Atheists received a real blow today when it was announced that the Carlyle Group – the Carlyle Group – the Carlyle Group’s “troubled mortgage-debt investment fund, Carlyle Capital” is about to fall to the first run (oh, okay, counting Northern Rock, second) of the New New New Economy.
Oh sure, there’s no Goooooood. Chump. Then how to explain this instance of a poetic justice so breathtaking that we’d reject it as the impossible happy end sequence of some movie? I mean, we are talking about the Carlyle Group – did I say that? The henhouse for old, corrupt, murderous politicos – the Bush family Mafioso – which was the very model and exemplum of the new private equity vehicles that provide corrupt, murderous pols with an easy transition space to the money they have, as legislators, made available to the most murderous and corrupt. Hmm, did I put in here, yet, the part about them being murderous and corrupt?
So – averting my eyes from the crash of that motherfucker, Spitzer – there is something to celebrate, to party hard about today!
“The fund, which invests mainly in triple-A rated mortgage securities issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, has received $400 million in margin calls, and some of its lenders started to liquidate collateral for $5 billion of debt. Banks are asking for their money back amid concerns the economic climate may deteriorate further.
The Carlyle fund said on Monday that it “requested a standstill agreement whereby its lenders would refrain from foreclosing and liquidating their collateral, and we are awaiting responses.”
Banks are asking for more collateral to cover loans after writing down more than $160 billion in assets linked to the subprime mortgage crisis, and fears of a recession are prompting them to call in some of the loans outright. Costs to protect even the safest bonds are close to a record, and investment funds like Carlyle Capital are finding it increasingly difficult to meet rising demands for collateral as the value of their portfolios declines along with the financial markets.
“At the beginning banks were willing to accept not to trigger margin calls because they feared forced assets sales,” said Philip Gisdakis, a senior credit strategist at Unicredit in Munich, “but now that there is a serious deterioration in the valuation of collateral, they cannot do that any longer and need to protect their loans.”
The Carlyle fund, which sold shares in an initial public offering on the Amsterdam stock exchange last summer, shares some of the Carlyle Group’s management and received a $150 million credit line from the firm. Among the fund’s lenders are Citigroup, Bank of America and Merrill Lynch.”
And you thought the divinity had exhausted himself with that last message of his, 'MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN.' Fuck no. The big guy is just a hesitant writer – rather like Flaubert, lying on a sofa, suffering over the exact description of Charles Bovary’s hat. However, as we all know, God is a fantastic stand up comic – he filled the ears of his prophets with wonderful routines, real William Burroughs stuff. So I thought it might be appropriate to quote something to celebrate the Carlyle Capitals imitation of an armadillo meeting a sixty mile an hour 18 wheeler.
“All this came upon the king Nebuchadnezzar. At the end of twelve months he walked in the palace of the kingdom of Babylon. 30 The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty? 31 While the word was in the king's mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, saying, O king Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken; The kingdom is departed from thee. 32 And they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field: they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and seven times shall pass over thee, until thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will. 33 The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar: and he was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like eagles' feathers, and his nails like birds' claws.”