Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Carlyle Group: Employee Owned PA Consulting Goes PEU

NASDAQ reported:

PA Consulting Group and The Carlyle Group (CG) announced they have signed an agreement for Carlyle to invest in PA for a 51 percent shareholding of the company. The investment values PA at $1 billion and is expected to close in December 2015.
That means Carlyle is the majority shareholder and can make decisions without regard to the other 49%. PA's press release described the firm as follows:

PA is an employee-owned firm of over 2,500 people, operating globally from offices across North America, Europe, the Nordics, the Gulf and Asia Pacific. Our specific expertise is in energy and utilities, financial services, health, life sciences, consumer and manufacturing, government, defence and security, transport and logistics.

Our deep industry knowledge together with skills in management consulting, technology and innovation allows us to challenge conventional thinking and deliver exceptional results with lasting impact.

Ask the 2,500 PA employees in two years how they like Carlyle ownership.  I'd love to hear their assessment of Carlyle's culture and values on their once employee owned company.  Will they see Carlyle's vulture culture and callous values?  That would be my wager.

PA Consulting is in a unique position to chronicle the impact of private equity ownership on a company.  However PA is in a double bind.  They cannot be honest and keep Carlyle's good name, a longstanding prime objective.  When all else fails throw out the measure or the messenger.  It's the PEU way.

Update 2-20-20:  Carlyle is ready to cash in on PA Consulting and prefers to sell the company to another private equity firm.  That way the public doesn't see how much cash Carlyle pulled out of PA during five years of ownership.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Alaska Should Aggressively Pursue Investment Returns

The Alaska Dispatch is owned by Alice Rogoff Rubenstein, wife of Carlyle Group co-founder David Rubenstein.  Harvard Economist Kenneth Rogoff recently weighed in with a column in the Alaska Dispatch.  It stated:

Alaska has a sovereign wealth fund slightly in excess of 100 percent of state GDP, more than enough to cover both state debt of about 20 percent of GDP (even including local debt) and unfunded state pension liabilities. 

There is certainly scope to manage the sovereign wealth fund somewhat more aggressively, at the very least the amount in excess of the state’s debt. Other resource-dependent countries like Norway try to strike a balance between risk and return. It would probably behoove Alaska to look at other sovereign wealth funds and how they are managed.
Rogoff recommends rolling the dice on 80% of the funds assets, which generally means private equity.  Numerous Middle East sovereign wealth funds invest with The Carlyle Group.  Carlyle co-founder David Rubenstein regularly visits Alaska.  Rogoff's piece closed with a short bio:

Kenneth Rogoff is a professor of economics at Harvard and former chief economist for the International Monetary Fund. He is the cousin of Alaska Dispatch News owner and publisher Alice Rogoff.
Rogoff did not mention public pension funds which have questioned private equity's outsized fees that damper returns.  Kenneth Rogoff went for the happy comparison.  

It's all in the PEU family, where image counts for much.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

FDA Nominee Served on Portola Pharmaceuticals Board

President Obama nominated Dr. Robert Califf to serve as head of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  Califf served on the board of directors for Portola Pharmaceuticals for three years.  His Portola bio stated:

Robert M. Califf, M.D. Robert Califf, age 63, has served as a member of our Board since July 2012. He has held various academic positions at Duke University Medical Center, including Vice Chancellor for Clinical and Translational Research since July 2012, Professor of Medicine since 1995 and Vice Chancellor for Clinical Research from July 2006 to June 2011. Dr. Califf was the founding director of the Duke Clinical Research Institute. He also currently serves as co-chair of the Clinical Trials Transformation Initiative, a partnership focused on improving the clinical trials system. Dr. Califf holds a B.S. in Psychology and an M.D. from Duke University. Because of Dr. Califf’s expertise in cardiology, clinical research, translational medicine and regulatory affairs, we believe he is able to make valuable contributions to our Board.
Dr. Califf earned $245,000 in director compensation in 2013 and $260,000 in 2014.  That $500,000 doesn't include half a year's board pay from 2012.   As of March 2014 Dr. Califf owned nearly 25,000 shares of Portola.  He resigned from the board January 26, 2015 to join the FDA as FDA Deputy Commissioner for Medical Products and Tobacco.  Portola closed at $29.64 a share that day.  Friday's close was $43.78.

Califf exercised board oversight for three share offerings in his short time on the board.  Portola went public in May 2013 garnering $131 million.  Their follow on public offering in October/November 2013 added another $121 million.  Did any board members did sell their pre-IPO accumulated shares in the follow on public offering?

We did not receive any proceeds from the sale of common stock by certain of our existing stockholders in the follow-on public offering. 
It's not clear which directors, if any, sold pre-IPO shares in this offering.  Another October 2014 stock offering produced $175 million for Portola.

The net proceeds from the offerings described above have been used and will be used, together with our cash, cash equivalents and investments, to fund continued advancement of our Betrixaban, Andexanet alfa and Cerdulatinib programs, anticipated to be approximately $200.0 million, with the balance to be used to fund working capital, capital expenditures and other general corporate purposes, which may include the acquisition or licensing of other products, businesses or technologies.
Under revenue Portola's 10-K stated:

Since inception, in connection with our agreements with Biogen Idec, Merck & Co., Inc., Novartis, BMS and Pfizer, Bayer and Janssen, Daiichi Sankyo and Lee’s, we have received payments in the aggregate amount of $219.7 million, as initial upfront payments, contingent consideration and a milestone payment of which $6.5 million is subject to a 50% refund provision, pursuant to our Phase 3 clinical collaboration agreement with BMS and Pfizer.
It's an increasingly complex healthcare world but I wonder about a simple question.  Should Dr. Califf be confirmed by the Senate what pressure FDA staff might feel to please their new boss?

Naked Capitalism did a fine job exploring Califf's ties and possible conflicts of interest outside Portola.  I chose to mine this one role.  I consider it significant as the board room is the locus of power, that along with the executive suite, interacts with political and regulatory bodies for the advancement of company priorities, which is overly characterized by greed in our wider corporate world.  In my experience healthcare is no exception. 

Carlyle Co-founder Makes Head Table for Chinese State Dinner

Carlyle Group co-founder David Rubenstein and his wife Alice sat at the prestigious head table at the White House State Dinner for Chinese President Xi Jinping.  Politico referred to affair as "a glitzy and glamorous good time."  WaPo reported the wealth at the head table to be $49 billion.  That's from a mere fourteen guests.  As four of the guests are couples the $49 billion comes from ten people, an average of nearly $5 billion per power person/couple.

The Carlyle Group taught the Chinese about private equity, with its numerous PEU investments in China.  Carlyle's Chinese affiliates killed and sickened babies (Yashili) and exposed children to toxic jewelry (Oriental Trading).  That's what happens when greed combines with management practices that erode quality.

Carlyle has its sights set on turning Alaska into a Chinese like economy.  Mrs. Rubenstein, Alice Rogoff Rubenstein is in a unique position to advance this as owner of the largest newspaper in Alaska.  President Obama visited Mrs. Rubenstein's home less than a month ago.  Rogoff wants the government's help to develop deep water ports on the west coast of Alaska. 

President Obama hosted the billionaires' head table.  He is putting the finishing touches on his legacy and likely future employment.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Co-founder Quits Carlyle's Claren Road

WSJ reported:

Claren Road Asset Management LLC co-founder and co-chief investment officer John Eckerson has decided to retire at the end of the year, according to people familiar with the matter, as the firm grapples with poor performance and investor redemptions.
Bloomberg added:

Claren Road investors asked to pull almost half of the hedge fund’s $4.1 billion in assets at the end of the current quarter following losses this year.
The casino needs bettors to win big.  Right now they're fleeing, as is a Claren Road co-founder.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Carlyle's Investor Meeting Hears from Another Ex-President

PE Hub reported:

Former President George W. Bush, brought a smile to faces at Carlyle Group’s annual meeting last week. Our spies tell us “Dubya” put on an altogether friendly, light-hearted keynote speech talking about family and life post most-powerful-man-in-the-world.

It’s not clear how much the former president commands for his keynote presence, though several media reports pegged it between $100,000 and $175,000. Sources tell us George W. also was the featured speaker at this year’s annual meetings for Blackstone Group and Vista Equity Partners. No one from Blackstone or Vista returned requests for comment.
W. had an impact on several of Carlyle's air travel affiliates.  He served as a board member for CaterAir, back when airlines provided catering to the whole plane, not just first class.   W.'s rendition practices were rumored to boost the bottom line for Carlyle affiliate Landmark Aviation, which Carlyle just round-tripped for over $2 billion.  Lots to yuck-yuck about between W. and Carlyle's PEU boys. 

Don't forget W. let the Bin Ladens fly home after Carlyle's 2001 investor meeting when virtually everyone else was grounded.  W. earned this invite a long time ago.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Carlyle Upscales Silicon Valley Home Park

The Carlyle Group plans to upscale Pacific Skies Estates, a Bay Area mobile home park.  It will retain the mobile home park designation in order to bypass costly development processes while jettisoning current residents for a higher income clientele.  This is Carlyle's contribution to America's downwardly mobile economy. 

VW vs. GM: The Akerson Effect

ZeroHedge educated the public on the government's relatively light handed treatment of GM's management malfeasance vs. Volkswagon's.  I'd like to add another element, GM's President Daniel Akerson, who received complaints of failed ignition switches.

GM has admitted that some employees knew about the problem for nearly a decade, yet cars equipped with the switch were not recalled until last year

Read more here: http://www.tri-cityherald.com/news/business/article36195858.html#storylink=cpy
Prior to heading GM for four years Akerson worked for The Carlyle Group and sat on the board of Boeing.  After leaving GM Akerson returned to Carlyle and joined Lockheed Martin's board.

At Carlyle Akerson learned how private equity underwriters (PEUs) maintain their good name, even when they had multiple reasons to hang their heads in shame for bribing public officials (Synagro), allowing twenty five patients to die in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina (LifeCare Hospitals) and making billions in bad energy bets (Semgroup).

I'll venture Akerson made it clear no bad news was to arrive in GM's C Suite and anyone wanting to keep their job complied.  What happened to letters sent directly to Akerson on the issue?

Last Thursday GM was fined $900 million for covering up its faulty ignition switches that caused at least 124 deaths and hundreds of injuries.

The deal with GM was cut by U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara, who said there’s no federal criminal penalty for knowingly putting a deadly product on the market. "It has been a challenging case, for the agencies, for the prosecutors and for me," Bharara said.

As a result, nobody was prosecuted by the US government. 
The Government-Corporate Monstrosity will go to great lengths to protect insider connected people like The Carlyle Group's Daniel Akerson.  It's their latest success.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Who Will File Iran Notice for NYT Oil & Money Speech?

The SEC requires companies to report:

On August 10, 2012, the President signed into law the Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act of 2012. Section 219 of the Act amends Section 13 of the Exchange Act to add new subsection (r), which requires an issuer that files Exchange Act periodic reports to provide disclosure in its periodic report if during the reporting period it or any of its affiliates has knowingly engaged in certain specified activities involving contacts with or support for Iran or other identified persons involved in terrorism or the creation of weapons of mass destruction. 
Washington Free Beacon reported:

Seyed Mehdi Hosseini, chair of the Iranian Ministry of Petroleum Oil Contract Restructuring Committee, would be a featured guest at the New York Times’ Oil and Money Conference, an annual event held for business VIPs in London.

The Times circulated an invitation to the event, which costs $4,000 to attend, touting Hosseini’s appearance, according to Smarter Times, which first published the invite.

Top U.S. companies are sponsoring the conference. These include Chevron, ExxonMobil, and the Carlyle Group.
How many of these public companies will comply with SEC requirements and report their dealings with Iran, specifically the Chairman of the Iranian National Committee?

Here's his bio from the Oil and Money website:

H.E. Seyed Mehdi Hosseini is the Chairman of the Oil Contract Restructuring Committee within the Iranian Ministry of Petroleum. Within the industrial sector, he has previously served as Deputy Minister for Mines and Metals, a board member of National Iranian Steel Co. and Chairman of the Iran Special Steel Co., as well as serving as Deputy Managing Director, Commercial & Technical Manager and Direct Reduction Project Manager at the Ahwaz Steel Complex.

Mr. Hosseini has held a number of positions within the oil industry. Prior to his current role, he served as Deputy Oil Minister and President of National Petrochemical Co., Deputy Oil Minister for International Affairs, and Deputy Oil Minister and Chairman of the Iran Petroleum Institute. He also served as the Chief Negotiator for out-of-court settlements and disputes between the Ministry of Mines and Metals and the Ministry of Petroleum as well as with American companies before The Hague Iran-US Claims Tribunal. Mr. Hosseini is the designer of the Iran oil and gas contracts model (buyback) and has served as Chief Negotiator for contracts.

Mr. Hosseini has also served as Chairman and President of Petrochemical Commercial Co., President and Member of the Board for Kala Co. and Director of Engineering at the Kangan Gas Project. While working for National Iranian Oil Co., Mr. Hosseini served as a member of the board, Acting Managing Director, Director of Exploration, Deputy Director of International Affairs and General Manager of Foreign Participations and International Contracts.

He serves as a member of the International Society of Petroleum Engineers and the Sub-Commission of the Iran Economic Council as well as Chairman of the Iranian National Committee and Member of the Executive Board and Permanent Council for the World Petroleum Congress. Mr. Hosseini has also served as Chairman of the South Pars Special Economic Zone.

Mr. Hosseini graduated with a BS in chemical engineering from Sharif University of Technology in 1972. He has lectured PhD courses on oil contracts at the University of Imam-e-Sadegh and postgraduate oil contract courses at the Petroleum Institute of Tehran University.
Surely something in this gentleman's laundry list qualifies those paying for his presence to report such as a contract with or support for Iran.  Will it just be the NYT or will it include sponsors?

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Carlyle Burned by Energy Prices

The Carlyle Group lists 28 current energy affiliates in its online portfolio.  Despite Carlyle co-founder David Rubenstein's preaching the attractiveness of energy investments, only one occurred this year.  Carlyle purchased Malaga Power in April.

Carlyle's 13F SEC filings show six publicly traded energy investments in their portfolio.  I looked at their value as of July 31, 2015 and compared it to July 31, 2014.  Carlyle took nearly a $1 billion paper loss on six companies.

ZeroHedge warned last week about a day of reckoning for energy producing companies.  Private equity is listed as a potential lifeline for struggling firms.  What if they're already in the PEU family?  Stay tuned...

Update 9-24-15:  DigitalEnergy noted private equity's interest in oil and gas plays.  They missed the bath Carlyle has taken on their public energy holdings.  ZeroHedge says restructuring is inevitable in the shale oil patch.

Update 9-27-15:  Bloomberg reported how oil shale junk debt is imploding and how debt holders are taking stock warrants with the hope of some future investment return.  Swaps are the name of the game in the U.S. shale rout.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Otter Surfaces in Encryption Debate?

A young Otter fought his fraternity's "Double Secret Probation" in National Lampoon's Animal House.  His older dead ringer, an attorney for the National Intelligence Agency is fighting encryption.  To bolster his political case the lawyer is cheering for terrorist hi-jinks, in the same way 9-11 pushed through the Patriot Act. The Carlyle Group, with an insider on President Obama's Intelligence Advisory boards, recently acquired two cyber-security firms, Novetta Solutions and CoalfireSystems.  You can't make this stuff up, it's there for the pickin'. 

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Chertoff & Carlyle Group Bet on CyberSecurity: Buy Coalfire

Businesswire reported:

Global alternative asset manager The Carlyle Group (NASDAQ: CG) and The Chertoff Group, a global security and risk management advisory firm, today announced they have acquired a majority stake in Coalfire Systems, Inc. 

Founded in 2001 and based in Louisville, Colo., Coalfire is a global cybersecurity and technology services provider specializing in cyber risk advisory, compliance assessments, technical testing and software services for private enterprises and government organizations. With its technical depth and breadth of IT services, Coalfire serves clients in sectors including technology, retail, payments, healthcare, financial services, education, local and state government and utilities.
This deal comes just weeks after Carlyle bought Novetta Solutions.   At the time I wrote:

Carlyle Managing Director Julius Genachowski serves on President Obama's two intelligence boards, so he is in a unique position to see government intelligence needs and advise Carlyle's triumvirate to invest accordingly.  His bio on Carlyle's website stated:
Mr. Genachowski has long advised President Obama on technology issues
Julius could've made President Obama's intelligence tea.  That would be an investment sweet spot for a private equity underwriter (PEU).
Yes it would.  Insiders are betting with the expectation of winning big.

Update 12-23-16:  Coalfire is buying federal intelligence contractor Veris Group

Update 12-24-19:  Carlyle and Chertoff are ready to flip Coalfire to Apax Partners in a PEU to PEU transaction.

Update 4-25-20:  The coronavirus pandemic failed to kill this deal.  Apax Partners went through with its deal to buy the company from Carlyle and Chertoff.

Obama-Bush Years Saw Employers Reduce Health Insurance Coverage

The Census Bureau released poverty and health insurance coverage data today.  While rising poverty figures grab the headlines, a disturbing trend continues in employer sponsored health care coverage.  Consider how many people were covered at work before the George W. Bush and Barack Obama Imperial Presidencies

70.4% of Americans got employer health insurance in 1999
The Bush years sent millions of job overseas and employer coverage imploded:

58.3% received employer provided coverage in 2008
President Obama's low wage job recovery comes with reduced or no benefits:

55.4% had employer health insurance in 2014
That's a 15% decrease from 1999-2014.   Employees know the difference in coverage in 1999 vs. today.  The need to choose between food, rent, electricity and medicines continues as millions of Americans are underinsured, i.e. can't afford care due to high out of pocket costs.

Employers reduced health care coverage in more ways than one.  That trend should continue under PPACA, as it's an unstated aim of the law according to Obama advisor Dr. Ezekial Emanuel..

By 2025, “fewer than 20 percent of workers in the private sector will receive traditional employer-sponsored health insurance.
The shedding will need to ramp up over the next decade for Ezekial's prediction to come true.

Update 9-17-15:  Naked Capitalism noted the bad hand employees have gotten the last two decades

Update 9-23-15:  The LA Times also noted the shift of health insurance/healthcare costs to employees.  Shifting costs to employees has long been part of the plan.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Recalling Carlyle's Impact on Hawaiian Telecom

Pacific Business News reported:

Kimi Koge, business manager of IBEW Local 1357, said that having gone through a sale with The Carlyle Group, Hawaiian Telcom customers suffered a tremendous drop in service and reliability.

“The company eventually went into bankruptcy and the employees and people of Hawaii have not recovered since
The Carlyle Group purchased Hawaiian Telecom from Verizon in 2005.  It went bankrupt in late 2008. 

"I have seen so many people -- particularly those in their 50s - 70s -- taken apart by what has happened in their industry as greed has hollowed out the economy. These are people took pride in their jobs and held themselves to this invisible standard that we all just took for granted, but is being wiped out."
The people still haven't recovered as PEU greed spreads through the global economy like a voracious parasite.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Goodwin & Rubenstein's Show at Duke University

The woman who wrote about President Teddy Roosevelt's tackling Robber Barons will be interviewed by Carlyle Group co-founder David Rubenstein, himself a modern day robber baron.

Goodwin’s most recent book, The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism (2013), is a dynamic history of the first decade of the Progressive era, that tumultuous time when the nation was coming unseamed and reform was in the air. 
Like Andrew Carnegie with his library money, Rubenstein's philanthropy has Duke University bringing this pair together with no apparent appreciation for its irony. 

The evening with Goodwin and Rubenstein will be presented as the Weaver Memorial Lecture 
What songs will this pair sing that lull the public into a fairy tale world on stage?  .

Carlyle Buys Corinthian Medical Condo

The Real Deal reported:

The Carlyle Group picked up a medical office condominium unit at the base of the Corinthian in Murray Hill for $48 million, according to property records filed with the city Monday.

The seller, ProMed Properties, bought the three-floor, 81,000-square-foot commercial condo unit for $31 in 2011 from Spitzer Enterprises.

Bernard Spitzer, father of former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer, who now runs the company, developed the Corinthian in 1987.
The medical condo was last sold for $30.6 million four years ago.  That's a $17.4 million or 57% profit.  Think what Carlyle's PEU ownership will do to healthcare costs.  Skyrocket in sight, especially when it's time to flip their already enlarged investments.

Next up for the greed and leverage boys?  It's the food on your table.  It's enough to make one sick.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

CalPERS' PEU View Driven by Past Carlyle Ownership?

Naked Capitalism reported on the ongoing saga of CalPERS, a public pension fund, worshiping at the feet of private equity underwriters.  I believe this is rooted in two factors.  The first is CalPERS twelve year ownership of 5.5% of The Carlyle Group.  During this time CalPERS likely cheered for private equity's excessive fees and opaque ways as they benefited the pension fund.

Carlyle's David Marchick told the U.S, Senate in 2008:

CalPERS and Mubadala each receive a quarterly or annual financial report, and we will work hard to produce an attractive rate of return for both entities. Both CalPERS and Mubadala are sophisticated investors, and we are grateful for the confidence they have shown in us.
The second factor is current management practice, which utilizes complexity, dishonest framing and fee obfuscation in the pursuit of excessive returns via greed and leverage.  CalPERS was willing to ignore these sins as nearly everyone else was doing likewise.

It's extremely difficult to challenge agreed upon business theory, even when it's ubiquitously bad.  I imagine it was hard to challenge robber baron PEU fees from the inside, especially with CalPERS holding a 5.5% stake in Lord Group of Carlyle.

Will $100 Million Load Shutter Getty?

The Carlyle Group wants to load Getty Images with another $100 million in debt.  The stated rationale is to invest in new product/service lines.  Getty Images debt had been on the decline prior to Carlyle shopping $100 million more.

Carlyle has $62.5 billion in dry powder.  If the new product/service line thesis made sense wouldn't Carlyle use equity to fund it?  The greed and leverage boys don't put good money after bad.  They know how to squeeze the last bit of cash out of declining affiliates.  Does Getty Images fit this profile?  Bloomberg reported:

The new debt, whether structured as loans or bonds, would rank above the company’s $550 million of unsecured notes. Those securities have lost 5.1 cents to trade at about 35.8 cents on the dollar since Aug. 12.

The new debt could remove the seniority of Getty’s existing top-ranked $1.9 billion of loans, the people said. Getty could rank the new debt either above or at the same level as the existing loans, depending on how it uses provisions in the credit agreement and adds additional assets to secure the loans.

Prices of the loans have fallen nearly 6.6 cents since the announcement to 62.8 cents on the dollar, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. They had traded above 90 cents as recently as February.


Sunday, September 6, 2015

Three Treasury Chiefs Wolf it Up

A picture can say more than a thousand words.  Yes, it can.  It's fitting it happened at the feet of the father of modern management (as greedily practiced). 

Tavenner Revolves from Botching PPACA to Heading AHIP

Former HCA executive Marilyn Tavenner headed the Center for Medicare/Medicaid when it rolled out complex insurance exchanges intended to stem rapidly rising healthcare costs.  Oddly, her botching exchange implementation got her the adulation of health insurance companies.  Tavenner is now the chief lobbyist for America's Health Insurance Plans, a heavyweight group of major health insurers.

The bulk of Tavenner's career and expertise is on the provider side, which traditionally viewed insurers as a necessary evil.  HCA's 2004 10-K stated:

Marilyn B. Tavenner was appointed President — Outpatient Services Group in January 2004. From February 2001 to December 2003, Ms. Tavenner served as President for the Central Atlantic Division of the Company. From February 1996 to January 2001, Ms. Tavenner served as President of the Richmond Market of the Company. From April 1993 to January 1996, Ms. Tavenner served as Chief Executive Officer of CJW Medical Center
Rick Scott's Colombia bought HCA in 1994.  Tavenner was CEO of two hospitals in Richmond's Southside, Chippenham Hospital and Johnston-Willis Hospital.  In February 1996 she rose to President of the Richmond, Virginia Market. This promotion occurred while Rick Scott improperly incentivized physicians and committed other frauds.  The Miami Herald reported:

The doctor payments were among 10 different kinds of fraud identified by the Justice Department in its 10-year probe of the company, records show. Three years after Scott left Columbia/HCA, the company admitted wrongdoing, pleading guilty to 14 felonies -- most committed during Scott's tenure -- in addition to paying two sets of fines totaling $1.7 billion.
Scott tucked his tail and resigned from HCA in 1997.  Scott blamed the illegal behavior on underlings, a reflection of his abusive management practices.  The Justice Department investigation ran for ten years, starting under President Bill Clinton.  It culminated in 2003 under President George W. Bush.  Despite the record $1.7 billion in fines, no individuals were charged for their role in HCA's chronic, excessive illegal acts.  As a result Florida has a governor who'd be a convicted felon in another era.  Note that Richard Rainwater, a bundler for W., bankrolled Rick Scott's Columbia from the get go.  Salon reported:

In 1987 Rainwater and Scott partnered, and with the initial purchase of two hospitals in El Paso, Texas, formed the Columbia Healthcare Corp. They took their company public and used the money to buy hospitals at a fast clip, focusing on dominating specific markets by buying several hospitals in a region and closing the poor-performing ones. They slashed costs, cutting jobs and hours, and bought bulk supplies at discount. Wall Street rewarded them. By 1994 they had enough capital to buy Scott’s original target, HCA.
The $1.7 billion settlement mentions illegal behavior at HCA facilities in Florida, New York, and Georgia,as well as in Nashville, Tennessee, the site of HCA's home office.  Illegal physician incentive payments are not specified location wise.  Tavenner, as head of a Richmond area hospitals, would've been most likely to have committed this offense.  This is an educated guess as no individuals were charged with crimes in Columbia/HCA's widespread felonious behavior

HCA's greed taint resurfaced in 2006 when a consortium of private equity underwriters (PEU) took the company private.  Bloomberg reported:

HCA Inc., the largest U.S. hospital chain, agreed to a $21.3 billion buyout offer from Bain Capital LLC, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., Merrill Lynch & Co. and HCA co-founder Thomas F. Frist Jr. Including the buyers' assumption of $11.7 billion in debt, the total value of the sale will be $33 billion, the company said today in a statement.
KKR and company announced the deal in July, with deal closing in November 2006.  Marilyn left HCA before the deal was even announced, ostensibly to serve Virginia citizens needing affordable healthcare.  I observed in 2007:

Ex-HCA high up Marilyn Tavenner will soon use a privately funded health care reform study as an "internal working document" to change the State of Virginia's health care system. Just as ex-Halliburton CEO Dick Cheney used a meeting with energy chief executives to set our national energy policy and kept it secret, so plans Marilyn with the approval of Democratic Governor Tim Kaine. But wait, this isn't the first time an ex-for profit leader, now in a governmental role, crafts health care changes behind the watchful public eye. 
Tom Scully, former head of the for-profit hospital lobbying group, brought us the Medicare Prescription Drug Program in a similarly opaque manner as the head of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid. Tom stifled a subordinate’s higher cost estimates in an apparently illegal move.

So what can Virginia expect from Marilyn? Let’s hope it’s more than Tom delivered. During the prescription drug program’s development, Mr. Scully negotiated for his future employment. Is anyone surprised he landed as a health care lobbyist alongside ex-Senators Bob Dole-R and Tom Daschle-D? He also snagged a Senior Advisor role in a private equity firm with a large health care portfolio which happens to include a national Medicare Part D plan sponsor.
The revolving door path is well worn in today's Government-Corporate Monstrosity.  Marilyn Tavenner's elusive past, that other bloggers are yet to find, does exist.  Although it was difficult to find a start date for Tavenner's Virginia HHS role.  Several public pieces from January and February 2006 listed her in that role.  Also her SEC insider status with HCA ended 12-31-2005.

Tavenner did not study directly under greed and leverage boys.  She likely faced job elimination as PEU barbarians circled HCA's gate.  However, she likely learned in public service they get what they want and it's government's role to facilitate their massive profiteering. 

Practical PPACA implementer Marilyn endured her public flogging over the hapless insurance exchange rollout.  That silence, servitude and public acquiescence garners favors to be cashed in later.

Tavenner's solely the chief insurance lobbyist making $2 million a year, having resigned from LifePoint Hospitals' board.  Her door has revolved from.

"She has been in healthcare her whole life. She is not a politician. She is a healthcare practitioner."
Not any more.  She's a lobbyist for profits over people.  Nothing symbolizes better the beneficiaries of healthcare reform, its planners and profiteers.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Creepy Credit Sign

My credit card company offered me no interest money for two years today.  Had I taken them up on the offer the bank would've had a loan with no collateral.  Whatever I purchased with the money might have been consumed or greatly depreciated by the time the second year arrived.  I thanked them for the offer but said "I am fine."  After I hung up it seemed like cheap, even no cost credit might be an ill sign. 

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Bloomberg Fires Gadflies to Start Gadfly

Bloomberg's new Editor in Chief John Micklethwait told staff if they "yearn to practice ‘gotcha journalism’ on investment bankers simply because they’ve chosen to be bankers, Bloomberg is probably the wrong place for you.”

He then announced the startup of Bloomberg Gadfly. NYT reported:

Resources will, he said, turn toward “our new fast commentary team (‘Bloomberg Gadfly’)

Micklethwait's letter stated "Bloomberg Gadfly will sting as well as buzz." 

Gadfly is defined as "a person who stimulates or annoys especially by persistent criticism" and "any of various flies (as a horsefly, botfly, or warble fly) that bite or annoy livestock (like Wall Street Bulls)."  

So all you persistently critical Bloomberg gotcha journalists, take your Gadfly backsides elsewhere.  We're launching Gadfly!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Obama Dines with Mrs. Rubenstein

Juneau Empire reported:

President Obama briefly returned to the hotel Captain Cook before heading to dinner at the home of Alice Rogoff, the owner and publisher of the Alaska Dispatch News. The ADN is the Alaska pool news agency for Obama’s trip to Alaska, and Rogoff is the wife of Carlyle Group billionaire David Rubenstein.

Rogoff, Senior Advisor to Pt Capital, wants to remake Alaska for profit purposes.  Government subsidized profiteering runs in the PEU family.  KTUU reported:

In the days leading to the GLACIER conference, Rogoff hosted a conference of her own, which drew attention to Arctic development, with many speaking of the need for government subsidies to enable construction of deep water ports on Alaska's western coast.
As for President Obama, he's dined with Carlyle co-founder David Rubenstein on more than one continent.