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60 Minutes's Puff Piece on Crony Capitalist

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Tags Corporate Welfare


60 Minutes did a segment on David Rubinstein, one of the founders of Carlyle Group which was established in 1987. Carlyle is one of the largest private equity firm and the only major private equity firm to be based in Washington DC. The company controls enormous assets all over the globe and is noteworthy for being connected to many influential political figures including George H. W. Bush, James Baker, John Major, and Frank Carlucci. The firm's unbelievable rise to industry dominance is thought by some to be based on the general idea of buying underperforming assets, using political influence and/or inside information to somehow increase the value of those assets, and then selling off the assets when the price has moved significantly higher. I do not have any specific information to confirm those beliefs.

But I was shocked when I watched 60 Minutes segment on the "All American" last night. It was a glowing tribute to the multi-billionaire and his "political philanthropy." He has given money to help restore the Washington Monument and Monticello among many other patriotic donations. He does so from his "modest" Washington office with no staff. I could not believe it when they identified the "All American" as Carlyle's founder. I thought 60 Minutes was supposed to do the tough piece, not the puff piece.

Mark Thornton is a Senior Fellow at the Mises Institute and the book review editor of the Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics. He has authored seven books and is a frequent guest on national radio shows.

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