The Iron Triangle | Dan Briody

Summary of: The Iron Triangle: Inside the Secret World of the Carlyle Group
By: Dan Briody


Delve into the secretive world of the Carlyle Group, a private equity firm that masterfully navigates the intricate nexus of the defense industry, politics, and business. This book summary of Dan Briody’s ‘The Iron Triangle: Inside the Secret World of the Carlyle Group’ brings you deep into the world of the enigmatic firm founded by Stephen Norris and David Rubenstein in 1987. Follow the company’s transformation as it leverages obscure tax codes and political connections to drive its success. Marvel at the intriguing personalities in its orbit, their key roles, and the scandals that have potentially touched the company. Explore the Carlyle Group’s emergence as a powerful player in the Iron Triangle, which connects the military, business, and politics.

Inside the Carlyle Group

The Carlyle Group, a private equity firm, operates in the “Iron Triangle” where big politics, big business, and big military interests come together. The group was named after the Carlyle Hotel where the founding partners met. Starting with a tax code provision that allowed Eskimos to sell tax losses, the group grew profitable with impressive political connections. Despite a measure of eccentricity, the group attracted wealthy clients, such as Saudi princes and Fortune 500 companies. One of the group’s hires, Frederic V. Malek, former deputy chair of the Republican National Committee, played an important role in a fiasco Wall Street cynics dubbed “Craterair”. Caterair, a company the group bought in a leveraged buyout, hit market turbulence and was sold for $500 million in 1995.

The Teflon-Coated History of Carlyle Group

The story of Carlyle Group’s controversial history is filled with allegations of cronyism, geopolitical manipulations, and CIA connections. From the hiring of friends and friends of friends to attempts at hostile takeovers and privatization policies, the firm’s leadership has navigated numerous scandals with Teflon-coated ease. Despite accusations of involvement in assassinations and arms dealing, Carlyle Group’s contrarian approach to investment and defense contracting has helped it weather the changing winds of political and economic landscapes.

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