Unexpected Victim of Bush's Economic Policies: Bush's Father
Shares of the Carlyle Group, one of the largest private equity firms in the world, lost half of their value yesterday, and will likely continue to tumble when trading resumes on Monday. The proximate cause of the slide was a massive default by a $22 billion credit fund owned by the Carlyle Group. But that was only the latest in a series of body blows that the investment group received over the past year. Thanks to the economic slide brought about by Bush's economic policies, Carlyle shareholders lost 74% of their investment last year.
One big investor in the company is none other than Poppy Bush, who served on a Carlyle advisory board for five years. I'll bet he'd like to take Little George out to the woodshed right about now.
Of course, Poppy Bush didn't really serve as an "adviser." He had no experience in the field of international finance, so any advice he would have had to offer would have been useless. He was paid to provide access to public officials, especially in Asia. But he wasn't the only Bush that the Carlyle Group paid for no reason other than the fact that he had government connections. While Poppy Bush was President of the United States, Carlyle provided Dubya with a no-work job on the board of one of its subsidiaries:
Carlyle managing director David Rubenstein spoke quite frankly about the comfy sinecure he provided to George W. Bush more than a decade ago -- and how useless Bush turned out to be. Rubenstein said, "We put [Bush] on the board and [he] spent three years. Came to all the meetings. Told a lot of jokes. Not that many clean ones. And after a while I kind of said to him, after about three years - you know, I'm not sure this is really for you. Maybe you should do something else. Because I don't think you're adding that much value to the board. You don't know that much about the company."
Rubenstein continued: "He said, well I think I'm getting out of this business anyway. And I don't really like it that much. So I'm probably going to resign from the board. And I said, thanks - didn't think I'd ever see him again. His name is George W. Bush. He became President of the United States. So you know if you said to me, name 25 million people who would maybe be President of the United States, he wouldn't have been in that category.
(cross posted at Liberal Avenger and appletree)