Friday, March 14, 2008

So Much For the Rich and Powerful

The private equity fund, the Carlyle Group is often mentioned by conspiracy theorists as this shadowy all powerful group, in fact it is one of the people they accuse of being behind the 9/11 attacks. Apparently being omnipotent is not all it is cracked up to be though:

Yesterday, a publicly traded investment fund affiliated with Carlyle Group that had ballooned to $22.7 billion back in the era of easy borrowing all but collapsed as banks rushed to sell assets backing the mortgage fund. Shares of Carlyle Capital Corp., which trades in Europe, are down 97% for the year, closing yesterday at 35 cents.

Across Wall Street, banks that once lent freely and engaged in all sorts of complex transactions are now scrambling to protect their balance sheets. Some that once fought to lend to private-equity firms are now suing their erstwhile clients.