Monday, March 14, 2016

NPR Unsure What to Do with PEUs

Lord John Browne of Madingley, the Don Blankenship of oil refining, spoke to NPR about corporate social responsibility last week.  BP's Texas City refinery blew up eleven years ago resulting in 15 deaths and injured 170 more.  Browne's deposition came after his resignation as BP's President.  He denies knowledge of operations changes from corporate executive edicts that contributed to the disaster.  Someone truly socially responsible would've accepted responsibility. but Browne already moved on to his next big money gig.

His 2008 deposition stated:

Q. (BY MR. COON) Mr. Browne, you indicated that your present employment is with Riverstone Holdings?
A. That's correct.
Q. Is that your primary position at this time, sir?
A. It is.
Q. And that is a holding company that is associated with The Carlyle Group, is it not, sir?
A. Carlyle is a shareholder in the company.
Q. Do you know something about the shareholders in The Carlyle Group, sir, that you work for?
A. Well, we don't work for The Carlyle Group. The Carlyle Group is a shareholder in Riverstone Holdings, L.L.C., and I am the managing partner of Riverstone Holdings, L.L.P., which is owned by the L.L.C.
Q. Yes, sir. And if you go to the Carlyle website, you can see the list of their locations around the world; and one of them that they, interestingly, list is Riverstone. Do you know why that would be?
A. I don't know. I haven't seen their website.
Q. Okay. Do you know some of the shareholders in The Carlyle Group, sir?
A. I know the -- I met, several times, the founders, Mr. Dan D'Aniello, Mr. David Rubenstein and Mr. Bill Conway.
Which leads us to the next NPR story.

Lord John Browne and Carlyle's David Rubenstein have deep political connections.  They've each used their contacts to enrich themselves handsomely as private equity underwriters.  PEUs preferred tax status is a social cancer that this pair enjoyed while their businesses failed employees and customers.  The Carlyle Group's LifeCare Hospitals had 26 deaths in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in August 2005.

How much has Lord John Browne and David Rubenstein saved in preferred taxation from 2005 until now?  That's a question an alert media, who understands the deeper relationships between politicians and the PEU boys, might ask.