Sunday, November 21, 2010

General Wesley Clark PEU

General Wesley Clark highlighted the need for alternative energy in his CSPAN appearance.  He failed to mention his financial conflicts of interest. His Rodman & Renshaw Capital Group bio states:

General Clark serves on the board of directors of AMG Advanced Metallurgical Group N.V., a global producer of specialty metals and metallurgical vacuum furnace systems, Bankers Petroleum Ltd., a Canadian-based oil and gas exploration and production company, Juhl Energy, Inc., a wind energy provider and Prysmian S.r.L.a provider of high-technology cables and systems for energy and telecommunication. He is a former director of Adams Aircraft Industries, Inc., Argyle Security, Inc., CVR Energy, Inc., Nutracea Inc. and Summit Global Logistics, Inc.

General Clark was appointed Chairman on July 10, 2007 and became a director on July 22, 2007. He was appointed chairman of Rodman & Renshaw Holding LLC (“Holding”), our predecessor, in January 2006. In addition to being an educator, writer and commentator, General Clark is chairman and chief executive officer of Wesley K. Clark & Associates, a strategic advisory firm he founded in March 2003. From June 2000 through March 2003, General Clark was a managing director at Stephens, Inc., an investment banking firm based in Arkansas.

Clark is hardly unusual in failing to declare his conflicts of interest, while selling advisory services and pushing positions that benefit his financial interests.  Rodman gave Clark an incentive to steer business to the firm:

Wesley K. Clark is employed by us as the Chairman of the Board and serves as a Director. His employment commenced January 30, 2006. Under his current employment agreement, he receives an annual base salary of $250,000. In addition, he is eligible to receive the following cash bonuses: (i) up to 15% of fees received by R&R, our broker-dealer affiliate, in connection with any transaction introduced by him; and (ii) a discretionary amount at the end of each calendar quarter.

I smell a PEU, private equity underwriter.  Greed will save America.  Who knew it would be shown on C-SPAN, even local news?

Several C-SPAN callers cited Eisenhower's Military-Industrial Complex, now on steroids.  Generals Wesley Clark and Peter Pace are poster boys for the Government-Corporate Monstrosity.  Clark's last questioner used the  F word, fascism.  C-SPAN never raised the General's current employment, board positions, or their potential conflicts of interest.  Why am I not surprised?

Update 4-24-23:   Rodham and Renshaw changed names before shutting down brokerage services in 2012.  It earned a $315,000 fine from the SEC before that event occurred.