Sunday, March 24, 2013

FT's Puff Piece on Rubenstein

FT’s chief correspondent for international finance broke bread with Carlyle Group co-founder David Rubenstein at New York's Carlyle Hotel.  The lunch meeting provided Rubenstein with multiple opportunities to deliver his lines.  The Carlyle Hotel inspired their name because "it sounded British and opulent." 

FT missed Carlyle's back door takeover of British carpet maker Brintons'. Carlyle dumped Brintons' pension on the public, then turned around and asked for a huge government subsidy to install new technology. This is how Carlyle makes 30% return on equity.

The international finance reporter missed Carlyle's 185 subsidiaries in the Cayman Islands, it's affiliate's sales to Iran and the failure of at least ten Carlyle affiliates, including Carlyle Capital Corporation, a monster mortgage backed security fund in Guernsey.  He didn't probe Carlyle's owning Landmark Aviation, a rumored rendition flyer for Uncle Sam. 

Also untouched was Carlyle's commitment to provide 3,000 new Texas jobs under affiliate Vought Aircraft Industries.  For $35 million over six years, Carlyle cut 35 jobs in Dallas/Fort Worth.  Governor Rick Perry renegotiated the deal in secret as Carlyle prepared to sell Vought before severely lying about its impact. 

While the article mentioned Carlyle's inside political connections, it failed to point out how the Bush White House's Lessons Learned report on Hurricane Katrina made no mention of the hospital with the highest death toll post landfall.  That was Carlyle's LifeCare unit in Memorial Medical Center, the site of 25 LifeCare patient deaths. 

FT did run a nice puff piece on David Rubenstein, one where he delivered his latest lines.  When did business reporting devolve into taking dictation in our PEU world?  Apparently, some time ago