Tuesday, July 14, 2009

George H. W. Bush Introduced Huffington to Carlyle's Rubenstein

Well, well, Huffington vs. Carlyle Group and David Rubenstein (and Huffington's $20 million in losses at the hands of Carlyle) are going to give us a look into how these guys operate. Here's NYT with the first peek:

Mr. Huffington said he met Mr. Rubenstein through former President George H.W. Bush, once a senior adviser to Carlyle. Mr. Bush introduced the two men at a July 4, 2006, dinner in Iceland honoring Mr. Bush, the complaint said. The two men allegedly discussed private-equity investing, and Mr. Huffington said it didn't interest him, that he wanted something "more conservative." Mr. Rubenstein said he would "look for something more appropriate," said the complaint.

In Oct. 2006, according to the lawsuit, Mr. Rubenstein met with Mr. Huffington, the ex-husband of media personality Arianna Huffington, at his Boston apartment to pitch Carlyle Capital, a newly created hedge-fund vehicle that would invest in mortgage securities. Mr. Rubenstein followed up with a letter stating the "downside is very limited," according to the complaint.

In Feb. 2007, Mr. Huffington invested $20 million in the fund, which he said was more than he had ever invested in a single fund, other than a money market." He said in the complaint he was emboldened by the fact that Carlyle co-founder and one-time associate William Conway was investing $20 million in the fund.

By March 2008, in the midst of the credit crunch, Carlyle Capital, whose assets had ballooned to $22.7 billion by heavily borrowing against its mortgage holdings, blew up when skittish banks issued margin calls and seized the fund assets.

After the fund collapsed, Mr. Huffington claims that Mr. Rubenstein visited him in Boston to personally apologize. According to the complaint, Mr. Rubenstein assured him that over the next several years he would be able to invest in other Carlyle deal without paying fees. In a follow-up call the next day, Mr. Rubenstein allegedly said, "I guarantee you will get your money back."

"Mr. Huffington did not get his money back," said the complaint.

Note to David: You wrote in a letter that the "downside is limited"? Are you a f#@&ing idiot? This is really amateur night.

Oh, not to put anymore pressure on your mind, but the Bushies know when to cut and run. Does the name Kenny Boy ring any bells?

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