January 11, 2010, - 3:43 pm
Syria is still on the State Department terrorist list. It’s still host to the alphabet soup of Islamic terrorist groups–HAMAS, the PFLP, Islamic Jihad, etc. It’s the chief enabler, in tandem with Iran, of Hezbollah in Lebanon. Syria participated in the 1983 bombing of the U.S. Marine Beirut barracks, which murdered 241 of our soldiers while they slept. The Assad kingdom allows the most Al-Qaeda terrorists through its borders and into Iraq to blow up our troops. And the country remains host and sanctuary for Nazi war criminal Alois Brunner and Jamil Gashey, the only surviving perpetrator of the Munich Olympic massacre of the Israeli Olympic Team. And don’t forget the Syrian nuclear facility the Israelis blew up and the military equipment the Syrians bought from North Korea.
Bill Miller, Barton Biggs, Steven Galbraith: Syria’s Newest American Whores
All of those things are no biggie to Bill Miller of Legg Mason Capital Management, Barton Biggs, managing partner of Traxis Partners, a New York hedge fund, and Steven Galbraith, a partner at Maverick Capital, a $11 billion hedge fund. They led a group of investors to Syria and Lebanon, looking for ways to invest in Syria and further enable the country’s extremism without any conditions. On Detroit’s famed Eight Mile Road, we have people just like them. They’re called prostitutes.
Late last year a group of big-name investors—including Bill Miller of Legg Mason Capital Management and Barton Biggs, managing partner of Traxis Partners, a New York hedge fund—spent a week in Syria and Lebanon. They met with top political leaders, local businesspeople, and were feted with elaborate dinners with the cream of society. . . .
Syria—until recently a pariah state in the eyes of the U.S.—proved irresistible, drawing an unusual array of money managers. . . .
“This was not a group of naive investors, and [I] have to say it opened all our eyes,” said Steven Galbraith, a partner at Maverick Capital, a $11 billion hedge fund. . . .
Spearheaded by Mr. Biggs and Wafic Said, a wealthy Syrian-born industrialist who lives in Europe, the trip drew money managers from Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, and a number of hedge funds; a senior executive from Temasek Holdings, Singapore’s state-owned investment arm; and a strategist from the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, one of the world’s largest sovereign-wealth funds.
The scouting mission came amid efforts by the Syrian government to open the country to foreign investment, and signals from the U.S. that it will rebuild diplomatic ties.
At the top of Syria’s agenda: bringing in private capital to collaborate on infrastructure projects. Some other steps under discussion, according to those who traveled there, include a potential bond offering by the country on international markets, and the creation of an investment fund aimed at attracting foreign capital. . . .
Several investors said Syria reminded them of former Eastern bloc countries like Poland, Hungary, and then-Czechoslovakia just after the collapse of the Soviet Union. “It’s super-early days,” said one investor with decades of experience in emerging markets who was part of the group. “There’s very little to do there, but there will be.”
One early dividend from the trip is a change in perception. While some presentations by government officials were “pretty pathetic,” says Mr. Biggs, the group came away with the opposite impression of Syria’s President, Bashar Assad, and its deputy prime minister for economic affairs, Abdullah Dardari.
Mr. Assad provided direct and open answers to their questions, the investors said, and talked about the need to raise incomes, build infrastructure, and ease the government’s grip on the economy.
This was “a fairly cynical group,” Mr. Biggs says. But “he blew them away.”
Wow, “a fairly cynical group” of whores from America were blown away by a murderer. Awesome. Maybe if more Americans start enabling terrorists, assassinations in neighboring countries, and participating in torture and human rights abuses of its citizens, we can get some investors from this group to put some money into America’s economy, instead of this backwater branch of Greater Arabia’s United States of Savagery.
Disgusting. What’s next? How about some nice investments in North Korea and Iran, while they’re at it? Ya know–just to be fair.
Tags: Abdullah Dardari, American investment, Barton Biggs, Bashar Assad, Bashir Assad, Bill Miller, Citigroup, Legg Mason Capital Management, Maverick Capital, Morgan Stanley, Steven Galbraith, Syria, Temasek Holdings, Traxis Partners, Wafic Said