Wise Up Journal
By Gabriel O’Hara
It has been reported by Irish media that “major shareholders in Irish banks are preparing to revolt”. The Carlyle group, whose prominent political figures include former US president George HW Bush and former British prime minister John Major, are set to takeover Irish banks that will eventually be fully underwritten by the Government’s €440 billion guarantee approved bill, but the fiance minster has not bailed out or nationalised any banks yet. The Carlyle group are admired by financial modules world wide for the ways it has exploited its political contacts. Goodbody Stockbrokers informs us ‘At a minimum, there is extensive work going on behind the scenes.’ Read how Brian Cowen and the Irish finance minster’s actions are about work in favour for foreign investors to reap massive guaranteed profits with no risk, Irish taxpayers taking the full blow.
“The Carlyle Group, based in Washington DC, is one of the largest private equity firms in the world. It has more than $91 billion (€72.6 billion) under management and 64 investment funds in four areas – buy-outs, growth capital, real estate and leveraged finance. Prominent political figures, including former US president George HW Bush and former British prime minister John Major, have held senior positions in the Carlyle Group.”
“Major shareholders in Irish banks are preparing to revolt if the Government lines up private equity investors to help recapitalise lenders without allowing existing shareholders to participate.
“It emerged yesteday that US-based Carlyle is among private equity houses who have been sounding out banks and the Government about possible co-investment with the State into the beleaguered sector.
“While sources told the Irish Independent earlier this week that the Government was finding it hard to weed out serious interested foreign investors from ‘tyre-kickers’,”
“A finance ministry spokesman said ‘informal approaches’ had been made by a number of investors without giving further details.
“The Irish Independent newspaper reported, without citing sources, that Carlyle Group was looking into an investment. The private equity group was not available for comment.”
The Irish Independent’s Carlyle Group source
“Sydney, Australia – An investment consortium (‘the Consortium’) comprising Independent News & Media PLC (‘INM’), Providence Equity Partners (‘Providence’) and The Carlyle Group (‘Carlyle’) notes the announcement issued today by APN News & Media Ltd (‘APN’) confirms that it has reached agreement with APN on a proposal to acquire all of the issued share capital of APN by way of a Scheme of Arrangement.”
“Independent News & Media plc (INM) is a media organisation based in Dublin, Ireland with interests in 22 countries on 4 continentsworldwide. The company owns over 200 print titles, more than 130 radio stations, over 100 commercial websites and many billboard locations, and is a leading press player in five countries. The INM group of companies has been dominated by Tony O’Reilly, today CEO, and his family (one of his sons is COO and two others are non-executive directors), since 1973.
“There have been controversies about the extent of the company’s media holdings in Ireland, its influence on politics, the role and cost of its dominant personality, [….] and its cost-cutting ‘yellow pack journalism’ management tactics, as well as aggressive accounting techniques
“Concern has also been expressed about INM’s dominant role in the Irish press sector, its overall media power, its influence on politics, and the quality of its journalism
“The group owns a number of national newspapers in Ireland: the Evening Herald, Irish Independent,[….]”
“For 14 years now, with almost no publicity, the company has been signing up an impressive list of former politicians – including the first President Bush and his secretary of state, James Baker; John Major; one-time World Bank treasurer Afsaneh Masheyekhi and several south-east Asian powerbrokers – and using their contacts and influence to promote the group. Among the companies Carlyle owns are those which make equipment, vehicles and munitions for the US military, and its celebrity employees have long served an ingenious dual purpose, helping encourage investments from the very wealthy while also smoothing the path for Carlyle’s defence firms.
“‘It should be a deep cause for concern that a closely held company like Carlyle can simultaneously have directors and advisers that are doing business and making money and also advising the president of the United States,’ says Peter Eisner, managing director of the Center for Public Integrity,
“‘The problem comes when private business and public policy blend together. What hat is former president Bush wearing when he tells Crown Prince Abdullah not to worry about US policy in the Middle East? What hat does he use when he deals with South Korea, and causes policy changes there? Or when James Baker helps argue the presidential election in the younger Bush’s favour? It’s a kitchen-cabinet situation, and the informality involved is precisely a mark of Carlyle’s success.'”
“Ireland was one of the first countries to respond to the credit crisis with a guarantee for bank liabilities worth some 440 billion euros ($550 billion), but it has not bailed out or nationalised any banks, and they have not raised equity themselves.
“Public television RTE cited unnamed participants in the bank talks as saying the government believed consolidation could be the best solution, and that it could lead to an overhaul of the sector, which would eventually leave only two large players.
“A finance ministry spokesman declined to comment on the RTE report.”
Could the Irish finance minster and Brian Cowen been holding off on saving the banks with Irish people’s money until the bank shares have collapsed to cut-rate prices (screwing shareholders) allowing the Irish banks to be bought up on the cheap by influential financial elites? Bank of Ireland’s shares have dropped below €1 since the €440 billion government guarantee was passed but not issued (which would rob the public in any case). Don’t underestimate the lack of integrity at the top. The Irish government have sold out the people many times… allowing Shell to reap our natural gas without paying any percentage comes to mind. This is how government buddies with financial elites ripoff the people who have to pay with their tax money received from labour. This game has been going on for a long time, it is not capitalism, it is hyper socialist-monopolism and modern disguised partial slavery.
“‘Why haven’t existing shareholders been asked about whether we would like to invest? We’re they guys who have taken the bath on our investment in the banks,’ said one senior fund manager. Another Dublin-based asset manager said: ‘In the scenario where equity is being raised, existing investors should be given an opportunity to participate. They have taken all the pain. They also have rights. A capital raising must put to an EGM vote.’
“Leading fund managers said, however, that they would not be willing to participate in a rights issue — even at a severely discounted price — if it were not fully underwritten by the Government.
“‘There’s no doubt that if taxpayers are taking a risk, they should be given a decent coupon and are also perfectly entitled to any uplift in the banks’ values as well.’
“He [Brian Cowen] said a report by accountants PricewaterhouseCoopers, which has carried out a forensic audit of the banks,
“However, the Taoiseach conceded that ‘international expectations in relation to capital levels in the banking sector have altered’.
“‘At a minimum, there is extensive work going on behind the scenes,’ said Goodbody Stockbrokers analyst Eamonn Hughes.”
The new money masters of Ireland?
“But what sets Carlyle apart is the way it has exploited its political contacts. When Carlucci arrived there in 1989, he brought with him a phalanx of former subordinates from the CIA and the Pentagon, and an awareness of the scale of business a company like Carlyle could do in the corridors and steak-houses of Washington. […], and now claims to be the largest private equity firm in the world. Success brought more investors, including the international financier George Soros and, in 1995, the wealthy Saudi Binladin family,
“since the start of the ‘war on terrorism’, the firm – has taken on an added significance. Carlyle has become the thread which indirectly links American military policy in Afghanistan to the personal financial fortunes of its celebrity employees, not least the current president’s father. And, until earlier this month, Carlyle provided another curious link to the Afghan crisis: among the firm’s multi-million-dollar investors were members of the family of Osama bin Laden.
“Last year, George Bush Sr and John Major travelled to Riyadh to talk with senior Saudi businessmen. In September 2000, Carlyle hired speakers including Colin Powell and AOL Time Warner chair Steve Case to address an extravagant party at Washington’s Monarch Hotel.
“Carlyle partners, who include Baker and the firm’s chairman, Frank Carlucci – Ronald Reagan’s defence secretary and a former deputy director of the CIA – As in many areas of its work, though, Carlyle is not obliged to reveal the details, and chooses not to.
“‘They are big, and they are quiet,’ says David Mulholland, business editor of Jane’s Defence Weekly. ‘But they’re not easy to get information out of, [but] United Defense are going to do well [in the current conflict].’ United also owns Bofors, a Swedish munitions manufacturer.”