Thursday, July 31, 2008

Das Gift

Schwarze Milch der Frühe wir trinken sie abends
wir trinken sie mittags und morgens wir trinken sie nachts
wir trinken und trinken

— Paul Celan, Todesfuge

Poor Carlyle Group.

I am almost beginning to feel sorry for them. David Rubenstein and his partners must begin to tire of drinking the "black milk of daybreak," more colloquially known here as Bad Shit Which Happens to You When You Stray from Your Knitting.

We learned today that the legendary buyout shop has begun liquidating its Blue Wave hedge fund, which it launched as a joint venture in March 2007 with two former Deutsche Bank traders and in which it invested its own money. Apparently the fund assets have shrunk by a third to around $600 million, which puts it near the rounding-error column in each of Messrs. Conway, D'Aniello, and Rubenstein's personal checking accounts.

While DealBook is trying to characterize this as "the second major black eye for the giant alternative-asset manager this year," it pales in comparison to the $16 billion, highly-leveraged cluster fuck at Carlyle Capital, for which I have excoriated the Three Musketeers sufficiently elsewhere. I would characterize this one as a stubbed toe: painful, true, but hardly rising to the level of a black eye.

To their credit, the Trio Who Must Be Obeyed apparently pulled the plug on Blue Wave before it splashed more than a few gallons of water over the gunwales. I guess this time they remembered one of the key principles from their buyout business: better to fail fast than slow. (They must have gotten over their reflective, introspective phase.)

No, I blame the Germans.

After all, it was holier-than-thou Deutsche Bank which supplied the Blue Wave goons in the first place. (Sure, sure, their names are supposedly "Goldsmith" and "Reynolds," but that's just a smokescreen, I tell you. "Goldschmied" and ... —whatever—are far more likely.) We all know those Frankfurters have been beyond jealous that their pathetic little mittelstadt never made it into the finance big leagues like New York and London. I posit to you that this is just one more piece of evidence that they intend to steal into first place by bankrupting the rest of us first.

Fuckin' Krauts.

Der Tod ist ein Meister aus Deutschland.

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