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Connections And Then Some
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of Washington Post


Washington Post, March 14, 2003
Posted: December 30th, 2006
https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/lifestyle/2003/03/16/...

The Carlyle Group [is] an investment house famous as one of the most well-connected companies anywhere. Former president George H.W. Bush is a Carlyle adviser. Former British prime minister John Major heads its European arm. Former secretary of state James Baker is senior counselor, former White House budget chief Richard Darman is a partner, former SEC chairman Arthur Levitt is senior adviser -- the list goes on. Those associations have brought Carlyle enormous success. The Washington-based merchant bank controls nearly $14 billion in investments, making it the largest private equity manager in the world. It buys and sells whole companies the way some firms trade shares of stock. But the connections also have cost Carlyle. It has developed a reputation as the CIA of the business world -- omnipresent, powerful, a little sinister. Media outlets from the Village Voice to BusinessWeek have depicted Carlyle as manipulating the levers of government from shadowy back rooms. Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney (D-Ga.) even suggested that Carlyle's and Bush's ties to the Middle East made them somehow complicitous in the Sept. 11 terror attacks. It didn't help that as the World Trade Center burned on Sept. 11, 2001, the news interrupted a Carlyle business conference at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel here attended by a brother of Osama bin Laden. Former president Bush, a fellow investor, had been with him at the conference the previous day. Bush['s] primary function is to give speeches for Carlyle that attract wealthy foreigners in places where the former president is especially revered, such as Asia. The company has rewarded its faithful with a 36 percent average annual rate of return.

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