Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Questions for Carlyle Group Co-founder David Rubenstein?

Steve Hamm from BusinessWeek is soliciting questions for this week's Aspen Global Leadership Network conference. His pleas for questions target four speakers:

David Rubenstein, co-founder and managing director of The Carlyle Group

Sonal Shah, the newly appointed head of the White House Office of Social Innovation

Walter Isaacson, CEO of the Aspen Institute and former CEO of CNN

John Wood, founder of Room to Read and author of Leaving Microsoft to Change the World

If any of GlobeSpotting’s readers want me to ask one of these four a question, please e-mail at my personal e-mail:

I have an outstanding question, one Mr. Rubenstein may be able to answer. How did The Carlyle Group get the Bush White House to omit any mention of 24 LifeCare hospital deaths in its Katrina Lessons Learned report? Carlyle purchased LifeCare from GTCR Golder Rauner weeks before Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast. Ten deaths in the same facility, Memorial Medical Center belonged to Tenet Health.

I hate to ask the distinguished Carlyle Group co-founder, but Frances Townsend and the Bush White House, Senator Cornyn, Senator Hutchison, Representative Conaway, the FBI, Justice Department and Homeland Security never responded to my various inquiries.

BusinessWeek would be interested in the six degrees of Kevin Bacon to the Memorial's 34 deaths. But it's likely not a tasteful question for the Aspen gathering. Social innovation has the hard questions lingering for years. Ask Harry Markopolos.

My new question would be, what did Mr. Rubenstein and Rahm Emanuel discuss over dinner at the Blue Duck Tavern? So far the Obama team delivered for private equity underwriters via government public-private partnerships. He even gave companies the incentive to go private to avoid executive pay scrutiny.

I would ask Ms. Shah if her position, the Office of Social Innovation, came from George Orwell's 1984, but I don't expect anything other than a highly vetted answer with lots of Axelrod/Emanuel buzz words. Did Ms. Shah meet with the group of billionaires, that recently gathered to talk about the future of philanthropy? Did they discuss tax policy and giving control of projects to heavy hitters? Sonal happens to have Goldman Sachs in her background. What questions do you have?