Saturday, June 10, 2023

Another Rubenstein Villain Interview

Carlyle Group co-founder David Rubenstein interviewed the head of Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund in March 2020.  Public Investment Fund CEO Yasir Al-Rumayyan said he was instructed by the Crown Prince to head up the PIF and gave him a start date.  Prior to that Al-Rumayyan was CEO of Saudi Arabia's largest investment bank, Fransi Capital.

Rubenstein was effusive in his praise for changes the kingdom planned to implement.  CNBC asked about the Crown Prince's shakedown of family members at the Ritz Carlton in Riyadh.  Rubenstein said he "didn't know much about that."

Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi was brutally murdered in the Saudi consulate in Ankara, Turkey in October 2018.  

Freedom Forward asked The Carlyle Group not to participate in the Saudi Future Investment Initiative (FII).  Al-Rumayyan indicated to Rubenstein the FII is now an institution in the interview.

Carlyle owned a slice of the Domino's Pizza and Dunkin' Donuts in Saudi Arabia since 2011.   The Carlyle Group cashed out when that company went public in July 2022.   In a similar move the Saudi PIF took its Pizza Hut and KFC company public in November 2022.

Vision 2030 turned Saudi investing from night into day.  Al-Rummayan's PIF turned professional golf from day into night.

It took FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried two months to go from Rubenstein's peer into a disgraced fraudster.  Al-Rumayyan's three year journey into villianry is not as apparent but it is driven by the same underlying pathology.  The Saudi PIF plans to be a $2 trillion fund by 2030.  It will get there by hook or by crook, using lots of smoke and mirrors to enhance the image of the Crown Prince along the way.

“They’re scary motherfuckers to get involved with,” he said. “We know they killed [Washington Post reporter and U.S. resident Jamal] Khashoggi and have a horrible record on human rights. They execute people over there for being gay. Knowing all of this, why would I even consider it? Because this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reshape how the PGA Tour operates. 

The PGA is being reshaped in the likeness of an unrestrained Saudi Crown Prince.  

Time will reveal the next David Rubenstein "peer" to descend into a villain.  Is he allowed to interview the "tax hating" side of himself?