Friday, May 24, 2024

Fintech Implodes, Sponsor Goes to Washington

Synapse, the largest regulated banking as a service platform, declared bankruptcy.  Andreessen Horowitz fostered Synapse before it grew large enough to harm millions of people.

While Synapse continues failing to fire, Andressen Horowitz is taking bold action.  The firm is opening a Washington, D.C office.  There's damage control to be done and federal backstops to garner.  It's the PEU way.  
Update 6-12-24:  WallStreetonParade  showed how Marc Andreessen and company have distorted our political system for their evil ends.

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Crypto Follows PEU Playbook

The Red political team advanced legislation providing a friendly regulatory regime for crypto/digital assets.  Key members of the Blue team, including former Speaker Nancy Pelosi are be on board.  

Carlyle Group co-founder David Rubenstein, known for his ability to move Congress, has a stake in Paxos.

Hamilton Lane co-CEO Erik Hirsch talked up his firm's book.  

He wants private equity underwriter (PEU) limited partner stakes sold via the blockchain.  
... putting LP interests on the blockchain would expand retail investor participation in private equity (i.e., the industry's holy grail), by simplifying both onboarding and secondaries.
Holy Grail?  Yep, the same words used by motivational guru Tony Robbins.  Are you salivating yet?  The greed and leverage boys aren't content with pension funds or insurance companies.  They want your hard earned retirement dollars to go into bite sized, fee generating investments in cryptocurrencies and their various private equity funds.  In this financial poker junket please explore the possibility that you are the stupidest person at the table.

My wise friend wrote not long ago:
If you think about it and go back 30 years, the Crypto Industry is using the same playbook as private equity. They used payoffs, consultants, lobbyists, capture, etc. to infiltrate the pension system and this is exactly what Crypto is doing. 
It doesn't matter if it's a good asset or not. They want what they want and they'll get it.  Just look at Vanguard they hired the ex-BlackRock Executive. What mindset do you think he's going to bring?  Remember Vanguard did not want crypto.

Tokenized private equity, it's coming:
And BlackRock is a backer.

Courtesy of elected officials:

The Carlyle Group located in Washington, D.C for preferred access to government officials and Uncle Sam's wallet.  Billionaire tech bros are doing likewise, just two blocks from the White House.  As if their voice isn't already overwhelming millions of concerned citizens.

Since crypto is following the PEU playbook they may be interested in this development:

Presidents, Congressmen and Judges, oh my! Our PEU world is distinctly out of balance.  Regular folk may be just a token.

Update 5-24-24:  Blue Team leader Pelosi voted for FIT21.  Mr. Rubenstein must be pleased.

Donald Trump vows to build a Bitcoin and crypto army (Bitcoin magazine).  He's throwing all ten digits in.

Full support as well  Rubenstein's daughter pushed her conflicts of interest as a member of the Alaska Permanent Fund Board.  It's the PEU way.

Sunday, May 19, 2024

Red PEU's Support Trump at NY Court

Ben Hunt reduced former President Donald Trump's lived life and likely second presidency to one thing, "stripping the country for spare parts."

Stripping the porn star for access to her parts and then paying so the story fails to reach the light of day.  That's the underlying motive for Trump's falsifying business records trial.

The political Red Team sent emergency political backup to the New York court.  The "reinforcement regiment" served as Trump's mouthpieces given he is under a gag order (that he consistently violates).

Red Team Senator Mitt Romney found the spectacle unsettling.  USA Today reported:

The parade of GOP leaders appearing outside the New York City courthouse where former President Donald Trump is on trial is "a little embarrassing," Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, said Wednesday. 

"I think it’s a little demeaning to show up in front of a courthouse particularly one where we’re talking about an allegation of paying a porn star," Romney told reporters before a Senate Foreign Relations Committee meeting in Washington.

Romney is a former private equity underwriter (PEU) with Bain Capital.  The PEU boys know how to lever up an affiliate, bury it under the additional weight of management fees and drastically higher interest costs.  They also know how to repackage the parts while pulling out yacht-loads of cash.  

The Trump court proxy parade included a smattering of PEUs.  

The visitors have included Sens Rick Scott, R-Fla. and J.D. Vance, R-Ohio; Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Fla.; House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La.; North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum and former presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy.
Flash back to 2009 when Rick Scott struck his first PEU deal post HCA:

Scott launched the first 13 Solantic clinics in Florida with $28 million in seed money. (The private equity firm Welsh Carson Anderson & Stowe has made a $100 million commitment.)

Sen. Scott sold his majority stake in Solantic to Welsh, Carson, Anderson and Stowe in 2011.  As of 2022 his vast wealth included a number of private equity holdings.

Red Team PEUs gathered recently to push a second Trump presidency.  The billionaire meeting occurred weeks before the Milken Global Institute, essentially a big name gathering of the who's who in PEU land and their handmaid elected officials.

Many of Trump's PEU trial supporters are common names at Milken.  

Vivek Ramaswamy cut his PEU teeth with QVT, which has a number of funds based in the Cayman Islands.  Vivek went on to found Roivant essentially a pharma PEU.  QVT backed his various "vants".  Along the way Ramaswamy employed his mother Geetha and brother Shankar.

Flashback to April 2024 and the Red billionaire PEU dinner focused on defeating President Biden.

The guest list reportedly included Peter Thiel, Rupert Murdoch, Michael Milken, Steven Mnuchin and Travis Kalanick.

Peter Thiel backed Vivek's latest venture, according to Politico

In 2022, Ramaswamy founded Strive Asset Management, an investment firm that branded itself in opposition to the environmental, social and governance framework used by some firms to make investment decisions, amid a broader pushback against so-called “ESG” from conservatives. The firm, backed by billionaires including Peter Thiel and Bill Ackman, said it was managing more than $230 million in assets after two weeks of trading last August

Thiel employed Trump court cheerleader Sen. J.D. Vance at Mithral Capital before backing his Senate run.

The last in this Red Trump PEU court parade is North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum. Burgum founded Arthur Ventures.  His net worth is estimated at $1.1 billion.

Former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy spoke at the recent Milken Global Initiative, heavily PEU sponsored:

McCarthy spoke about Trump's Vice President pick.  Many of Trump's court cheerleaders are possible Vice Presidential picks.

Who Trump picks matters to another Milken star, billionaire Citadel founder Ken Griffin. 

“I’m going to wait to see who he picks as his VP candidate."

Will it be someone with a PEU background?  If so, Trump will have an able assistant in stripping the country for spare parts. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Milk'em Global Wrapup

The private equity sponsored Milken Global Institute ended last week.  One participant described it as:

"There's money everywhere."

Another said:

“Lenders are back, the strategic bid is back and interest rates have stabilised. A lot of deals will get done this year.”

Some spoke of a new focus from Saudi Arabia and its neighbors: of this year’s biggest changes was the arrival of a new wave of Middle Eastern investors. Rather than just looking for places to put their cash, they were seeking deals that would tie investment to promises to bring financial services jobs to the region.

Back home the economy remains strong and:

the Fed is ready to pivot and there is debt available to do deals.”
Should the common person be encouraged by all this?  

William & Mary Professor Peter Atwater offered:

"I feel like we are moments away from a Truman Show-like moment where we wake up in PE-owned homes that get their power from PE-owned utilities; drive on PE-owned highways to our PE-owned businesses; who offer benefits from PE-owned insurers at PE-owned hospitals and dentists..."

The Federal Trade Commission extended public comment on "consolidation in healthcare," much of it driven by private equity underwriters (PEU).  The May 6th closing date, ironically the first day of Milken, got pushed back to June 5th.  So far 854 comments specifically mention private equity.  

People inside healthcare have awoken to the damage done by private equity.  The problem is politicians Red and Blue love PEU and increasingly, more are one.

Monday, May 6, 2024

Calvos is In Session

California Davos, i.e. the Milken Global Institute, is in full throttle session.  Power brokers from across the globe haven't had this much fun since they celebrated achieving their base fortune or last foreclosed on a tenement of elderly immigrants.  

Michael Milken's nonprofit nonpartisan think tank is "focused on accelerating measurable progress on the path to a meaningful life."  Weeks ago Milken gathered with a number of his billionaire friends determined to stop the Blue Team from another term in the White House.  Many of Milken's "anti-Biden" dinner buddies are speaking at the nonprofit event.  

Last year the Calvos clan was trying to save crypto.  Goal achieved now that there are BitCoin ETFs and Marathon Digital Holdings was just added to the Smallcap 600.

As for the state of American politics our elected leaders couldn't save us from the harms of social media, damage done by private equity ownership in healthcare or the spectacular illusion of cryptocurrencies.  Officials did however save private equity's preferred "carried interest" taxation and two of those are speaking at the Milk'em confab, Senators Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin.  They have numerous future employers as sponsors for the event.

My guess is there will be plenty of PEU platinum, gold and silver for Sinema, Manchin and other obedient politicians.  And who will pay for that?  It's called "Shaping our Fee-uture."

Power brokers sponsor politicians Red and Blue who love PEU and increasingly, more are one.

Update:  Citi CEO said the U.S. can look forward to the democratization of capital markets in the next five years.  For some reason giving "more rights" to money is not on my wish list.  

Invitation Only PEU Breakfast

The Milken Global Conference kicked off with an invitation only breakfast.  Those privileged to attend could hear Carlyle Group co-founder David Rubenstein interview Bill Ackman of Pershing Square Capital Management.  Both men are legends in their fields.  Rubenstein is a politically connected private equity underwriter (PEU) while Ackman is an acclaimed hedge fund maven.  Both men employ leverage in their greedy pursuits.  They also hate paying taxes, but don't mind running up interest expenses.

Ackman will speak on his opposition to diversity, equity and inclusion efforts, an area strongly supported by Rubenstein.  This is front stage entertainment so there will be no hard hitting questions or verbal fisticuffs.  Watch Rubenstein's interview with FTX's Sam Bankman-Fried to see a soft, puff piece.  Bankman offered puffery in a completely unchallenged format.  Two months later FTX imploded in a fraudulent fireball.

Expect lots of deals from the Milk'em confab.  California Davos is in session.  

Saturday, May 4, 2024

PEU Masters Gather to Plot Election Strategy

Venture capital legend David Sachs and multi-CEO Elon Musk hosted an "anti-Biden" dinner, attended by a veritable list of future Bond villains.  The Independent reported:
The guest list reportedly included Peter Thiel, Rupert Murdoch, Michael Milken, Steven Mnuchin and Travis Kalanick.  

The group largely talked about how to defeat Blue Team candidates.  I wonder what new tools these tech gods have access to that can influence an election.  They have gobs of money and enjoy preferred taxation.

Michael Milken is the founding father of the current infestation of private equity underwriters (PEU).  A Presidential pardon wiped clean Milken's conviction for securities fraud.  That was the icing on the cake of a multi-decade image rehabilitation effort.  Milken established the Milken Global Institute to advance worldwide progress and his annual confab has been called the California Davos.  It kicks off Monday.  

In a recent interview Milken described the conference:
Individuals with the capital and influence to change the world connect with those who have the expertise and creativity to reinvent sectors from health, finance, technology, science, and more.
The sponsor list for the 2024 meeting is revealing for its high PEU content.

From platinum to gold to silver it's a legendary PEU list.  
Fortunately Jared Kushner and his sponsor Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Salman did not attend the dinner.  That would have opened a black hole in the earth's political crust that few could escape.  Now I know why the billionaire class is so into rockets.  "Achieving escape velocity..."

I frequently close with "Politicians Red and Blue love PEU and increasingly, more are one."  Do I need to change Red to Non-Blue?

Update 5-23-24:  The predatory, want to live forever Red Team billionaire boys are hosting a big Trump47 fundraiser.  It's invitation only:

Update 5-24-24:  Elon Musk predicts AI will take all our jobs and there will be no shortages of goods or services.

Update 6-11-24:  Twitter founder Jack Dorsey warned social media algorithms are robbing people of their free will.
Update 6-13-24:  David Sacks funded at least one company accused of being a "pill mill."

Wednesday, May 1, 2024

Saudi Arabia "Increasingly Attractive" to Fink(s)

BlackRock CEO Larry Fink went to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia for the Crown Prince's Vision 2030 show and came away with $5 billion in Public Infrastructure Fund investment and a new Saudi based joint venture. 

“The continued growth of the kingdom’s capital markets and diversification of its financial sector will contribute to future prosperity for its citizens,” said BlackRock CEO Larry Fink. “Saudi Arabia has become an increasingly attractive destination for international investment.” 

The deal came six years after the Crown Prince ran his shakedown prison in the Riyadh Ritz Carlton and the Crown Prince's security service murdered and dismembered Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi in a Turkish consulate.  

The new fund is open to international investors.  Might Jeff Bezos kick in a few billion?  That would be a signal to the billionaire class that the Khashoggi's of the world don't matter.  The rest of the world already got the message.