Eat The Rich

privateequityprotest.jpgIt’s not easy working in private equity. First, you have to contend with kiss-ass underlings wanting “face time” pitching their latest money-making scheme. Then you have to deal with continuous media coverage deriding you for how much more money you make than everyone else. Really, can’t a private equity manager exist in at least semi-gold-dipped peace?
Even attending a conference is not as fun as it once was. The Dow Jones Private Equity Analyst Conference was awash with protestors at noon today by members of the Working Families Party and ACORN waving signs that read “Why does David Rubenstein pay taxes at a lower rate than an NYPD officer?” and “Why do New York state pensioners see risk while David Rubenstein sees profits?”
A revolution, some revolutionary once said, is not a tea party. Apparently, this time a revolution is a semi-snarky sign with a rhetorical question. We asked our editor in chief to comment on this question because he was the only sober person in the room.
“Don’t those types of people get paid by the hour?” Carney said. “If they’ve got time to protest, they’re clearly getting paid too much.”
It’s hard not to notice the irony that private equity has attracted its very own protest movement just at its eclipse. The owl of Minerva flies at happy hour. Note to the forces of the poor: you’re too late! The golden age of private equity is so fifteen minutes ago.
The Poors To Protest New York’s Richest At Waldorf-Astoria At Noon [Gawker]
Read the press release after the jump


ACORN/WORKING FAMILIES PRESS RELEASE
For Immediate Release:
September 19, 2007
Working Families Party, ACORN Rally New Yorkers Against Buyout Firms at Private Equity Conference
Campaign Against Buyout Billionaires Hits Conference While Carlyle Group Takeover King Rubenstein Delivers Speech
September 19, 2007 – Angered by the trillion-dollar buyout industry’s treatment of workers and the inequitable tax breaks corporate takeover giants receive, a new coalition of New York labor and community organizations rallied at a private equity conference at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel today where the Carlyle Group’s David Rubenstein was a featured speaker.
The New York-based coalition led by the Working Families Party and the New York chapter of the national community organizing group ACORN, blasted buyout industry executives for saddling regular New Yorkers with an unfair tax burden while engaging in risky debt-fueled investments that have put New Yorkers’ retirement funds at risk.
Armed with signs that asked “Why does David Rubenstein pay taxes at a lower rate than an NYPD officer?” and “Why do New York state pensioners see risk while David Rubenstein sees profits?” protesters also converged on the annual Private Equity Analyst Conference, protesting outside while Rubinstein delivered the keynote speech.
During the demonstration, a truck with a large mounted billboard circled the block with an ad picturing a hotel doorman asking, “Why does Carlyle Group founder David Rubenstein pay taxes at a lower rate than this guy?”
“The Carlyle Group is the poster child for an industry that has made billions by fleecing taxpayers and loading up companies with unsustainable levels of debt,” said Dan Cantor, Executive Director of the Working Families Party. The Carlyle Group is one of the five biggest buyout firms in the nation. Carlyle partner Bruce Rosenblum chairs the buyout industry’s lobbying arm, the Private Equity Council—Washington, D.C.’s most outspoken defender of tax breaks enjoyed by buyout firms and their partners.
“David Rubenstein made $260 million last year, yet he paid taxes at a lower rate than the doorman at this hotel. Not only that, companies like Carlyle don’t pay their fair share in corporate taxes.” said Pat Boone, President of NY ACORN.
“What does this mean to your average New Yorker?” asked Boone. “Plenty. The takeover industry’s tax dodges increase the tax burden on the rest of us while undercutting vital public services like schools, healthcare and affordable housing.”
The coalition noted that regular New Yorkers have less to spend on taxes these days. Between 2002 and 2005, median rents increased almost 10 percent across the city, while the average household income actually dropped by more than 6 percent.
Labor leaders blasted Carlyle and other takeover titans for engaging in investment strategies that have caused instability in the credit market and put the retirement savings of small investors at risk. A number of huge takeover deals negotiated during rosier market conditions are pending, with tens of billions of dollars in debt awaiting financing. The collapse of even one of these mega-deals could spook the market, triggering a potential downturn.
Leaders of the new coalition also took the buyout industry to task for its poor treatment of workers.
”For years, companies like Carlyle have profited by cutting wages and benefits and laying off workers,” said Adrianne Shropshire, Executive Director of the New York chapter of Jobs With Justice, a national coalition of labor unions, clergy and community groups. Shropshire noted that 6,000 workers have been laid off at businesses acquired by Carlyle in the past year alone.
Leaders of the coalition plan to call on New York’s Congressional delegation as well as local and state elected officials to enact reforms that will ensure that the buyout industry treats their workers fairly and plays by the same rules as other tax-paying Americans.
The coalition includes community groups from across New York, including Coalition for the Homeless, Housing Here & Now, Jobs With Justice and Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition, among others.
The Working Families Party is New York’s third largest political party—a grassroots, community and labor-based group with chapters throughout the state. The WFP injects the issues of working-class, middle-class, and poor people into the public debate, and holds candidates and elected officials accountable on those issues.
NY ACORN is the New York branch of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now—the nation’s largest community organization of low- and moderate-income families, working together for social justice and stronger communities.
For more info, go to: http://thinkaboutprivateequity.blogspot.com/

29 comments (hidden to protect delicate sensibilities)
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Comments (29)

  1. Posted by black guy | September 19, 2007 at 2:59 PM

    “Those types of people.” Classic Carney.

  2. Posted by Anonymous | September 19, 2007 at 3:00 PM

    to much? keep up the bad work… seriously.

  3. Posted by Anonymous | September 19, 2007 at 3:04 PM

    that owl always ruins my happy hour. and i’m getting sick and tired of it.

  4. Posted by Anonymous | September 19, 2007 at 3:08 PM

    kieth, we know you wrote that post and just put myrna’s name on it.

  5. Posted by AJ | September 19, 2007 at 3:11 PM

    Carney hit the nail on the head. One of the reasons I make more than them is that I’m at work at noon on a weekday and not out protesting. Unfortunately, they’re probably unionized so even if they don’t show up, you can’t fire them.

  6. Posted by Anonymous | September 19, 2007 at 3:12 PM

    I stopped reading after two sentences

  7. Posted by Anonymous | September 19, 2007 at 3:13 PM

    where is keith, anyway?

  8. Posted by I'm just saying... | September 19, 2007 at 3:24 PM

    Beginning of the end of DB, I’m calling the top.

  9. Posted by Anonymous | September 19, 2007 at 3:24 PM

    anyone work downtown near wall st? Maybe Myra is the pen name for that old lady you used to see all the time in front of the BMW dealership yelling can you spare some change mister?? That would be funny. Just kidding

  10. Posted by TR | September 19, 2007 at 3:25 PM

    AJ… the other reason you make more than them is that many of them hold jobs that an unskilled immigrant can do cheaper, so they have to contend with that competition… I say the best advice to them is to get some skills.

  11. Posted by Anonymous | September 19, 2007 at 3:26 PM

    She’s not funny. More Keith and Bess!

  12. Posted by chris | September 19, 2007 at 3:27 PM

    Better. Defintely keithesque.

  13. Posted by AJ | September 19, 2007 at 3:27 PM

    Good point and probably a much better use of their lunch hour

  14. Posted by Anonymous | September 19, 2007 at 3:28 PM

    “Then you have to deal with continuous media coverage deriding us for how much more money you make than..”
    You’re not an “us”. More Keith and Bess is right.

  15. Posted by Anonymous | September 19, 2007 at 3:28 PM

    good post. you guys are just being dicks…which i know you cant help. she’s not actually much worse than any of the others so why do you give her a hard time

  16. Posted by Must I remind you of everything? | September 19, 2007 at 3:29 PM

    “It’s” [3rd occurrence] is a contraction of “it is,” not the possessive of “it.” Copyedit, people, copyedit.

  17. Posted by Anonymous | September 19, 2007 at 3:31 PM

    RE: I’m sorry if I hurt her feelings

  18. Posted by LBhOes | September 19, 2007 at 3:38 PM

    This is like the 4th or 5th post? Is someone going to give this girl an intro?
    Also, how the hell do you fit “Why does David Rubenstein pay taxes at a lower rate than an NYPD officer?” and “Why do New York state pensioners see risk while David Rubenstein sees profits?” on signs?

  19. Posted by mr pink | September 19, 2007 at 3:43 PM

    Apparently, some people who read DB have a tremendous amount of time to hypercriticize the DB team on grammar, etc. If you can do better, then step up to the plate and volunteer.
    Otherwise, shut your fucking trap and get over yourselves.

  20. Posted by Zbignew | September 19, 2007 at 3:46 PM

    “Also, how the hell do you fit “Why does David Rubenstein pay taxes at a lower rate than an NYPD officer?” and “Why do New York state pensioners see risk while David Rubenstein sees profits?” on signs?”
    12-point font.

  21. Posted by Joe | September 19, 2007 at 3:49 PM

    Pink: It’s because you’re a faggot, alright?

  22. Posted by mr pink | September 19, 2007 at 4:06 PM

    Takes one to know one pal – I’m sure that was you in the back room of a “un-named” establishment.

  23. Posted by Joe | September 19, 2007 at 4:10 PM

    Take’s one to know one? Very clever. Don’t be calling yourself Mr. Pink if you can’t handle the role, you non-tipping cheap bastard.

  24. Posted by mr pink | September 19, 2007 at 4:20 PM

    Joe:
    Aww… Isn’t that just lovely, some piker hurling unfounded, unproven insults hiding behind the veil of anonymity. When you scrape enough money to actually pay for a DECENT bottle of wine – let us know. Until then, go back to your cubicle and shut up you prole.

  25. Posted by JT | September 19, 2007 at 4:24 PM

    Few points:
    1. That crazy lady (think its actually a dude) still stands by the BMW dealership occassionally yelling sh!t at you expecting you’ll respond with kindness.
    2. Perhaps, Mr. Pink, the reason people are “hypercritical” is because they are ibankers and by nature as well was by training they are, and must be, hypercritical in order to perform their jobs.
    3. For someone with a Masters degree, I’d expect a little more (continuity/consistency) in the writing. There seems to be (I’ll chalk this up to nerves and inexperience through the end of the week) an ebb and flow in Myrna’s writing throughout this post in usage, grammer, flow, style, etc.
    4. Anyone gotta link for a picture of Myrna (yes I’m lazy, this is not news)?

  26. Posted by GH | September 19, 2007 at 6:37 PM

    I can’t found the misuse of it’s that 3:29 is talking about.

  27. Posted by The Mongbat | September 19, 2007 at 8:42 PM

    Anyone who has the time, during office hours, to read this fine web page isn’t worth the steam off their own shit/2. In light of this incontrovertable fact, stfu and let the girl with the horrible name post for a while and figure it all out.
    Oh, and picking the easy targets (the ones nearest the bottom of the page), it’s tough to go after someone on their grammar when you spell it “grammer”, don’t you agree, JT?

  28. Posted by JT | September 19, 2007 at 11:31 PM

    Touche Mongbat (whatever that is)
    I may be an appologist for such dbags, but hardly one myself, as evidenced by the usu. horrendous grammer, etc in my posts, including, occassionally, Bess Levin-esque rambling

  29. Posted by bess doesn't ramble. | September 20, 2007 at 12:07 AM

    JT, i thought you were a bess loyalist. that was just plain mean, bro.