District-based Carlyle Group held its annual investor meeting at the Ritz-Carlton in D.C.'s West End last week.A decidedly international crowd of 900 well-heeled individuals and pension fund reps crowded the Ritz's main ballroom to learn how the $90.6 billion that Carlyle manages is faring.
Private equity underwriter (PEU) Carlyle told a familiar story. American affiliates grew revenues and profit, while paying down debt with the same number of employees.
The crowd heard from former secretaries of state Colin Powell and Madeleine Albright, "Meet the Press" host David Gregory and political wag Bill Kristol, as well as former Treasury secretaries Robert Rubin and Hank Paulson.
In other words, PEU's Colin Powell (Kleiner Perkins) and Bob Rubin (Centerview Partners) addressed their peers seeking 30% annual returns.
Madeline has her own investment fund, Albright Capital Management, LLC Despite serving as Chair of the $329 million fund, somehow Madeline's not listed in their SEC filings. Albright Capital Management's specialty is emerging markets, i.e. growing jobs outside America. Madeline Albright will be forever remembered for seeking justice on the backs of 500,000 Iraqi children, much like Carlyle's grinding of employees to power their greed machine. Both wear serpent pins with pride.
Hank Paulson finally got rid of rival Lehman Brothers as Treasury Secretary. It was too politically risky to save W's relations Jeb Bush and George Herbert Walker in the months before the 2008 Presidential election.
David Gregory couldn't recognize a story if it served him Dover Sole alongside Queen Elizabeth.
Carlyle's 900 investors were treated to the sounds of Chicago.
The classic rock band Chicago, long in the tooth but still standing, got the crowd almost as pumped up as their hopes of high returns on their investments.
Did they rewrite the words to "Make Me Smile"?
Carlyle plays in the dark. But who knows.
We're so happy
For carried interest
Profit is lovely
When you monetize
Tell me you will pay
Make me smile
When will the PEU 900 meet again? Maybe the next Clinton Global Initiative gathering.
Will Chicago play at the next Bilderberg meeting? Maybe PEU's Bono or Bob Geldorf will have the gig. Pandora's box clearly has been opened.
Update: This quote came from the Clinton Global Initiative meeting. "I don't think people really care about their grandkids, actually. We're too self-centered for that. I think maybe people care about their kids, but that’s about as far as they go."