Sunday, March 15, 2009

CBS News Describes Carlyle Group as Consulting Firm?

The Daily Show's Jon Stewart excoriated CNBC and Jim Cramer for not verifying financial news. The Washington Post promptly announced it would shut down its business section. This morning's Money Issue of CBS News shows the media's haplessness. In a story on Presidential fortunes post White House, CBS reported:

George H.W. Bush made millions working for the Carlyle Group, a high-powered Washington, D.C. consulting firm.

The Carlyle Group is not a consulting firm. It buys and sells companies as a private equity underwriter (PEU). Carlyle's website says this about the PEU:

The Carlyle Group is one of the world's largest private equity firms, with more than $85.5 billion under management. With 66 funds across four investment disciplines (buyouts, growth capital, real estate and leveraged finance), Carlyle combines global vision with local insight, relying on a top-flight team of 480+ investment professionals operating out of offices in 20 countries to uncover superior opportunities in North America, Europe, Asia, Australia, the Middle East/North Africa and Latin America.

While open to opportunities wherever they can be found, Carlyle focuses on sectors in which it has demonstrated expertise: aerospace & defense, automotive & transportation, consumer & retail, energy & power, financial services, healthcare, industrial, infrastructure, real estate, technology & business services and telecommunications & media.

As part of the shadow banking system, Carlyle used greed and leverage to grow from $12.5 billion to $91.5 billion during the George W. Bush Presidency. Bankruptcies and write downs recently took the number down to $85.5 billion.

However, Carlyle stands to grow that number substantially with the coming Treasury public-private partnerships. They have a $1 billion fund to invest in toxic assets, with a goal of $3 billion. Four of Carlyle's sectors are prime for taxpayer supported growth, energy & power, healthcare, infrastructure and financial services.

Why would CBS describe The Carlyle Group as a high powered consulting firm? They own one, Booz, Allen, Hamilton. Is it poor research? Carlyle's mission sits on their homepage. It states:

Our mission is to be the premier global private equity firm, leveraging the insight of Carlyle's team of investment professionals to generate extraordinary returns across a range of investment choices, while maintaining our good name and the good name of our investors.

"Extraordinary returns" equals greed and "leveraging insight" means using high powered political connections. Affiliate Boston Private Financial Holdings got $153 million in TARP money. This occurred while Carlyle had $40 billion on the sidelines.

"Premier global private equity firm" means Carlyle funds the race to the lowest global common denominator on taxes and worker pay/benefits. Ask Evan Bayh and Rahm Emanuel.