LightSquared is a wireless venture that seeks to create “convenient connectivity for all.” But, as the careful listeners among us know full well, it stands to do much more. In short, it will make or break backer Harbinger Capital. Success will mean billions for manager Phil Falcone and his investors. Failure will mean Wilbur Falcone going back to where it all began, peddling ZJ’s on the 5:54 Metro North to Greenwich.
As one can expect when one is doing ground-breaking, visionary-esque work, LightSquared has encountered some opposition. The yachting community worries the interference will cause them to get lost at sea. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says it “may degrade precision services that track hurricanes, guide farmers and help build flood defenses.” Mars is similarly pissed.
The most recent hostility came last week from various parties claiming that the White House pressured certain officials to change their testimony before Congress to favor LightSquared, in order to help the network’s plans to move forward. Now, any and all donations the company’s CEO and Falcone have made to Democratic organizations are being scrutinized. Earlier this morning, Phil told Fox Business that allegations of influence via money sicken him (“People think we’ve made contributions to grease the wheels, that is so wrong, it’s disgusting,”) and this afternoon, took the time to explain the impetus for one donation in particular. Apparently all roads lead back to a woman with many fans round these parts. The First Lady of the hedge fund industry. Her Excellence: Lisa Maria Falcone. Read more »