Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Carlyle's David Rubenstein: Man at the Microphone

Last fall, Carlyle Group co-founder introduced Treasury Chief Hank Paulson at the Washington Economic Club. This morning he asked Fed Chief, "When will this recession end, Mr. Bernanke? The Wall Street Journal reported:

Bernanke’s reply: “Well, my forecasting record on this recession is about the same as the win-loss record of the Washington Nationals.”

The recession “surprised us in being more severe than anticipated,” he added. So the answer to Rubenstein’s question “depends critically on our ability to get the banking system and the financial system more broadly, not necessarily back to 2005, but back to a situation where…the markets are reasonably stable, and they… can perform their critical function of providing credit to the economy.

“If we can do that,” he said, “then I think that there’s a good chance that the recession will end later this year and that 2010 will be a period of growth.”

The Q & A occurred during Bernanke's address at the Council on Foreign Relations. CFR paves the way for U.S. branded multinationals to garner loads of business in recently transformed economies. They're doing a fine job, according to recent news reports.

Exxon instructed Iraqi's on how to structure their oil markets for investment. Reuters reported:

Exxon Mobil Corp is in constant dialogue with Baghdad to create the investment climate that would allow it to become a significant player in Iraq's energy sector, Exxon's chief executive said on Monday.

American banks shrugged off their ever imploding balance sheets for Iraqi business. The Washington Independent reported:

Representatives of U.S. banks, JP Morgan and Citibank and others came to Baghdad on January 28th, participated in an international banking conference that explored correspondent banking relations that would deepen commercial ties between Iraq and the international community, business community. Citibank has already established correspondent relationship services agreement with Iraq’s Warka Bank.

Rubenstein's Carlyle Group closed a $500 million fund focused on the Middle East and North Africa. BizJournals reported:

The D.C.-based private equity giant said funds will be injected into healthy, growing companies in such sectors as energy, financial services, health care, industrial, infrastructure, technology and transportation in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

How much will end up invested in Iraqi financial or energy firms? Rubenstein is known for his introductions of Paulson, Bernanke and other high level public/corporate servants. Such interconnections are amazing.