Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Carlyle's David Rubenstein Introduces Hank Paulson at WEC

With two weeks left as Treasury Secretary, Hank Paulson received a generous introduction by Carlyle Group co-founder David Rubenstein at the Washington Economic Club. $153 million in TARP money for Carlyle affiliate Boston Private Financial Holdings helped David be so gracious.

Hank spoke on government sponsored enterprises, but extended his remarks to TARP. He believes taxpayers should continue investing in financial firms, despite the complete failure of $8.5 trillion in federal interventions to improve lending, as Hank promised. BPFH targets the high net worth marketplace and its CEO believed the firm had a strong capital position prior to TARP injection.

To be clear, Hank Paulson wants to continue an expensive program with no discernible impact to date. America's sovereign IOU fund props up financial firms, while private equity has $200 billion on the sidelines. The Carlyle Group claimed to have $40 billion in dry powder when Paulson pumped $153 million in Boston Private. Why should the taxpayer invest anything in BPFH? Taxpayers gave Carlyle cheap capital. I'm sure David thanked Hank backstage.