's Jim Umpleby, Google's Sundar Pichai and Microsoft's Satya Nadella. 

Among others are Mariott International chief Arne Sorenson, Johnson & Johnson's Alex Gorsky, Mastercard's Ajay Banga, Warburg Pincus's Charles Kaye and Carlyle Group's David Rubenstein. 
PM Modi's visit will take place June 25-26.  The Prime Minister will meet with firms helping India go cashless.  Global leaders serve the corporations, not the people.  Modi is but one.  He's coming to meet with the many.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Milk'em PEU Conference


The father of leveraged buyouts, Michael Milken, hosted his annual conference for 2017.  With the Clinton Global Institute a fond memory billionaires gathered in Beverly Hills to pontificate the best way to get even richer.

The Trump team's former PEUs mingled with their billionaire brethren according to Bloomberg.

This year’s event is a homecoming of sorts for Mnuchin, a former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. partner who later relocated to Los Angeles to invest in banks and films. (PEU - Dune Capital) Commerce Secretary Ross, who made his fortune snatching up and rebuilding distressed businesses, (PEU - Invesco/WL Ross) also slips in easily with the Wall Street who’s-who milling about the Beverly Hills Hilton. Those include PEU Blackstone Group LP billionaires Steve Schwarzman and Tony James, JPMorgan Chase’s Jamie Dimon, Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan, hedge-fund billionaire Ken Griffin and billionaire private equity underwriter David Rubenstein of Carlyle Group LP.
I believe the conference theme was "Milk'em in the name of progress and equality."

Sunday, June 18, 2017

PEU Bonderman's Joke About Women


This week's outrage went toward David Bonderman, TPG founder and Uber board member for his comments in an Uber board meeting.  Yahoo Finance reported:

“There’s a lot of data that shows when there’s one woman on the board, it’s much more likely that there will be a second woman on the board,” Arianna Huffington said around six minutes into the recording.

“Actually what it shows is it’s much likely to be more talking,” Uber board member David Bonderman said.

“Oh. Come on, David,” Huffington responded.
Bonderman is one of America's legendary PEU boys.  PEU is an abbreviation for private equity underwriter. Everything is fair game for the self interested greed and leverage boys.  The younger generation seem similarly self interested, including Uber's executives.    

Women cost Bonderman millions when they shopped less at J. Crew.  Have some compassion for the guy.  He's supposed to be going up the billionaires list, not going down.  

Bonderman did apologize and take responsibility for his words.  He resigned from Uber's board that very day.

David Bonderman did not say the last sentence in the image above.  That's my theory, projection, supposition, and/or active imagination.    

But if the shoe fits.........      keep it.  If not, please return using the enclosed label. That may be the greatest lesson history has taught Bonderman regarding capital structure in the retail industry.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

CCC's Failure Tied to Cobalt Energy's Sweetheart Angola Deal for Government Officials?

The Carlyle Group's $1 billion Guernsey lawsuit is yet to be decided.  Several Carlyle chiefs testified last summer in the failure of Carlyle Capital Corporation.  Crown Dependency and British Overseas Political News shared a WSJ piece::

In testimony that provided flashes of Carlyle Group’s rarefied perch in the investment world, Mr. Conway said the Angolan government, CCC’s biggest investor, considered putting $500 million in the fund. The West African country ended up taking a $150 million stake.

Several CCC investors, including former Republican U.S. congressman Michael Huffington and Kuwait’s National Industries Group, later brought lawsuits against Carlyle Group, but only the liquidators’ case made it to trial. The other suits were all thrown out or dropped and are no longer active.

The liquidators were appointed by the Guernsey court in 2008 as part of the island’s insolvency procedures.

After raising $600 million privately in late 2006 and early 2007, CCC prepared to offer shares on Euronext Amsterdam in the summer of 2007. But alarm bells began to sound on U.S. subprime mortgages, and other mortgage-related assets were hit. It was touch and go whether CCC’s initial public offering would go ahead, according to emails shown in court.

CCC’s Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac bonds had fallen in value, and banks wanted more cash and collateral to keep providing loans. CCC borrowed around 30 times its equity to increase returns and had little wiggle room.

“Pulling the deal will be a public black eye,” Mr. Rubenstein wrote in an email to Mr. Conway at the end of June 2007, according to court filings. “On the other hand I’m at a loss to say how the whole market can be wrong about the product at this time and we are right,” he wrote.
After CCC imploded Carlyle asked Michael Huffington for the chance to make his $20 million back and more.   Huffington declined and sued Carlyle for his losses.  Carlyle plead a puffery defense in another equity investor lawsuit (SemGroup).

The information about The Carlyle Group's close ties with Angola's flies in the face of Carlyle's defense regarding Cobalt Energy, which effectively partnered with government officials via subsidiary corporations, Alper Oil and Nazaki Oil and Gas.  An SEC investigation produced nothing.

In light of Carlyle's plea to Huffington to make good his CCC investment, did something similar happen in Angola?  After losing $150 million in Carlyle Capital Corporation any government would be hard pressed to partner with an affiliate of that same firm.   What inducements did Carlyle indirectly offer, if any, to keep Angolan government leaders in their PEU camp?


In 2015 Carlyle affiliate Cobalt Energy sold the Angola offshore fields back to its local partner, minus the shady add on companies.  That chapter is closed but CCC testimony on Carlyle's close ties with the Angolan government makes one wonder what happened between the $150 million debacle and Cobalt's exit of Angolan offshore oil and gas fields.

This story is important as Carlyle co-founder David Rubenstein is the new Chairman of the Board for the Council on Foreign Relations, the Western oriented group of global tamperers and profiteers.  

Friday, June 16, 2017

Chairman Rubenstein: Carlyle Chief Tops Board for CFR


Carlyle Group co-founder David Rubenstein has been named Board Chair for the Council on Foreign Relations, a collection of Western oriented global tamperers.  Rubenstein's role places Carlyle in a prime position to profit from global changes directed by CFR's high powered political stable.   

Mr. Rubenstein replaces two CFR co-chairs, former Treasury Chief and Centerview Counselor Robert Rubin and Carla Hills, member of J.P. Morgan's International Advisory Board and CEO of Hills and Company.


CFR's board elected two Vice Chairs, Jami Miscik and Blair Effron.  Jami Miscik produced faulty WMD intelligence on Saddam Hussein's Iraq and was rewarded with a global risk management position with Lehman Brothers.  That role ended in September 2008 when Lehman Brothers imploded.

After her second monumental failure with Lehman Miscik landed a job with Kissinger Associates, a consulting firm for Western companies interested in global tampering.  She sits on the board of Morgan Stanley and made a fortune when Dell bought EMC in a mega LBO deal worth $60 billion.  Miscik served on EMC's board from August 2012 until deal close. 

Centerview Partners kept a top board slot at CFR by shifting from Bob Rubin to Blair Effron.  The move will allow Centerview to keep their key player role advising global corporations

CFR retains its Western PEU orientation with its new Board officers.  Rest assured private equity underwriters (PEU) are the wrong prescription for our globe. That's all consummate salesman Rubenstein knows how to push.  Watch out globe the PEU push isn't close to over.

Update 6-21-17:  NYT produced the latest puff piece on Mr. Rubenstein.  A former big league news reporter felt differently nearly six years ago.