Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Robber Baron Preserves Magna Carta: Document of Barons

Carlyle Group co-founder David Rubenstein showed his philanthropic side by donating funds to restore his copy of the Magna Carta.  Isn't he improving the value of an asset he purchased at auction for $21.3 million?  The document is at the National Archives under a long term loan.  

It's symbolic for a modern day robber baron to own the Magna Carta, which entrusted 25 barons to enforce its provisions:

Earls and barons shall be fined only by their equals, and in proportion to the gravity of their offence.
The document addresses men who destroy people or property:

The guardian of the land of an heir who is under age shall take from it only reasonable revenues, customary dues, and feudal services. He shall do this without destruction or damage to men or property. If we have given the guardianship of the land to a sheriff, or to any person answerable to us for the revenues, and he commits destruction or damage, we will exact compensation from him, and the land shall be entrusted to two worthy and prudent men of the same `fee', who shall be answerable to us for the revenues, or to the person to whom we have assigned them. If we have given or sold to anyone the guardianship of such land, and he causes destruction or damage, he shall lose the guardianship of it, and it shall be handed over to two worthy and prudent men of the same `fee', who shall be similarly answerable to us. 
Robber baron equivalents are management fees and carried interest.   They count on high interest expenses cutting into monies owed the Crown (Uncle Sam).  A number of Carlyle affiliates harmed people or property.

1.  LifeCare lost 25 patients after Hurricane Katrina.  Carlyle is vigorously fighting wrongful death lawsutis.

2.  Vought Aircraft promised Texans 3,000 new jobs for $35 million.  It cut 35.  Carlyle's founders could easily repay the debt.

3.  Yashili's melamine tainted milk sickened Chines babies and toddlers.

4.  Claris LifeSciences sold sterile injectables with foreign matter

There are many more sad stories of property destruction and people harmed, including Carlyle Capital Corporation, Blue Wave Partners, SemGroup, and the great employee shedding at UCI.  Where are the two worthy and prudent men who are supposed to come to the rescue?

Update 7-31-11:  Rubenstein will receive the Records of Achievement Award from the National Archives for his philanthropy.

Update 8-17-11:  Duke University will rename its Rare Book, Manuscript and Special Collections Library in honor of Rubenstein for his $13.6 million gift.

Update 2-18-12:  The Rehab PEU Rubenstein tour continued with a piece by McClatchy