Sunday, January 22, 2017

Media Encouraged to Get in Line

Donald Trump started his term as U.S. President as a billionaire real estate developer (in PEU fashion).

There are very few people out there who will talk and write honestly about private equity. I know from personal experience that the financial press is so eager to break news on "deals" that reporters (who are increasingly compensated on the number of "market moving stories" they write) can't afford to be critical of Carlyle, KKR and Blackstone, and risk losing access to people at those firms.
Trump expects the media to serve him.  Businessman Trump did not have to talk to the media.  He could set boundaries as to allowable questions and punish violators with permanent shunning.  I believe that's what the first White House Press Conference was about.  It wasn't really about numbers or counts.  It was about Trump's image.  Those he perceives as tearing him down will feel his wrath.   

Anthony Scaramucci, Trump interpreter at the World Economic Forum in Davos, provided insights:

"He's a counter punching sort of person.  I've never seen him throw the first punch, but boy if you are hitting him he likes to punch back hard."
Donald interpreted his inauguration attendance as a direct reflection of himself, therefore it had to be the biggest and best ever.  Period. The press corp got punched hard.  However bizarre on a mathematical level, Trump is training the press to stay within his bounds.  Members of his team know to give President Trump what he wants.

Here's what I think he was trying to say and if I'm wrong, believe me, my cellphone will be ringing and he'll correct me.  He's a great media coach.  Trust me.  He watches you on television.  He'll tell you what he likes about you, what he doesn't like about you.
Image management to the exclusion of truth is the PEU way.  Part of The Carlyle Group's mission is to protect their good name and that came front and center when Carlyle Capital Corporation imploded.

America elected a billionaire who has benefited from leverage, bankruptcy, tax havens, preferred taxation of partnerships, and keeping workers wages stagnant.

You can take the billionaire out of the tower, but you can't take the towering ego out of the billionaire, President or PEU.