Saturday, October 11, 2008

Cheney's Latest Angle?

Where is Vice President Dick Cheney as the country deals with a huge financial crisis? Rivals Hank Paulson and Condi Rice have the President's ear. George Bush continues to intervene on behalf of Wall Street firms, something Cheney derided last fall. The already low profile V.P. is off the radar.

Angler surfaced October 4th, a late fill in for President Bush at the White House Conference on North American Wildlife Policy. He opened his speech in support of the economic bailout package. The ex-Halliburton CEO knows how to move corporate chess pieces and come out a big winner. Might these skills be desirable in the private sector?

That same private sector is posed as the saviour for failing financial institutions. Private equity underwriters (PEU's) and foreign sovereign wealth funds (SWF's) have trillions in assets, billions in ready cash. As the financial ditch deepens and banks crater, these corporate bottom feeders will step in to save the day. PEU's and SWF's are the Supermen seeking SuperReturns.

Now, what does this have to do with Dick Cheney? A prime position remains vacant at The Carlyle Group's corporate offices at 1001 Pennsylvania Avenue. Chairman Lou Gertsner stepped down as the top man. The politically connected firm is full of ex-government insiders, red and blue. So far, there's no word on an interim Chair or the process to select Lou's replacement.

Might it be Dick? January 20th isn't that far away. He could focus on a cush landing in the private sector. Unless he'd rather end up at the top dog of a defense company.

Cheney lays low. Why? I don't know. But he's a schemer. Is it greed, his next job? Or violence, his next war? Stay tuned...

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