Ted Cruz spent part of his late 20s in Kingston, Jamaica trying to help build a Caribbean-focused private equity fund.
We didn't believe it either, but The Washington Post swears it's true:
In a group that included three Jamaican entrepreneurs, one participant seemed out of place — a 27-year-old former U.S. Supreme Court law clerk of Cuban descent who was visiting from Washington.
Ted Cruz had been invited by his roommate from Princeton and Harvard Law, David Panton, who was eager for the group to win the rights to manage a new Caribbean-focused investment enterprise launched by one of the island’s most prominent executives.
Okay, maybe it's not so hard to believe. A lot of portly Canadians spend time in Jamaica during the winter, but more do it to get "Irie" than rich.
And hey, if Ted and his Ivy League buddy were going to get into finance, it must have been one of those Reaganista, private sector deals. The kind of thing that would have given Milton Friedman a boner...
The idea was modeled after U.S. private equity companies that made fortunes by using investor dollars to remake underperforming companies. The Caribbean concept came with a twist — the investor dollars would be drawn in part from governments, including from the United States, leveraging funds intended to boost the developing world.
Oh, so Ted and his pals were going to get rich off of U.S. foreign aid money? How...conservative of him.
And like most money-related things in Ted Cruz's life that don't jive with his self-created proto-conservative anti-Wall Street origin tale, his adventures in Jamaica paint another picture of very real hypocrisy.
So how did Ted's Carribbean investment adventure end? You be the judge:
With Cruz’s help, they won the right to control what they hoped would be a $150 million fund. The firm lost its contract within five years, in part after a dispute over an investment decision, and was soon shuttered.
Nevertheless, it provided a tidy sum for Cruz. He initially pitched in $6,000 for start-up costs and exited the partnership shortly before it disintegrated with a payout of $25,000 plus a promise of an additional $75,000 to come later, according to Panton.
If only young Ted Cruz knew what middle-age Ted Cruz knew, he and his buddies could have saved their fund with a low-interest margin loan from Goldman Sachs.