Friday, May 27, 2011

History Rewrite Continues: Big Tent PEU's & Libya

Bloomberg reported:

Buyout firm Carlyle Group accepted $118 million from the biggest sovereign-wealth fund in Libya, demonstrating the North African nation’s success in courting asset managers and banks after persuading Western politicians that it had dropped ties to terrorism.

The report suggests private equity underwriters (PEU's) waited for politicians to open the door.  Wrong.  PEU's, like Carlyle co-founder David Rubenstein, were pioneers in opening up Libya.   The report broke down Libya's investments in Carlyle funds:

Carlyle Partner V Fund--$75.5 million
Carlyle MENA (Middle East-North Africa) Fund--$42.6 million
Bloomberg's interview continued the false theme:

“The political establishment opened their arms to Qaddafi after 2006 and the financial establishment followed suit,” Robert Palmer, a policy adviser and investigator for Global Witness, said in an interview. “This is surprising, considering the very obvious risks of corruption in Libya and that state assets could have been diverted for his personal gain.

FT noted Rubenstein's visiting Libya in 2006, as did Rep. Tom Lantos (D-CA) and Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA)..  What role did he play in legitimizing the Gadhafi regime for politicians?  Despite a clear track record, there are no global witnesses for Rubenstien's courting of Gadhafi and his son Saif,.

Given the risks of sovereign wealth funds, financial reform did virtually nothing to ensure openness and transparency with PEU's or SWF's.  Carlyle's big tent has but one criteria, money.  The rest is superfluous.

Update 5-31-11:  WSJ ran a story on Goldman Sachs losing 98% of a $1.3 billion investment by the Libya Investment Authority.  It clearly shows risks associated with SWF's, as Goldman repeatedly tried to appease the LIA..

Update 11-19-11:  Saif has been captured by Libyan militia forces.  His fate is unknown, but I'm sure he'll be silenced one way or another.

Update 1-8-14:  CNN did a story on celebrities cozying up to dictators and included Beyonce's performing for the Gahafi clan in 2009.  Brooke Baldwin failed to mention Senator John McCain tweeting from the Gadhafi ranch, Tony Blair's trading a Libyan terrorist for a BP oil deal or Carlyle co-founder David Rubenstein's courting Gadhafi oil money.  I expect a news organization to not parse the list of Westerners tapping Libyan oil money.

Update 7-23-15:  Now we now what went on under the big tent, broker sponsored "no sperm left parties."

Update 10-1-16:  Bloomberg reported how Goldman Sachs lost Libya $1.2 billion

Update 10-6-16:  CounterPunch tells the story of how Gaddafi cut out key Western institutions which ultimately led to his gruesome death.