May 01, 2005

Illegitimate, Incompetent, Corrupt

Illegitimate, Incompetent, Corrupt

Why American neo-cons are out for Kofi Annan's blood

The US is determined to derail the secretary general's progressive reforms

Robin Cook
Friday April 1, 2005
The Guardian

The debate on Darfur in the UN security council last night is a salutary reminder that the only hope for peoples abandoned by their own governments is an effective international community.
It was a Labour government that hosted the conference in postwar London that gave birth to the UN. Now this Labour government has the opportunity to modernise it by taking up the challenge of Kofi Annan's blueprint for a UN for this century.
The UN was founded in an era when most of its present members were not independent states, and even fewer were industrialised nations. Nearly all permanent members got there because they were the victors of the second world war. To this day Germany and Japan have never overcome their initial exclusion as the losers, and the new industrialised giants such as Brazil or India remain in the waiting room.
Not one permanent member represents the Muslim world, although developing a positive, tolerant relationship between the west and Islam is one of the most pressing security issues of our time. The obvious solution is for Egypt or Indonesia to take one of the four new permanent seats that the Annan package proposes for Africa and Asia.
New permanent members will not qualify for a veto, which begs the question: what happens to the veto of the existing five? In truth the British veto is already vestigial. When I first went to the UN I caused consternation by asking when we had last deployed the British veto. After much phoning round retired diplomats, it was established that we had last cast our veto a dozen years before, bizarrely on a matter relating to the Panama Canal, although I never found anyone who could remember what exactly had been so important in Panama that it merited a British veto.
The problem is that to Americans their veto in the UN occupies the same talismanic role as our veto in the European Union. The best hope is a self-denying commitment by the permanent five that they will each cast their veto only on matters of immediate national interest. Britain could start the log rolling by making such a unilateral statement on its own, which should not be difficult as we now do not use our veto at all.
The economic and social council of the UN has never achieved the same status as its security council. The Annan report cogently points out the perversity of this imbalance, as so much of the agenda of the security council is taken up with violent conflicts that have their roots in the failure to promote peaceful development.
This lack of authority on the part of the economic and social council produces a failure to coordinate the UN agencies competing against each other in the same field. It is striking testimony to the difficulty of the UN in exercising leadership on development that in the controversy over the appointment of Paul Wolfowitz it is rarely mentioned that the World Bank is technically a UN body. No one is asking for Kofi Annan to be given a veto over whether Wolfowitz gets the job, but it does not seem unreasonable to demand stronger coordination at the centre to stop the World Bank pursuing neo-liberal policies that are in flat conflict with the development agendas of other UN agencies.
This brings us to the solid concrete roadblock in the path of the Annan reforms. The world is confronted with a choice between two competing models of global governance. The direction signposted by Kofi Annan is to a regenerated UN with new authority for its collective decisions. However, collective decision-making is only possible if there is broad equivalence among those taking part. And there is the rub. The neocons who run the US administration want supremacy, not equality, for America and hanker after an alternative model of global governance in which the world is put to right not by the tedious process of building international consensus, but by the straightforward exercise of US puissance.
There are ways in which this power can be displayed more subtly than by dispatching an aircraft carrier. Over the past six months their influence has been deployed in heavy press briefing against Kofi Annan, to their shame faithfully taken up by rightwing organs in the British press.
There is a breathtaking hypocrisy to the indictment of Kofi Annan over the oil for food programme for Iraq. It was the US and the UK who devised the programme, piloted the UN resolutions that gave it authority, sat on the committee to administer it and ran the blockade to enforce it. I know because I spent a high proportion of my time at the Foreign Office trying to make a success of it. If there were problems with it then Washington and London should be in the dock alongside the luckless Kofi Annan, who happened to be general secretary at the time.
But there is a deeper level of perversity to the denigration of Annan by the American right wing. They have long clamoured for reform of the UN. Kofi Annan has just proposed the most comprehensive overhaul of the UN in its history and is the general secretary most likely to deliver support for it. If they persist in undermining him they are likely to derail his reform package. The suspicion must be that they would rather have a creaking, ineffective UN to treat as a coconut shy than a modern, representative forum that would oblige them to respect collective decisions.
The eccentric selection of John Bolton as Bush's ambassador to the UN is consistent with such a strategy of sabotage rather than reform. His hostility to any constraint on US unilateralism is so deep, (and his life so sad), that he described his "happiest moment" signing the letter to Kofi Annan telling him that the US would have nothing to do with the international criminal court. His relish in the gesture is all the more revealing as the issue was not within the remit of his job, and he pleaded to be allowed to sign as a special favour.
Ironically the first confrontation the US has faced since his appointment was the vote last night on the proposal to refer the war crimes in Darfur to the international criminal court. The problem for Washington unilateralists in trying to stop it was that the brutality and genocide in Darfur is a classic case for enforcement of international law through multilateral process.
To its credit the British government had long made it clear that regardless of what the US did, they would support the French resolution invoking the international criminal court. Such a stand is welcome not only as the right policy for Darfur, but as a demonstration that Britain backs the Annan model of a modern, multilateral system of global governance and this time at least has declined to accept US supremacy.,3604,1449863,00.html

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59 American Ex-Diplomats Oppose Bolton

Mon Mar 28,11:09 PM ET
By BARRY SCHWEID, AP Diplomatic Writer
WASHINGTON - Challenging the White House, 59 former American diplomats are urging the Senate to reject John R. Bolton's nomination to be U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

"He is the wrong man for this position," they said in a letter to Sen. Richard Lugar, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The Indiana Republican has scheduled hearings on Bolton's nomination for April 7.
"We urge you to reject that nomination," the former diplomats said in a letter obtained by The Associated Press and dated Tuesday.
The ex-diplomats have served in both Democratic and Republican administrations, some for long terms and others briefly. They include Arthur A. Hartman, ambassador to France and the Soviet Union under Presidents Carter and Reagan and assistant secretary of state for European affairs under President Nixon.
Others who signed the letter include James F. Leonard, deputy ambassador to the U.N. in the Ford and Carter administrations; Princeton N. Lyman, ambassador to South Africa and Nigeria under Presidents Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Clinton; Monteagle Stearns, ambassador to Greece and Ivory Coast in the Ford, Carter and Reagan administrations; and Spurgeon M. Keeny Jr., deputy director of the Arms Control Agency in the Carter administration.
Their criticism dwelled primarily on Bolton's stand on issues as the State Department's senior arms control official. They said he had an "exceptional record" of opposing U.S. efforts to improve national security through arms control.
But the former diplomats also chided Bolton for his "insistence that the U.N. is valuable only when it directly serves the United States."
That view, they said, would not help him negotiate with other diplomats at the United Nations.
Adam Ereli, the State Department's deputy spokesman, responded: "He is a great nominee. We hope he will be confirmed. And we look forward to his getting to New York to do the nation's business."
Bolton, who rarely muffles his views in diplomatic nuance, was nominated March 7. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice described him as "a tough-minded diplomat" with "a proven track record of effective multilateralism."
Bolton promised to work closely with members of Congress to advance President Bush's policies and said his record demonstrates "clear support for effective multilateral diplomacy."
Approval of the nomination requires a majority vote from the Senate committee, which has 10 Republicans and 8 Democrats.
In the letter, the former diplomats praised Bush's efforts at the start of his second term to improve relations with European allies and with the United Nations.
It is for that reason, they said, "we write you to express our concern" with Bolton's selection.
They ticked off a number of treaties they said Bolton had opposed and said he had made "unsubstantiated claims" that Cuba and Syria were working on biological weapons.
Also, they said Bolton had worked as a paid researcher for Taiwan and supported recognition of it as a sovereign state, and said he was skeptical of U.N. peacekeeping operations.
"Given these past actions and statements, John R. Bolton cannot be an effective promoter of the U.S. national interest at the U.N.," the former diplomats concluded. "We urge you to oppose his nomination."

Women Peace Activists Interrupt Bolton Nomination Hearing
Members of CodePink: Women for Peace Unfurl Banners and Speak Out Against Bolton Nomination During Senate Confirmation Hearing

WASHINGTON -- April 11 -- Three women peace activists interrupted today’s Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on John Bolton’s nomination as US Ambassador to the UN. They held up banners reading “NO Bolton, YES UN,” “Bolton = Nuclear Proliferation,” and “Diplomat, Not Bully, Please!” and urged Senators to reject Bolton as the worst possible choice for the job and for world peace.

“John Bolton is an inappropriate nominee for UN ambassador. His history shows us that the credibility of the US as a peacekeeping nation will be undermined if he is confirmed,” said Gael Murphy, one of the women who interrupted the hearing.
Murphy was kicked out of the hearing, as were two other CODEPINK women peace activists, Laurie Emrich, and Allison Yorra. None of the three were arrested. CODEPINK is a national women’s peace group, which has 90 chapters throughout the United States and the world. CODEPINK is known for its creative and bold approach to anti-war activism, and for its members’ success in interrupting prime time speeches three nights in a row during the Republican National Convention in New York City.
CODEPINK opposes the nomination of John Bolton, who is an advocate of unilateral U.S. military action, an opponent of arms control, and previously an advocate for withdrawal of US funds from the UN.
“The "go it alone" Bush administration is working hard to pull the US out of every international agreement and treaty in its effort to dominate rather than collaborate on global issues--and John Bolton exemplifies this attitude. Someone so disdainful of the UN should NOT be our UN representative. In this time of major armed conflict and nuclear proliferation, we need the UN more than ever. The US should be taking the lead in strengthening international cooperation, NOT killing it,” Murphy said.

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John Nichols: Bolton worked to stop Florida recount
By John Nichols
April 16, 2005
"I'm with the Bush-Cheney team, and I'm here to stop the count."
Those were the words John Bolton yelled as he burst into a Tallahassee library on Saturday, Dec. 9, 2000, where local election workers were recounting ballots cast in Florida's disputed presidential race between George W. Bush and Al Gore.
Bolton was one of the pack of lawyers for the Republican presidential ticket who repeatedly sought to shut down recounts of the ballots from Florida counties before those counts revealed that Gore had actually won the state's electoral votes and the presidency.
The Dec. 9 intervention was Bolton's last and most significant blow against the democratic process.
The Florida Supreme Court had ordered a broad recount of ballots in order to finally resolve the question of who won the state. But Bolton and the Bush-Cheney team got their Republican allies on the U.S. Supreme Court to block the review. Fearing that each minute of additional counting would reveal the reality of voter sentiments in Florida, Bolton personally rushed into the library to stop the count.
Bolton was in South Korea when it became clear that the Nov. 7, 2000, election would be decided in Florida. At the behest of former Secretary of State James Baker, who fronted the Bush-Cheney team during the Florida fight, Bolton winged his way to Palm Beach, where he took the lead in challenging ballots during that county's recount. Then, when the ballots from around the state were transported to Tallahassee for the recount ordered by the state Supreme Court, Bolton followed them.
It was there that he personally shut down the review of ballots from Miami-Dade County, a populous and particularly contested county where independent reviews would later reveal that hundreds of ballots that could reasonably have been counted for Gore were instead discarded.
Miami-Dade County Elections Supervisor David Leahy argued at the time that 2,257 voters had apparently attempted to mark ballot cards for Gore or Bush but had not had them recorded because they had been improperly inserted into the voting machines. A hand count of those ballots revealed that 302 more of them would have gone for Gore than Bush. That shift in the numbers from just one of Florida's 67 counties would have erased more than half of Bush's 537-vote lead in the state.
But attempts to conduct a hand count were repeatedly blocked by the Bush-Cheney team, culminating with Bolton's Dec. 9 announcement, "I'm here to stop the count." A few days later, the U.S. Supreme Court would stop the count permanently, with a pro-Bush ruling in which five Republican-appointed justices, in the words of noted attorney Vincent Bugliosi, "committed the unpardonable sin of being a knowing surrogate for the Republican Party instead of being an impartial arbiter of the law."
Bolton was a key player in the fight to delay the Florida count long enough to allow for the Supreme Court's intervention, and he got his reward quickly. Despite his record of making controversial and sometimes bizarre statements regarding international affairs, he was selected by the Bush administration in 2001 to serve as undersecretary of state for arms control. And he is now in line to become the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.
Before he is given that position, and charged with the job of promoting the spread of democracy around the world, however, senators would do well to consider the disregard John Bolton showed for democracy in Florida.

Published on Wednesday, April 27, 2005 by
More At Stake In Bolton Nomination Than Meets the Eye
by Ray McGovern

President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney are casting the trials of John Bolton, their nominee for ambassador to the U.N., as a partisan political squabble. It is much more than that. It is rather a matter of life and death for the endangered species of intelligence analysts determined to “tell it like it is,” no matter what the administration’s policies may be. For them the stakes are very high indeed.
The Bush administration strongly resists the notion that the intelligence on Iraq, for example, was cooked to the White House recipe. And with the president’s party controlling both houses of Congress and the president appointing his own “independent” commission to investigate, Bush and Cheney have until now been able to prevent any meaningful look into the issue of politicization of intelligence.
But the Bolton nomination has brought it very much to the fore, and there will be serious repercussions in the intelligence community if, despite his flagrant attempts to intimidate intelligence analysts, Bolton is confirmed by the Senate.
For many, the term "politicization" is as difficult to understand as it is to pronounce. Indeed, it is impossible to understand, when one assumes, as most do, that all institutions in Washington, DC have a political agenda. Suffice it to say here that, in order to do their job properly, intelligence analysts must at one and the same time be aware of what is going on at the policy level but be insulated from political pressure to conform intelligence to policy. That way, intelligence analysis can be based on fact (as in “We have no good evidence that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction”), rather than fiction (as in, “Iraq's weapons of mass destruction pose a grave threat requiring immediate action”). Helpful insight into politicization can be found in John Prados’ article of last Thursday, "Boltonized Intelligence."
L’ Affaire Bolton
For those who may have tuned in late, in February 2002 then-Under Secretary of State John Bolton sought intelligence community clearance for his own home-grown analysis regarding Cuba’s pursuit of biological weapons and the possibility it might share them with rogue states. (One can only speculate on his purpose in exaggerating the threat.)
Small problem: Bolton's intended remarks went far beyond what U.S. intelligence would support. Christian Westermann of the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) and counterparts from other agencies refused to let Bolton represent his views as those of the intelligence community and proposed instead some alternative, less alarming language. At this Bolton became so dyspeptic that he summoned Westermann to his office for a tongue-lashing and then asked top INR officials to remove him.
For those wondering if this constitutes politicization, a recently declassified email message made available to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the New York Times should dispel any doubt. On February 12, 2002, after a run-in with Westermann, Bolton’s principal aide Frederick Fleitz, sent Bolton this email:
"I explained to Christian that it was a political judgment as to how to interpret this data (emphasis added) and the I.C. [intelligence community] should do as we asked."
Fleitz added that Westermann "strongly disagrees with us."
Good for Westermann, we can say as we sit a comfortable distance from Bolton. But more than seven months later, Westermann was still paying the price for his honesty and courage. In an email of September 23, 2002 to Tom Fingar, deputy to then-INR director Carl Ford, Westermann complained that "personal attacks, harassment, and impugning of my integrity [are] now affecting my work, my health, and my dedication to public service." Fingar replied that he was “dismayed and disgusted” by the “unwarranted personal attacks.”
Bolton and the Cheney/Rumsfeld School of Intelligence
Were it not for the numbing experience of the past four years, we intelligence professionals, practicing and retired, would be astonished at the claim that how to interpret intelligence data is a “political judgment.” But this is also the era of the Rumsfeld maxim: "Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence," and the Cheney corollary: "If you build it, they will come"—meaning that intelligence analysts will come around to any case that top administration officials may build. All it takes is a few personal visits to CIA headquarters and a little arm-twisting, and the analysts will be happy to conjure up whatever “evidence” may be needed to support Cheneyesque warnings that “they”—the Iraqis, the Iranians, it doesn't matter--have "reconstituted” their nuclear weapons development program. Cheney is Bolton’s patron; Bolton is well tutored.
But how could Cheney, Rumsfeld, and other senior administration officials be assured of the acquiescence of the intelligence community (except for mavericks like analysts from INR) on issues like weapons of mass destruction in Iraq? True, former CIA director, “Slam-Dunk” George Tenet, proved entirely malleable, but he could not have managed it alone. Sadly, he found willing collaborators in a generation of CIA managers who put career above objectivity and bubbled to the top under directors William Casey and his protégé Robert Gates. In other words, Tenet was the "beneficiary" of a generation of malleable managers who benefited from the promotion policies of Casey and Gates starting in the early eighties.
How the Corruption Began
Casey, who saw a Russian under every rock and could not be persuaded that Mikhail Gorbachev was anything but a dirty Commie, started the trend by advancing those—like Gates—who pretended to be of like mind. (With a degree in Russian history and experience as a Soviet analyst, Gates knew better.) But as chief of analysis under Casey, he towed the line and made sure that others did too. Casey eventually made Gates his principal deputy, but the young protégé’s role in the Iran-Contra affair prevented him from becoming director when Casey died. Nonetheless, Gates’ meteoric career became an object lesson for those willing to make the compromises necessary to make a swift ascent up the career ladder.
Why dwell on Gates? Because (1) he is the one most responsible for institutionalizing political corruption of intelligence analysis; and (2) John Bolton’s confirmation hearing provides an eerie flashback to the ordeal Gates went through to get confirmed as CIA director. The parallels are striking.
The dust from Iran-Contra had settled sufficiently by 1991, when President George H. W. Bush nominated Gates to head the CIA. Then all hell broke loose. Playing the role discharged so well earlier this month by former INR director Carl Ford in critiquing Bolton, a former senior Soviet analyst and CIA division chief, Mel Goodman, stepped forward and gave the Senate intelligence committee chapter and verse on how Gates had shaped intelligence analysis to suit his masters and his career. Goodman was joined at once by several other analysts who put their own careers at risk by testifying against Gates’ nomination. They were so many and so persuasive that, for a time, it appeared they had won the day. But the fix was in.
With a powerful assist from George Tenet, then staff director of the senate intelligence committee, members approved the nomination. In his memoir Gates makes a point of thanking Tenet for greasing the skids. Even so, 31 Senators found the evidence against Gates so persuasive that, in an unprecedented move, they voted against him when the nomination came to the floor.
The First Mass Exodus and Those Who Stayed
The result? Many bright analysts quit rather than take part in cooking intelligence-to-go. In contrast, those inspired by Gates’ example followed suit and saw their careers flourish. So much so that when in September 2002 Tenet asked his senior managers to prepare a National Intelligence Estimate parroting what Cheney had been saying about the weapons-of-mass-destruction threat from Iraq, they saluted and fell to the task. Several of them traced their career advancement to Robert Gates.
Folks like John McLaughlin, who now "doesn't remember" being told about the charlatan source code-named "Curveball" in time enough to warn Colin Powell before he made a fool of himself and his country at the U.N., while the whole world watched. Folks like National Intelligence Officer Larry Gershwin, who gave a pass to Curveball’s drivel and similar nonsense; and Alan Foley, who led the misbegotten analytical efforts on the celebrated but non-nuclear-related aluminum tubes headed for Iraq, and fictitious Iraqi efforts to acquire uranium from Niger. Folks like the CIA Inspector General, John Helgerson, who bowed to pressure from the White House and from McLaughlin to suppress the exhaustive IG report on 9/11, which is a goldmine of names—of both intelligence officials and policymakers—who bungled the many warnings that such an attack was coming. Folks like the senior intelligence official who told me last month, “We were not politicized; we just thought it appropriate to ‘lean forward,’ given White House concern over Iraq.”
The cancer of politicization spreads quickly, runs deep, and—as we have seen on Iraq—can bring catastrophe.
And that is precisely why the stakes are so high in re Bolton. When Gates became CIA director, the honest analysts who left were replaced by more inexperienced, pliable ones. It is no exaggeration to say that recent intelligence fiascos can be traced directly to the kinds of people Gates created in his image and promoted to managerial positions.
Redux Before a Senate Committee
And now? Never in the history of U.S. intelligence has there been a more demoralized corps of honest intelligence analysts. Leaders with integrity are few and far between. So when a Carl Ford throws down the gauntlet in defense of a Christian Westermann, we need to sit up and take notice. If “serial abuser” (Ford’s words) John Bolton wins confirmation, there will be an inevitable hemorrhage of honest analysts at a time when they are sorely needed. It will be open season for politicization.
Does the White House care? Not at all. With more docile intelligence analysts in place, Bolton and others will be even freer to apply “political judgment” to interpreting intelligence, with no second-guessing by recalcitrant experts. It will certainly be easier to come up with the desired “evidence” on, say, weapons of mass destruction in Iran.
And Then There Was Voinovich
Thankfully, integrity is a virtue not altogether lost. The bright light of the past week came when, to everyone’s surprise, Senate Foreign Relations Committee member George Voinovich (R-Ohio) decided he simply could not follow his Republican colleagues who had decided to hold their noses and give Bolton a pass. That blocked the nomination from going forward to the Senate until additional information on Bolton can be assessed.
Cheney reacted quickly and forcefully against a suggestion by Senator Lincoln Chafee (R- R.I.) that the Republican committee members might consider whether to recommend that the nomination be withdrawn, and it appears the White House will use the coming weeks to pull out all the stops in harnessing the faithful. Already, well-financed hit squads are running radio spots in Ohio saying Voinovich has “stabbed the president and the Republicans right in the back.”
Asked why he wanted more time to weigh the charges against Bolton, Voinovich answered with a sentence not often heard in Washington political circles, “My conscience got me.”
Can conscience prevail over politics? Voinovich has proved it is still possible. Let us hope that he and his committee colleagues will approach the decision on Bolton with an open mind. For integrity in intelligence is now on life support. Approving the nomination of quintessential politicizer Bolton would pull the plug and ensure amateurish, cooked-to-taste intelligence analysis for decades to come.
Ray McGovern spent 27 years as a CIA analyst, during which he chaired National Intelligence Estimates and prepared and briefed to senior White House officials the President's Daily Brief. He is a founding member of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity and now works at Tell the Word, the publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in Washington, DC.
This article appeared first on
Carlyle Drains Billions from Disappointed Stock Market Investors
By Nicolas Cori
Friday 01 April 2005
The American investment fund raises ten billion dollars, an absolute record.
Will we have to stop complaining about the pension funds' dictatorship and fulminate over that of investment funds? If the former, which manage the money of future American retirees, are already well established in the financial world, the power of investment funds keeps expanding. If we are not careful, they'll end up buying the whole CAC 40 [Paris Stock Exchange industrial stock index].... This week, the American Carlyle, the largest global actor, announced it had raised ten billion dollars. That broke the preceding record of 6.5 billion, obtained by Blackstone in 2002. And equivalent fund-raising is expected by competitors. Such activity has never before been seen in the private equity markets, money invested outside of the stock exchanges.
Leverage Effect
This manna comes from the traditional actors in the finance world - pension funds, banks, insurance companies, and large fortunes - which entrust their money and hope for a large return on their investment. Most private equity funds have earned annual returns of over 30% in recent years. Their secret? They buy companies, make them fructify by unceremoniously squeezing costs, including via mass layoffs, and then resell them after five or six years, receiving a solid capital gain. Profitability is also assured by financial montage: the funds bring only 30% of the businesses' capital, the rest is supplied by banks as debt. Financiers call that leveraged buying-out, or the leverage effect.
The system is not new, but it wins over more and more adherents. "Ten years ago, institutional investors put only 1 to 2% of their money in private equity," deliberates Jean-Pierre Millet, Carlyle Europe director. "Today some American precursor funds place up to 10% of their managed funds in private equity." Explanation: the Stock Exchange, which has stagnated the last five years, disappoints investors. And company heads are sick of seeing their share prices massacred while they work to improve results. Since the private equity funds have lost some of their reputation as predatory dismantlers of companies in managers' eyes, some have allowed themselves to be convinced to go partway with these new partners.
Suddenly, in this way, the market grows. "Previously, the biggest operations would be 150 million Euros, now, a billion is the norm," confides an actor in the sector. A billion was the amount of the check the French PAI Partners signed in December to take over Saur, the service subsidiary of the Bouygues Group. And when the prey is fat, the funds don't hesitate to act together. In February, the British funds Cinven and BC Partners launched a Public Stock Offering of 4.3 billion Euros for the Spanish company Amadeus, the world leader in travel reservations. And Monday, all records were broken: the American SunGard Data Systems, an information services group, was purchased for 11.3 billion dollars by a consortium that brought together the cream of American funds: Silver Lake Partners, Bain Capital, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, Texas Pacific Group....
Yet this stream of money could have perverse consequences. "The number of targets is limited, and some will be tempted to bid too high, which will reduce the profitability of operations," analyzes Jean-Pierre Millet. Banks are also fingered: they lend to all comers in order to receive juicy commissions, but don't worry about the risks - a situation identical to the one that obtained in the early 1990s real estate market. In short, all the conditions are there for a bubble to form ... and to burst. In finance, miracles never last forever.
Translation: t r u t h o u t French language correspondent Leslie Thatcher.

Posted by richard at May 1, 2005 11:01 AM