Monday, November 19, 2007

Fran's Next Stop?

White House Homeland Security Adviser Fran Townsend submitted her resignation letter this month. This morning President Bush acknowledged her service to the Executive Branch in his official statement. So what will Fran do next?

She hopes to work in global risk management for a large bank or financial services company. What firms qualify? There's investment banking, large Wall Street financial houses, and private equity firms, the burgeoning investment vehicle for those who hate the spotlight.

Fran proved her ability to keep one private equity underwriter (PEU) out of the limelight after Hurricane Katrina. Mrs. Townsend made not one mention of The Carlyle Group's LifeCare Hospitals in her Lessons Learned report. This happened despite LifeCare's twenty four patient deaths, the largest number in any one hospital post Katrina.

What if Fran ends up working for that same Carlyle Group? Now that would be some coincidence! The odds have to be as small as the chance that both the hospital with the largest death toll and the trade group that coordinated critically ill patient evacuations would be left out of the White House Report. What are the odds of both of those key facts failing to appear?

After omissions by design, could a strategic hiring decision be far behind? Carlyle is stacked with political heavy hitters from both sides of the aisle, mostly Republican but a few Democrats are sprinkled around. Time will show where Fran lands, but expect Carlyle to keep deepening their bench, whether profane Frances ends up with that particular PEU or another huge financial firm.

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