Sunday, May 17, 2009

Obama & Carlyle Group Target MENA

On June 4 President Obama will speak to the Muslim world from Cairo, Egypt. He'll appeal to citizens in the Middle East-North Africa (MENA). Will he mention America's entrepreneurial spirit? The world knows well what greed and leverage did to their economies. President Obama wants to restart greed, with a tad less leverage and Uncle Sam as the banker.

Back to MENA, another American institution, is in the region. It's the Carlyle Group. The President recently signed a bill with the name of a Carlyle co-founder, David Rubenstein. Mr Rubenstein returned the favor by inviting the President to speak at the Economic Club of Washington.

The Carlyle Group established a $500 million MENA fund. They're currently shopping for acquisitions in oil & gas, health care, pharmaceuticals and specialist manufacturing. Carlyle's David Marchick told a Congressional Committee that Uncle Sam needed to do more to help manufacturing. It looks like the Obama administration's banking role will spread.

Will President Obama get his picture taken with Walid Musallam, Carlyle Managing Director and Head of MENA business? As Obama likes private equity underwriters (PEU's), that would be accountability and transparency. PEU shadow bankers are clearly part of White House solution.

Next stop for Walid, after posing with the President? Libya!