Barack Obama’s new chief of staff spent two years working as an investment banker in Chicago. Wassterstein Perella paid Rahm Emanuel $16.2 million and made him a managing director, despite the fact that Emanuel had never held a job outside of politics before. So what did he do to earn that kind of pay day?
“He was a highly-paid deal-maker who enriched himself by using his government connections to enrich big business,” Tim Carney writes. (Disclosure: blah, blah, blah, brother.)
One of Emanuel’s two biggest deals never would have happened without government pressure. When telecom giant SBC bought fellow telecom company Ameritech, SBC executives intended to hold onto Ameritech’s home-security company SecurityLink.
But Bill Clinton’s Federal Communications Commission insisted that federal law required SBC to sell the security company. Clinton’s old right-hand man, Emanuel, happened to be working on behalf of a venture capital firm called GTCR Golder Rauner that wanted to buy SecurityLink from SBC. The government pressure helped Emanuel get his clients a good deal, as the Tribune tells the story:
“Under a regulatory deadline to divest itself of SecurityLink, SBC financed all but $100 million of GTCR’s $479 million purchase of the firm. Less than six months later, GTCR resold the company for $1 billion, earning a quick $500 million on its investment.”
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