Thursday, June 30, 2022

PEU Post Acute Healthcare Sores

Two former Carlyle Group staffers stand to impact how people get healthcare after a hospitalization.  Harrison Frist was named CEO of NaviHealth in January.  NaviHealth had two private equity owners, Welsh Carson, Anderson and Stowe (WCAS) and Clayton, Dubilier and Rice (CDR).   CDR flipped NaviHealth for more than a double for a less than two year hold.

The Frist name is famous for starting hospital giant HCA, which had its time under private equity underwriter KKR.  KKR siphoned billions from HCA adding to ridiculously high healthcare costs.

Senator Bill Frist M.D. is Harrison's father.  Frist is listed as an adjunct professor at Vanderbilt University Medical School.  The former senator is also a PEU as Special Partner at Cressey and Co and founder/partner Frist-Cressey Ventures.

Harrison Frist has been called "a member of Nashville's first family of healthcare" and they've pocketed billions.

CDR Principal Eliot Blask also cut his PEU teeth at Carlyle.  Blask submitted an Oregon regulatory filing for CDR's purchase of Kindred Hospice.  Elliot made no news reports during his five years with Carlyle.  He is a Vanderbilt University graduate and may well have gone to medical school but the financial world enticed him.  

The filing has the typical PEU pablum.  I've heard similar horse hockey at two PEU owned healthcare companies.  I saw our owners cut staff, reduce benefits, send customer service scores into the tank and act like nothing bad was happening.  Their attention was diverted to shiny pieces of silver and gold.

WCAS started Valtrius last fall to compete with Harrison Frist's NaviHealth.  The greed and leverage boys are the herpes of healthcare.  They are ugly, irritating as hell and never truly leave.  Frist and Blask worked their way from Carlyle through our healthcare bloodstream.  The result is yet another post-acute healthcare PEU infection.

Update 10-21-23:   An article about wage theft brought back memories of one PEU takeover at a post acute healthcare company.  Our new owners used high tech to rob staff of pay and mileage.

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Pinhead Billionaire

Billionaire Amazon founder Jeff Bezos said:

 "Inflation is a regressive tax that most hurts the least affluent."

Price increases are not a tax as the money is received by the selling company and not a local, state or federal government entity. 

Does it gall anyone that a billionaire tax-paying minimalist is telling customers Amazon's price increases are going to the government he lobbies to not support financially but to control tax policy?  

By least affluent is he referring to the simple millionaire or the actual poor, many of whom he employs?  Bezos could easily afford to give them raises but finds it more profitable to insult them.  

Update 9-27-22:  Another pinhead billionaire tax-paying minimalist is former President Donald Trump, who paid less in taxes than a household earning $20,000 per year.

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Cheating, Unethical CPAs

Financial industry reviewers are supposed to be ethical professional accountants.  Consider this news story:

Ernst & Young LLP admitted that dozens of its audit personnel cheated on the ethics portion of the Certified Public Accountant exam and that the firm misled US regulators probing the misconduct.

Almost 50 EY audit employees improperly shared answer keys to the ethics portion of the CPA exam between 2017 and 2021 and hundreds more cheated on continuing professional education courses.

Not only did hundreds of CPAs cheat on their professional education, their accounting firm employer covered for them.  

Ersnt and Young isn't the only accounting firm involved in cheating.  KPMG did as well.  These disturbing events follow decades of erosion in accounting standards.   

Nonstandard accounting measures are widespread and give investors the impression that a firm is profitable when it is clearly not.  This form of cheating helps inflate stock and corporation values.  That helps the greed and leverage boys flip companies for greater profits. 

Monday, June 27, 2022

Rubenstein on Recession: Inevitable or Not?

CNBC spoke to Carlyle Group co-founder David Rubenstein in Aspen. He dropped his recession-banana analogy for the interview.

Rubenstein said. “I don’t think it’s inevitable that there’ll be a recession. I do think it’s tough to avoid a recession, but it’s not inevitable,” he added. 

Inside an organization as large as private equity giant Carlyle Group, he says there is no “common view on any one thing,” but he added “we don’t feel we’re going into a recession.” 

He said deals were still getting done but at lower multiples of earnings (however fictional).  Debt remains "readily available" (but much more expensive).   

If Carlyle felt we were going into recession that would be a trade secret the PEU would use to dump assets.  Rubenstein is the consummate salesman.  That's why Congress kept private equity's preferred taxation for decades (deeply against public opinion).  

The greed and leverage boys share one thing.  They can't get enough money, ever.  

Any student of history knows the next economic recession is inevitable.   An esteemed author saying otherwise looks like pandering to nervous investors so his firm or family office can exit first.

Saturday, June 25, 2022

The Greatest Fleecing is Yet to Come

When people are angry their leaders can rob them.  The pickpocket uses diversion and misdirection while fraudsters use secrecy and subterfuge.  America's leaders have access to all these tricks to enhance their wealth through illicit means.  

The current Supreme Court is out of a Dan Brown novel.  Trump's three appointees were presented as somewhat mainstream but that was just for public consumption.  His last appointee is a member of what would normally be called a religious cult which requires subservient females. 

Senators Joe Manchin (WV) and Susan Collins (ME) were surprised that the two male judges lied to them to get their seat on the court.  Collins said:

...the court’s abandoning of a 50-year precedent was “ill-considered action that will further divide” the country during an already fraught time.

The U.S. Supreme Court disrupted part of our healthcare system and allows state/local governments to make decisions about safe medical procedures and prescription drugs without any knowledge or training.

Prior to Roe vs. Wade Texas college coeds from wealthy families would fly Braniff Airlines to Japan for their arranged abortions.  Parkland Hospital's emergency room routinely saw black women presenting with a ripped uterus from back alley butchers.  Those days will return as America is made great/grate again.

Disruption is the province of private equity underwriters (PEU).  The greed and leverage boys upend industries, companies and workers' livelihoods in their pursuit of grand returns.  They align with political power and suckle from government coffers while enjoying preferred "carried interest" taxation.  Rest assured their will be no serious challenge to unjust PEU tax benefits while people are in the streets.  

The Federal Reserve Bank uses the language of helping the common person but has policies benefiting the PEU class.  Joe Manchin speaks regularly to and carries water for billionaires who do not live in West Virginia.

Robbing the poor and middle class to pay the rich, that is the PEU way.  Politicians Red and Blue love PEU and increasingly, more are one.  I smell huge profitgasms as elected officials pit citizen against citizen.  

Update 6-27-22:  The Q-Anut is back after a two year hiatus.  He must need more money.  Red Team grifter Steve Bannon continues to incite his followers to violence.  Bannon runs an "army of the manipulated." as he works to break the bonds of society.  Lord help us all.

Update 6-28-22:  PEU disrupters plan to reimburse employee travel for out of state of abortion services.  Blackstone, Apollo and Carlyle indicated this change in policy.

Update 8-26-22:  The subservient female religious cult made the news with a video showing their belief that men are considered divinely ordained as the “head” of the family and dominant to women.  That's one member of The Supreme Court.

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

PEU Self Service Questioned


Vincent Mortier, Amundi Asset Management’s chief investment officer, said this month that parts of the buyout business “look like a pyramid scheme” because of “circular” deals in which companies are sold between private owners at high valuations. 

A common feature is that a stake in one or more portfolio companies is sold from one fund to another, both of which are controlled by the same private equity firm. 

Speaking privately, some pension funds are frustrated. “This is wonderful for the [buyout groups]; it’s one of the best things they ever discovered,” says one pension fund’s head of private equity, who asked not to be named. 

But “it’s one of the worst things” for their investors, he adds. “The pie is getting bigger” as private equity balloons in size, he says, but “more of the pie is going to the [private equity firm] and less is going to [its investors].”  

Public companies have seen valuations decline significantly.  Private equity underwriters (PEU) are yet to reveal their corporate markdowns.  

Publicly traded PEUs are down 25% since April Fool's Day and Barron's says are worth buying.  Really?  There's been barely any time for rich PEU valuations to reset and worm their way through the financial system (capital calls, debt downgrades, handing affiliates over to debtholders).

The greed and leverage boys would love nothing other than a quick bottom and return to asset reflation.  In the meantime they want you to buy (like Barron's).  You too can be like billionaire David Rubenstein, co-founder of The Carlyle Group. 

The difference is he's a policy making billionaire scrambling to save his cryptocurrency service investment in Paxos.  It's not clear if any of his recent $77 million Carlyle stock sale went to prop up Paxos.  

Update 6-23-22:  Coinflex and Voyager Digital placed restrictions on withdrawals from investor's crypto accounts.    This follows Terra's implosion of an algorithmic derived cryptocurrency and crypto lender Celsius' freezing of accounts.  Babel Finance executed a similar move as Celsius.  Add the suspected insolvency of Three Arrows Capital, a crypto hedge fund and one has to wonder how Paxos is holding up.

Update 6-28-22:  Carlyle invested 15 million more Euros in affiliate Memsource.  It acquired the firm two years ago.

Update 7-16-22:  Celsius joined 3 Arrows Capital and Voyager in bankruptcy.

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Bankless Bankman-Fried's PEU Moves


“Sam Bankman-Fried is the new John Pierpont Morgan -- he is bailing out cryptocurrency markets the way the original J.P. Morgan did after the crisis of 1907,” Anthony Scaramucci, founder of SkyBridge Capital, said in an interview, referring to that year’s banking panic, which led to the creation of the Federal Reserve System.

“It doesn’t take a lot of capital right now to support prices and failing lenders, and there are a lot of players incentivized to ensure this industry doesn’t fail.”

One of those players is consummate Washington insider David Rubenstein, co-founder of The Carlyle Group.  Rubenstein's Declaration Partners has a stake in crypto focused Paxos.

The latest financing provided by Bankman-Fried is “not unlike private equity shops that will invest more capital into portfolio companies amid distress -- sometimes it’s enough, sometimes not,” said Noel Hebert, director of credit research at Bloomberg Intelligence. “Intra-crypto industry players are among the only ones with an incentive to lend here.”

Microstrategy CEO Michael Saylor pleaded for government intervention to stem the cryptocurrency crisis:

The world’s largest public holder of Bitcoin called on government regulators to finally tackle a laundry list of risky, immature crypto industry practices, or “parade of horribles,” that are unfairly weighing on the price of its asset.
No Bull's George Noble said that distress will undo the greed and leverage boys who grossly overpaid for affiliates and will be ravaged by markdowns for years to come.

The fact of the matter is the Central Banks of the world completely screwed it up.  They kept their foot on the accelerator....  I think this whole bullshit experiment the last umpteen years of QE and all this nonsense is all it's done is drive up financial asset prices.  It's increased the inequality of wealth in this country.  It's been horrible from a society standpoint this hyper financialization of the economy by the banksters..  It's been disastrous.

The only thing it's done is line the pockets of private equity and goldman sachs.  Enough of this already....I think the market is going to fix it, the market is fixing it.  I think private equity is dead.
What happens when the bankless imitate shadow bankers as they plead with government to become real bankers?
Update 6-25-22:  Goldman Sachs is readying to feast on the carcass of Celsius.  Feces needs a middleman.  Who will Goldman brokers push it on, their customers or Uncle Sam? 

Update 7-7-22:  SBF's Alameda Capital is a shareholder, creditor and borrower for bankrupt Voyager.  PEU.  
Update 7-16-22:  Celsius joined 3 Arrows Capital and Voyager in bankruptcy. 
Update 8-2-22:  A number of FDIC insured banks ran with the crypto devils and may go under as a result.  How this is remotely OK is a question one should ask David Rubenstein and his former employee Jerome Powell.
Update 8-6-22:  Fortune ran a story on Bankman-Fried calling him the next Warren Buffet.  Odd as Buffet hates crypto. 
Update 11-11-22:  SBF resigned from an imploding FTX.  Marc Cohodes saw through SBF in this video from September.  The media finally found SBF's operation was headed by college friends.  This would have been more important information than SBF running with Bill Clinton and Tony Blair. 

Sunday, June 19, 2022

Gridiron Disrupted by PEU Helmet Shortage

High schools coaches are scrambling for football helmets as practices are but months away.  The problem surfaced last year but remains acute.  Matt Stoller's Big reported private equity underwriters (PEU) have cornered the helmet market.

Riddell is owned by private equity giant Fenway Partners, which has been trying to find a merger strategy for the firm for the last fifteen years. And its rival Schutt is owned by Innovatus Capital Partners, which put out a press release announcing its intent to consolidate the space in 2020 due to the pandemic.

Concussions have been a big issue for manufacturers.  The greed and leverage boys are good at ring fencing risk at the affiliate level.  They are also known for starving affiliates of capital in stressful market conditions.  

If liability becomes a big enough issue I wouldn't be surprised if the PEU boys dump Riddell or Schutt onto debt holders.  Disrupters disrupt until they get disrupted.

Friday, June 17, 2022

Berlin SuperReturn's "Bananas" under Pressure

Carlyle Group co-founder David Rubenstein has been a regular at Berlin's SuperReturn International conference.  Last year Pitchbook wrote:

The Carlyle Group's David Rubenstein and Robert Smith of Vista Equity Partners were among the heavyweights flying to Berlin for SuperReturn International last week as the private equity industry reflects on its strongest year yet.

The world has changed dramatically.  Carlyle had four speakers at the Berlin gathering of private equity underwriters (PEU).  Rubenstein was not one of the four.

Bloomberg reported today:

More than a decade of buoyant fundraising and loose monetary policy fueled a boom in private equity dealmaking that made many firms comfortable with spending big in an ultra-competitive market for assets. That led to sky-high valuations that were described as “bananas” at the last SuperReturn meet-up in November.

Not long ago Rubenstein told the story of working in the Carter White House and staff used the word "banana" in place of recession.  He coached his PEU peers in Berlin shortly after the Fall 2008 financial crisis.

The greed and leverage boys have no shortage of confidence that they'll make their way through the current difficult market for buying and selling companies.  

“Diamonds are made under pressure.”

What if an economic banana (recession) impacted a bunch of bananas (companies purchased at extremely high valuations)?  Bananas under pressure turn to mush. 

I have no doubt about the PEU boys ability to take care of themselves and their personal pocketbooks.  I worry about the people working for their affiliates, people at the bottom of the economic fruit chain.  They get bruised long before the private jet, billionaire crowd.

Espionage Act: PEUtraeus vs. Assange

WikiLeaks Julian Assange has been slated for extradition to the U.S. for espionage.  The British government approved turning Assange over to American authorities.  

Consider the Espionage Act's recent history:

For years, the Espionage Act prosecutions have only been for low-level officials, while the heads of federal agencies leak with impunity.  For example, current CIA director John Brennan, former CIA director Leon Panetta, and former CIA general counsel John Rizzo are just three of many high-ranking government officials who have gotten off with little to no punishment despite the fact we know they’ve leaked information to the media that the government considers classified.

Private equity underwriter (PEU) KKR hired David Petraeus in 2013 to head KKR's Global Institute. 

In 2015 General Petraeus avoided felony charges under the Espionage Act for leaking confidential information to his girlfriend.  The recipient of leaked information (Petreaus' girlfriend) was not charged.

If only The Carlyle Group had acquired WikiLeaks as part of its technology holdings.  Assange might be a free man like David Petraeus.  

As Petraeus himself once said after CIA whistleblower John Kiriakou was convicted for leaking: "There are indeed consequences for those who believe they are above the laws." 

Some don't just believe, they know.  The greed and leverage boys sponsor the politicians who make the laws.  There's a reason may PEU founders are called "policy making billionaires."

Former CIA Chief Leon Panetta spoke at a Carlyle Group annual investor meeting prior to his appointment by President Obama, who dined many times with Carlyle co-founder David Rubenstein.  

Politicians Red and Blue love PEU and increasingly, more are one.

Thursday, June 16, 2022

Rubenstein Eating Words on Crypto

Paxos investor and Carlyle Group co-founder David Rubenstein scrambled to put cryptocurrencies in a positive light.  He started by saying many people bought Bitcoin at fifty cents or a dollar and those people are doing pretty well.  Rubenstein completely avoided the failure of cryptocurrency Terra and crypto lender Celsius.

Bloomberg's recent article on Terra's implosion was titled "How $60 billion in Terra Coins Went Up in Algorithmic Smoke."   Did Rubenstein's Paxos trade Terra?   Paxos has a blog post on Terra's failure which refers to Terra as a stablecoin that was unstable.

Paxos offers a cryptocurrency brokerage service.  Rubenstein has a conflict of interest when talking about cryptocurrencies and as usual it is undeclared.  Ever the salesman Rubenstein will hawk his investment goods until the end.  He hates seeing them implode nearly as much as he hates paying taxes..  

Update 6-17-22:  Crypto lender Babel Finance is the latest firm to suspend withdrawals and redemptions due to a liquidity crisis.

Rubenstein could sell Beats headphones to people in the projects but they ain't buying bitcoin and have no need for a Paxos cryptocurrency exchange.  “People looking to make money, not lose it.”

Update 6-19-22:   Three Arrows Capital, a leveraged long cryptocurrency hedge fund, is in financial trouble and its founders are missing in action. firm Nansen estimated 3AC held $10 billion in blockchain assets as of March, and the company has investments all over the crypto ecosystem. As of December, that included a stake in the world’s biggest Bitcoin fund, the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust, that reportedly exceeded 5 percent.

How's Paxos holding up? Did any of Rubenstein's recent $77 million in Carlyle stock sales go to Paxos for capital calls?

Update 6-20-22:  Celsius crypto implosion soured an "Unbank Yourself" fan and customer. "I tried to reach them for days. You can’t remove someone’s ability to resolve a situation and then punish them for not resolving it,” the 46-year-old carpenter told Yahoo Finance. “I trusted them with my savings and it’s unfair.”  They sure can because you are here for them when push comes to shove.  Would you like some private equity in your retirement account?

WallStreetonParade wrote "the latest blowup is Celsius Network, which can’t find the money to pay its customers and has halted all withdrawals, but can afford those hefty billable hours at Akin Gump.

Update 6-23-22:  Two more cryptocurrency exchanges, CoinFlex and Voyager Digital are limiting withdrawals as the genie remains out of the bottle.

Update 6-25-22:  Goldman Sachs is readying to feast on the carcass of Celsius.  Feces needs a middleman.  Who will Goldman brokers push it on, their customers or Uncle Sam?

Update 7-11-22:  Crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital founders are AWOL.  Creditors asked a court to "subpoena the founders and have them provide a list of company assets including wallets it controls, bank accounts, digital assets in its possessions, derivatives contracts, securities, accounts receivables, and all company records."

Update 7-16-22:  Celsius joined 3 Arrows Capital and Voyager in bankruptcy. 

Update 8-2-22:  A number of FDIC insured banks ran with the crypto devils and may go under as a result.  How this is remotely OK is a question one should ask David Rubenstein and his former employee Jerome Powell.

Update 10-1-22:  Rubenstein remains a crypto promoter.

Update 11-10-22:  Bloomberg reported FTX with an $8 billion hole is careening toward bankruptcy.

Monday, June 13, 2022

When God's Work is a Crime

In 2003 WaPo reported:

Former president George H.W. Bush is a Carlyle Group adviser.

Carlyle cuts its teeth hiring former government heavyweights to make massive profits from Uncle Sam's wallet.  Private equity underwriters garnered preferred "carried interest" taxation.  It's remained in place for decades despite public opinion to the contrary.

Carlyle is bipartisan in its use of former government officials which likely keeps it out of trouble.  Back to Bush senior who said:

"The strength of our nation is our faith." 
H. W. Bush was a staunch Episcopalian.

Thomas Bagley, the rector of St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Houston to which Bush long belonged, declared that he “would not ever do anything he thought to be contrary to our Lord and Master. 
In 2017 Texas Tribune reported:

Paul Pressler was President George H.W. Bush’s pick to lead the Office of Government Ethics  in 1989, but the administration ultimately ruled Pressler out after an FBI background investigation. News reports from the time suggest that Pressler was dismissed due to unspecified ethics issues.

Pressler's name was redacted from a list of sexual predators released by the Southern Baptist Convention. 

A former Texas state judge and lawmaker has been accused of sexually abusing a young man for several decades starting when the boy was just 14, according to a lawsuit filed in October in Harris County.

The lawsuit alleges that Paul Pressler, a former justice on the 14th Court of Appeals who served in the Texas state house from 1957–59, sexually assaulted Duane Rollins, his former bible study student, several times per month over a period of years.  The abuse started in the late 1970s and continued less frequently after Rollins left Houston for college in 1983.

According to the lawsuit, Pressler told Rollins he was “special” and that the sexual contact was their God-sanctioned secret.

The sexual abuse lawsuit was dismissed due to statute of limitations.  That decision is under appeal according to Baptist News.

“In short, Pressler used his position as a religious authority to seduce a young, religiously impressionable boy, that the seduction was God-approved, and throughout the long relationship that God’s Plan was in control of the whole sordid affair,” psychiatrist Dr. Harvey A. Rosenstock said in expert testimony contending that Rollins was of “unsound mind” regarding the abuse claim during a “period of incapacity” between 1980 and 2015.

Rollins “acted diligently and filed the instant lawsuit following his release from incarceration,” the brief claims, thus tolling a five-year statute of limitations.

It's not clear what the 1989 FBI background investigation found. Something made Pressler unappealing for a government ethics position.  I hope it isn't another Jeffrey Epstein story where government officials ignored criminal behavior multiple times due to connections with powerful people.

The Red Team is not squeaky clean as its QAnon cult suggests a Blue Team cabal eats babies and molests children.  

Texas Reds do everything they can to stop abortions even though Southern Baptist pastors and religious leaders sexually abused teens and children.  Seventy five Texas Baptist ministers made the list of more than 700 abusers. 

Leaders “were documenting abuse all along while lying to us."

Southern Baptist preachers should be aware that some pregnancies are the result of sexual abuse perpetrated by peers who manipulated victims by characterizing their predatory acts as "God approved."  The needs of their traumatized victims should matter.   

“How many other boys and girls were harmed by the ones on this list and others we’ll never know of because of (leaders’) efforts to block advocacy?” he wondered. “It is vile. It is evil. It is anything but Christian.”

Goldman Sachs Lloyd Blankfein said he was "doing God's work."  Yet, there is long list of billion dollar settlements for bad Goldman Sachs behavior.  Goldman paid over $16 billion in fines/settlements since 2000.  Carlyle paid settlements ranging from $20 million for public pension pay to play and $325 million for collusion with other private equity underwriters (PEU) in buyout deals. 

Who is o-n the common person's side when powerful political, financial and religious leaders are intent on getting "their prize" regardless of ethics, morals or the law?    

Update 6-14-22:  Former President Donald Trump signed an article on Florida Representative Matt Gaetz fighting a federal investigation in his possible guilt in sex trafficking.  

Gaetz called Rep. Jim Jordan the spiritual leader of the Red Team in the House of Representatives.  Jordan was the assistant wrestling coach for a man who "sexually assaulted and/or raped a minimum of 1,500/2,000 athletes at OSU.” 

Ohio representative and former Ohio State University wrestling coach Jim Jordan aided and abetted in the university's cover-up of sexual abuse within the program, a former team captain said in front of Ohio state legislators on Wednesday. 

Rep. Matt Gaetz said "it doesn't really matter if Kevin McCarthy is honest with Republicans. The GOP mainly sticks with McCarthy due to his fundraising abilities."  Thus, all our Red Team leaders lie and the end justifies the means. 

Christ and Trump's goon legion are polar opposites.  Politicians Red and Blue love PEU and increasingly, more are one.  

Update 6-18-22:  Trump headlined sinner stage at the Faith and Freedom Conference in Nashville.  He said "This guy Trump he may not the Bible as well as some of us.  Matter of fact, he may not know it that well."  Trump is hardly recognizable as a Christian.  

Update 6-25-22:  Southern Baptists are celebrating the end of Roe vs. Wade removing one course of action for teenage girls sexually abused by their pastor.  How many suburban mothers are OK with that?

Update 6-29-22:  Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell got 20 years for her crimes, however the powerful people who abused girls are yet to be named.  

Update 6-30-22:  Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado wants to roll the clock back to before the U.S. Constitution so "the church can direct the state."  I take it she wants her church to direct the state as there are thousands of Christian denominations.  Many of our Founding Fathers were deists.  Would Boebert recognize a deist is she met one?  

Sunday, June 12, 2022

Epstein Funded by Ponzi and Apollo PEU

How many times did authorities look the other way regarding Jeffrey Epstein?  Many know his ties to Leon Black, co-founder of Apollo Global Management (a private equity underwriter (PEU)).

Apollo CEO Leon Black paid child sex predator Jeffrey Epstein $158 million for financial advice from 2012 through 2017, despite knowing Epstein pleaded guilty to sexually abusing an underage girl in 2008.

Britain's Prince Andrew got squeezed out of royal duties for his dalliances with Epstein's girls.  The Royal Family is one of the highest authorities in the United Kingdom.  

The Sun reported on Epstein's earlier skate from the law.  Towers Financial Corporation CEO Steven Hoffenberg employed Epstein and became close with the predator.

According to Hoffenberg, who helped Epstein earn his first million, he was a ruthless, social-climbing psychopath with “no moral compass”.

Epstein was reportedly involved in one of the biggest investment scams, or Ponzi scheme, in US history, as Hoffenberg described him as “very manipulative, very controlling. He had no boundaries”.

In 1996, Hoffenberg was jailed for 18 years for his part in the scam which he claims Epstein was a key part of.

But, Epstein's fortune remains clouded in mystery, as the brazen paedophile was not prosecuted for his involvement in the billion-dollar Ponzi scheme.

Like many things related to Epstein, it's unclear why he was never charged for his involvement in the scam or whether he benefited financially from it.

CBS News reported in 2019:

Between 1988 and 1993, Towers raised more than $400 million by selling bonds and promissory notes to investors. Hoffenberg and his associates then used the money to cover operating costs, repay earlier investors —and enrich themselves.

 "It was a pure Ponzi scheme right from the inception," Corrigan said. "The company had different lines of business. It was selling promises to investors: Buy our notes, buy our bonds. It never had a core operating business that would have sustained the kind of payoffs that were being promised."

Epstein's connections to power were obvious back then.

Today, Hoffenberg admits he should have cooperated with the feds and implicated Epstein.

"I didn't take that opportunity and I was wrong. And others have wanted me to cooperate civilly against Jeffrey Epstein, and I didn't take up those opportunities, and that was wrong," he said, stating he did not want to take the risk of fighting Epstein in court, mainly due to his powerful relationships and political connections.

Jeffrey Epstein's crime spree occurred over three decades and was enabled by authorities charged with protecting investors and teenage girls.  

Prince Andrew settled the lawsuit from one of Epstein's victims and wants back in the Royal Family.  Saudi's Crown Prince seems to have been forgiven for killing journalist Jamal Khashoggi when he never accepted responsibility, much less apologized.  Many of the world's best golfers set aside Khashoggi's murder to play on the LIV Golf inaugural event in London.  President Biden may visit Saudi Arabia soon.  

If the world can move on regarding a violent Saudi monarch, then surely it can readmit a Randy Andy.  And that's what pisses off the common citizen.  There's justice and "just us" wealthy, connected people.

Update 11-29-22:  Reuters reported:

Leon Black, the billionaire co-founder of private equity firm Apollo Global Management Inc, was sued on Monday by a woman who said he raped her two decades ago in the late sex offender Jeffrey Epstein's Manhattan mansion.

Update  1-29-23:  Epstein died in a New York jail summer of 2019.  Many believe Epstein was a sextortionist, using images of famous people in compromised positions with his underage harem to garner power, money and influence.  Prince Andrew settled a case out of court with an Epstein victim and now wants to reverse the deal to bolster his reputation.  Does that mean Andrew will have worked both sides of sextortion, victim/perpetrator to perpetrator/victim?

A sextortion attorney said:

"I see hedge fund managers, private equity partners, big law firm attorneys, high-end physicians, especially those with active social media platforms."

Update 2-17-23:  There are over 1,000 e-mails between Epstein and Barclays CEO Jes Staley, some included pictures of young women.

Staley, who worked at JPMorgan until 2013, pressed the bank to keep Epstein as a client despite the disgraced financier’s convictions.

Will Epstein's life of crime end up like the investigation into Rep. Matt Gaetz, with no charges against child sex traffickers?  Highly likely.  

Update 2-18-23:  A JPMorgan account was used to pay 20 Epstein sex abuse victims.

Update 3-12-23:  Reuters reported:

JPMorgan Chase & Co has sued Jes Staley, its former private banking head and later Barclays Plc's chief executive, accusing him of entangling it with sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, and saying Staley himself had been accused of sexual assault.

Update 11-26-23:  The World Tribune reported:

Given all that has happened to this country over the past 35-odd years since Michael Milken, Leon Black and Jeffrey Epstein first appeared on the national scene, it is more than appropriate to ask out loud just how much influence this unholy trinity has had and continues to have over America’s political, corporate and cultural elites.

There is no crime amongst elites that cannot be forgiven.

Friday, June 10, 2022

Cash Raising Time for PEU Boys

Policy making billionaire and Carlyle Group co-founder David Rubenstein sold 2 million shares of Carlyle stock this week.  He grossed over $77 million in the stock sale.  His household should be able to withstand food prices up 12% and $5 a gallon gas.

His private equity underwriter (PEU) announced it would conduct an IPO for its stake in Alamar Foods, which operates Dominos Pizzas in the Middle East.

It's cash raising time for the greed and leverage boys.  Excess leverage can shred a balance sheet.  Add bad derivative bets and things can get very ugly.

Update 6-17-22:  Washington Business Journal reported on Rubenstein's insider stock sale.

Add Two to the PEU List

Men's Health
ran a piece on "The World's Biggest Douchebags" in 2011.  It identified five detestable people and evaluated their offenses vs. their talent.

While working for a healthcare PEU affiliate I heard legitimate employee concerns consistently characterized as "whining" by management.  I saw management regularly bully employees.  Those same behaviors made today's news.

Thus, I nominate LIV Golf Tour executive Greg Norman and Jared Kushner for their classic douche moves.  Greg Norman did not hear the reporter being ejected from a Phil Mickleson LIV press conference because he saw it from a few feet away.  

Jared Kushner knew a slew of White House staffers quit in protest over Trump's sitting on his keister while his followers unleashed the Kracken on the U.S. Capital on January 6th.  Were all those whining too?

America suffers from selfish, greedy executives and politicians.  They'll get theirs and could care less what happens to others, especially people of conscience.

Jared Kushner started Affinity Partners, a private equity underwriter (PEU) that received $2 billion in funding from Saudi Arabia's PIF sovereign wealth fund.  PIF is behind the LIV Golf Tour.  It's not clear is Affinity invested in LIV alongside PIF.

Update:  Not long ago LIV Chief and douchebag Greg Norman said:

“We’re executing extremely well across all sectors of the ecosystem."  

Another poor choice of words.  Khashoggi!  A LIV Golf media representative apologized to the reporter in a classic move of good cop/bad cop.  Was that Ari Fleischer?

Update 6-11-22:  Jared had a reputation in the Trump White House.

Throughout the entirety of the Trump presidency, Kushner had a reputation — one that was a reliable, recurring source of much derision and inside-humor within the upper ranks of the administration — for suddenly vanishing from a major policy or political initiative when the going got tough or the public-relations baggage swelled too large.

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

General Allen Wishes He Were a PEU

Retired General and Brookings Institute Chief John R. Allen is under investigation for actions private equity founders conduct as regular course of business.

Allen allegedly lobbied U.S. officials to help Qatar in 2017 amid a diplomatic crisis between the monarchy and its neighbors while “simultaneously pursuing multi-million dollar business deals with the government of Qatar,” violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act [FARA].

Carlyle Group co-founder and nonlobbyist David Rubenstein hosts regular meetings with elected officials in Washington, D.C.  Every U.S. President since Ronald Regan met personally with Rubenstein and many received huge fees from speaking at Carlyle's annual investor meeting.

Rubenstein said this about the World Economic Forum meeting, attended by giants of commerce and government officials from around the globe. 

Davos is relevant because people are still coming....people are coming because when you can go and in one place see the CEOs and heads of state of so many different places it's a good thing.  It's very convenient.  So if I wanted to see some of the people here I would have to go spend six months going around and meeting all these people.  Now I can meet them in a couple days here.  So it's very relevant.

Rubenstein is there to do billion dollar deals and influence government policy.  As a nonlobbyist Rubenstein descended multiple times on Capital Hill to save private equity's preferred "carried interest" taxation.  Legend has Rubenstein getting a phone call from a U.S. Senator saying the tax dodge was safe once again.

I'm not saying General Allen did not do something bad or criminal.  I am saying it's a regular course of business within Larry Summers' insider class of billionaire policy makers.  It's American Leadership in the 21st Century.

Update 9-17-23:  Prosecutors dropped the investigation into John Allen's influence peddling on behalf of Qatar, however Richard G. Olson was "sentenced to three years of probation and ordered to pay a $93,350 fine Friday for improperly helping a wealthy Persian Gulf country influence U.S. policy and for not disclosing gifts he received from a disgraced political fundraiser."  Another PEU who helped push the Qatari narrative is PEU General Wesley Clark.

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Greed is LIV Golf

Golf is not a sport I associate with violence, much less murder.  Yes, people have beaten people to death with a golf club but that was just a handy blunt instrument for someone deranged.

Contrast that with a Saudi Crown Prince that orders the death of a U.S. journalist by enticing the victim to visit a Turkish Saudi consulate, then carving him up.  That same Crown Prince heads up the country's Public Investment Fund which started LIV, a rival professional golf tour to the PGA.  

The Shark aka Greg Norman manages LIV.  Major professional golfers agreed to play in the new tour, able to set aside ethical concerns for money.  I would add prestige but fail to see how associating with a venture headed by a murderer offers anything but shame and embarrassment.  

The latest spokesperson for LIV is former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer

As president of his own firm, Ari Fleischer Communications, he works extensively in the corporate and sports worlds to advise on communications, image, and crisis management strategies and issues. Fleischer has provided counsel to clients such as Major League Baseball, the College Football Playoff, the Women’s Tennis Association, the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association and has conducted media training for teams in the NFL, MLB and NBA, as well as numerous race car drivers. 

I'm not sure how many of Ari's clients want to be associated with an apologist for a murderous Saudi Prince.

Ari is a water carrier for the greed and leverage boys.

a panel on the outlook on healthcare private equity in 2019, moderated by Ari Fleischer, former White House Press Secretary, and Ezra Klein, CEO of Vox Media 

Private equity underwriters (PEU) brought surprise medical billing to healthcare and add billions in costs to America's grossly overpriced healthcare non-system.  Red Team members of Congress are blocking SEC efforts to require PEUs share annual audits and quarterly financial reports with public pension funds.  Golf is the latest arena for PEU level disruption.

LIV Manager Greg Norman has been called "the despicable epitome of unabashed greed."  That puts him in league with the PEU boys.  Jared Kushner got $2 billion in Saudi money for his new PEU Affinity Partners. They've no problem setting aside ethical concerns for money.  

Who advocates for the people hurt or killed by leaders who can't get enough power, money or personal adulation?  I can't see them for the darkness.

Trump golf courses will host two LIV events.  The last LIV stop will be Team Championship, a team-match play format at the legendary Blue Monster of Trump National Doral in Miami. Prize money is $50 million with the winning team splitting $16 million, and the last-place team receiving $1 million.  Did Jared help negotiate the use of Trump Bedminster and Trump Doral?

With a murderer and insurrectionist things could get very loud.  Unfortunately the globe has seen national leaders of their ilk before.

Update 6-8-22:  LIV Golf will not be televised in the U.S.  It may take a Trump television network for that to happen.  As guns are not allowed at Trump rallies or on Trump properties, free speech will be restricted at LIV Golf events.  The Saudis take no lip.  More PGA pros are joining the Despot League.

No word if Kushner's Affinity Partners is an investor in LIV Golf Investments.  LGI has a laughable mission.

Update 6-9-22:  The holistic golfing boys got banned by the PGA for playing on the LIV tour, now and in the future.  LIV called the PGA vindictive.  I think that title is reserved for the Crown Prince.

Update 6-19-22:  Golf continues to be a force for greed.

Update 6-29-22:  LIV Golf will be in Portland, Oregon this week.  Portland is the site of the death of a teenager at the hands of a Saudi national who fled the country after his arrest.  Federal investigators believe the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia got the killer out on a private plane using a new passport, likely under a different name. No justice even when the killings occur inside the U.S.  As Phil Michelson said, "Scary motherfuc_ers." 

Update 7-4-22:  LIV Golf heads to Trump Bedminster where the ex-President is in summer residence.  Should be a jolly reunion of truly scary motherfu_kers."  Ari Fleischer will keep the big dogs verbally on track for public appearances.  Golf but greedier.

Update 7-7-22:  Golf legend Fred Couples said of the LIV Tour:

“I don’t like anything about it to be honest with you,  I’ve heard some people say: ‘Well you know golf is an open sport and if they can get more…’ Well this is different. They’re kind of pummeling the Tour to give the best to the Saudi Arabians. We don’t know how long this tour is going to last. My easy answer is, as a golf professional who has played the tour for 42 years, I’m kind of embarrassed.”

The arrogant Saudi Crown Prince incarcerated family members for months to wring cash from them.  These golfers have a deal with a devil who can turn on them at any moment.

Update 7-13-22:  LIV golf is entirely driven by money.

Update 8-3-22:  One story got the mean greed vibe but did not explore the possible role of Jared Kushner's Affinity Partners in LIV Golf.  Is Jared coaching Affinity Partners' affiliate LIV Golf alongside former Bush spokesman Ari Fleischer? The Trump team's disregard for the law can be seen in its Mafia-like behavior according to a former FBI official.

Update 8-16-22:  A Saudi woman studying at Leeds University was sentenced to 34 years in prison for using Twitter to follow and retweet activists and dissidents.  The World Economic Forum ran a piece on using AI to reign in abuse on the internet:

By bringing human-curated, multi-language, off-platform intelligence into learning sets, AI will then be able to detect nuanced, novel online abuses at scale, before they reach mainstream platforms.

I imagine the Crown Prince would be most interested in such technology. 

Update 9-14-22:  Trump's Sterling, Virginia golf course will host LIV Golf in May 2023.  It will be the third LIV event at a Trump owned course.

Update 9-22-22:  LIV spokesperson Jonathan Grella said: “Greg Norman had a very productive day on Capitol Hill today in front of some 60 members of Congress. His message about the benefits of competition was very well received, even if a couple members of Congress say otherwise.”  A Texas Congressman (Red Team) wrote:

“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is funneling money through its Public Investment Fund (PIF) to stand up LIV Golf as an exercise in public relations. In other words, a foreign government’s dollars are being used to enhance that government’s brand and positioning here in the United States."

Update 10-28-22:   LIV Greed lands at Trump Doral for a final tournament.  The money behind LIV is headed by a 37 year old Saudi Crown Prince who wants to humiliate President Biden, like he did while extorting family members in the Riyadh Ritz Carlton.

Update 11-12-22:  Former Blue Teamer Peter Orszag and Lazard are behind the Crown Prince's resurgence on the world stage as his financial advisor.

Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF) is working with Lazard on funding options and a potential initial public offering of Masar, a $27 billion mega project in the holy city of Mecca.

Greed is as greed does.

Lazard Geopolitical Advisory will combine some of the world’s most experienced geopolitical minds with Lazard’s unmatched business expertise.

It's an unholy alliance.

Update 12-6-22:   The U.S. court case against the Crown Prince was dismissed under the guise of sovereign immunity, something the Prince did not have at the time of the execution.  The judge said his hands were tied by the Biden administration's recommendation to the court.  Thugs win. 

Update 2-9-23:  Saudi sportswashing continues with a possible sponsorship at the Women's World Cup.  U.S. forward Alex Morgan said:

“I think it’s bizarre that Fifa has looked to have a ‘Visit Saudi’ sponsorship for the Women’s World Cup when I would not even be supported and accepted in that country, so I just don’t understand it,” Morgan said. “Pretty much everyone has spoken out against that because morally, it just doesn’t make sense.

Update 3-20-23:   LIV Golf switched television production companies such that workers have no healthcare coverage or other benefits.  TV ratings for its most recent tournament were in the toilet.

Monday, June 6, 2022

PEUs Don't Want to Disclose Most Basic Information

reported the SEC may ask private equity underwriters (PEU) to provide more information to public pension funds.  The article stated:

Pension plans and other institutional investors are embracing a federal proposal that would force hedge funds and private-equity funds to provide more disclosures to investors.

University endowments, insurance funds and retirement funds serving teachers andfirefighters are urging the Securities and Exchange Commission to move forward with a proposed rule that would ensure private fund investors receive annual audits and quarterly financial statements.

I don't know why pension funds haven't made that a requirement for investing worker money in private equity offerings.  They should have control over the terms of investing their funds.  Did CalPERS part ownership of The Carlyle Group prevent that from happening in the early days?

The PEU boys and Red Team politicians have criticized the effort.  Surely they generate quarterly financial statements and conduct annual audits.  Why don't they want to share?  

Recall this is the investment class that politicians want to make available for individual retirement accounts (IRAs and 401k accounts). 

Politicians Red and Blue love PEU and increasingly, more are one. 

Update 10-27-22:  Guest on CNBC talked about PEUs not marking down holdings over a period when the public market was down 18%.

Sunday, June 5, 2022

PEU Advisor Haspel Supervised Torture

Former Trump CIA Chief Gina Haspel observed waterboarding during her time with the agency.  NYT reported:

James E. Mitchell, a psychologist who helped develop the agency’s interrogation program, testified that the chief of base at the time, whom he referred to as Z9A in accordance with court rules, watched while he and a teammate subjected al-Nashiri to “enhanced interrogation” that included waterboarding at the black site.

Z9A is the code name used in court for Haspel.

Waterboarding has been a crime for over seventy years.

In 1947, the U.S. charged a Japanese officer, Yukio Asano, with war crimes for waterboarding a U.S. civilian. Asano was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor.
Haspel currently works for D.C. law firm King and Spalding.  Their website states:

In particular, Haspel helps the firm’s corporate, private equity, family office and other global clients to assess and manage institutional risks.

The law firm had this to say about Gina's hiring.

“Gina joins a team who have held leadership positions in the nation’s intelligence, enforcement and regulatory agencies and who counsel clients on globally significant matters.” 
“King & Spalding has powerful capabilities to help clients to identify opportunities, manage risk, and gain advantage in the highly-competitive global business environment,” Haspel said in the statement, provided by the firm. 
The greed and leverage boys need advice on how to turn sketchy financial acts into something not worth investigating.  Gina Haspel has that knowledge and experience.

Saturday, June 4, 2022

Bilderberg Meets in D.C.


The 68th Bilderberg Meeting is already underway in Washington, D.C., which began on Thursday and will continue through Sunday. 

What’s tougher to justify, within a democratic framework, is the practical process whereby conflicts are being debated, behind closed doors, by top policymakers in concert with billionaire industrialists and private sector profiteers. 

As for the private equity underwriters (PEU) in attendance, they include:

Kravis, Henry R. (USA), Co-Chairman, KKR & Co. Inc.

Petraeus, David H. (USA), Chairman, KKR Global Institute

Thiel, Peter (USA), President, Thiel Capital LLC

Koç, Ömer (TUR), Chairman, Koç Holding AS which partnered with The Carlyle Group on several deals.

Mellody Hobson of Ariel Investments is a new PEU with the launch of Ariel Alternatives.  She is listed as co-founder of Ariel Alternatives.

Karp, Alex (USA), CEO, Palantir Technologies Inc. is once again present to protect the Bilderbergers from outside influence.  His firm has PEU roots with Peter Thiel's Founders Fund..

Sinema, Kyrsten (USA), Senator is there to ensure she never lives in a car again.  The rest of us are on our own.

As they are meeting in D.C. there are opportunities for people not on the official participant list to drop by.  Red and Blue Presidential candidates have dropped by to show their mettle.  

None of this will be reported by The Atlantic, The Economist or FTWaPo usually sends someone so it's odd they aren't going when the meeting is in their backyard.

These people are not working on behalf of average citizens.  Their game board is personal power, enrichment and life extension.  Rest assured they are scheming very hard on how to come out on top. 

Update 6-8-22:  Bilderberger Mellody Hobson will become part owner of the Denver Broncos. 

Update 1-24-23:  Sinema is fresh from attending the World Inequality Forum in Davos and rubbing elbows with the billion class.  It turns out the PEU boys were very generous with the Independent Senator after she saved their preferred taxation.  

Senator Krysten Sinema received at least $526,000 from donors in the private equity, hedge fund, and venture capital industries after killing a bill closing tax loopholes for private equity.

It sounds like the bidding has already started for her future services. 

Update 5-18-23:  The Bilderberg Group is meeting in Lisbon, Portugal and the published attendee list is similar to past lists.  KKR's Henry Kravis, Citadel's Ken Griffin, Palantir's Alex Karp, Founder's Fund/Thiel Capital/Mithral Capital's Peter Thiel are among the global plotters.  It's not clear if Brian Deese is back at BlackRock after ending his stint in the Biden White House in March.  Stacey Abrams is attending, I imagine to chronicle all the attendees who worked their way up the global economic chain by their bootstraps.