What follows is breaking news (see farther down, below) highlighting yet another developing story--in the seemingly endless stream of breaking news reminders these days--concerning the amoral, violent and sociopathic nature of modern American capitalism.
Immediately after the 12/14 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, many media outlets and blogs (including yours truly) made extensive note of the multitude of ironies regarding the location of that horrific event. The public soon learned: Newtown, Connecticut was home to the second-largest gun industry trade organization in the U.S., the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF); it was in the heart of Connecticut’s historic “Gun Valley,” the original epicenter and veritable birthplace of American gun manufacturing; and, somewhere down that list of ironies was the fact that it was also the current hometown of none other than Martin Feinberg (whom you'll read about, below), the father of Cerberus Capital Management—essentially, through its ownership of the Freedom Group, the world’s largest gun manufacturer--CEO Stephen Feinberg.
If you were following the news during the immediate aftermath of the 12/14 tragedy (unless you were living in a cave, it was virtually impossible not to do just that at the time and even up to this very day), just 72 hours after the Friday shootings, on the morning of Tuesday, December 18th, 2012, Cerberus made the public announcement that it had bought a social conscience and had found better, less amoral ways to make a buck, so, it would be putting Freedom Group on the selling block.
From the New York Daily News…
Cerberus founder's dad calls Sandy Hook massacre 'devastating' — firm will sell Bushmaster in wake of the Newtown, Connecticut, tragedyThe usual half-baked, corporate mea culpas ensued in the Daily News’ coverage, quoting from Cerberus execs at the time: “We do not believe that Freedom Group or any single company or individual can prevent senseless violence or the illegal use or procurement of firearms and ammunition…” …Still, “the Sandy Hook tragedy was a watershed event that has raised the national debate on gun control to an unprecedented level.”
Private equity firm has personal connection to tragedy — Cerberus Capital Management founder Stephen Feinberg’s dad, Martin, lives in Newtown.
By Rich Schapiro , Phyllis Furman AND Corky Siemaszko
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Tuesday, December 18, 2012, 2:48 PM
A secretive Manhattan financier whose private equity firm owns the gunmaking Goliath that produces Bushmaster rifles put the armsmaker on the block Tuesday after the tragedy in Newtown struck too close to home.
Cerberus Capital Management founder Stephen Feinberg’s father lives in the Connecticut town where 26 schoolkids and staffers were slaughtered with a Bushmaster — and the dad, Martin Feinberg, said the massacre was “devastating.”
Neither Feinberg was mentioned in the Cerberus announcement that it hopes to sell the gunmaker Freedom Group, which includes Bushmaster — and is worth $1 billion, experts said.
Instead, Cerberus said it was “shocked and deeply saddened” by the tragedy but insisted the gunmaker bore no responsibility…
This was immediately followed by this story copy: “And Cerberus wants no part of it.”
The article then discussed Feinberg’s political influence, noting his quite massive donations to Republicans such as Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani, along with smaller contributions to Senators Joe Lieberman and Chuck Schumer. The Daily News also points out that Feinberg is an employer of former Vice President Dan Quayle, “…whose Cerberus title is chairman of global investments. And he contributed about $10,000 to the congressional campaign of Quayle’s son, Ben.”
Finally, buried deep in the story, we learned the real reasons as to why Cerberus was putting its gun manufacturing holdings up for sale: “Feinberg made the move to unload Freedom Group after a major investor, the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, said that Friday’s shootings forced it to review its $751.4 million investment with his equity firm.”
The additional fact that, as the article also informed us, New York’s state and city pension fund systems were also threatening divestiture of their gun manufacturing investments added more fuel to the fire that ignited Cerberus’ December 18th
And, speaking of buried leads, along with shameless corporate whoring to piggyback upon a news cycle, no matter how tragic the day's current events might be, that brings us to tonight’s
Wall Street exercise in sociopathic capitalism breaking news, via a Bloomberg exclusive…
Exclusive: Cerberus founder explores bid for Bushmaster gunmakerNow, Feinberg very well may not end up being the winning bidder for his Wall Street firm’s gun manufacturing holdings. Or, he could just price it so high, with his stalking horse offer, that he wouldn't attract any other bidders. Then again, since it's a privately-held firm, to begin with, the entire exercise could just be kabuki. But, the sheer hypocrisy and pathological nature of this story’s evolution is, simply, beyond the pale.
By Olivia Oran, Greg Roumeliotis and Martinne Geller
Tue Apr 16, 2013 9:16pm EDT
(Reuters) - Private equity mogul Stephen Feinberg is exploring a bid for Freedom Group, the Bushmaster rifle manufacturer that his firm, Cerberus Capital Management LP, put up for sale after one of its guns was used in a Connecticut school shooting late last year, three people familiar with the situation said on Tuesday.
Feinberg, along with other senior Cerberus partners, is putting together a consortium to make a "stalking horse" offer, or the floor bid, for Freedom Group, the sources said…
…Freedom Group's AR-15 type Bushmaster rifle was used in the Newtown, Connecticut shootings in December, which left 20 children and six adults dead. Cerberus came under mounting pressure from the public as well as investors in its funds after the shootings to sell Freedom Group.
Soon after the shootings, Cerberus said it would look for a buyer and hired investment bank Lazard Ltd to help sell the business.
Wall Street's amoral behavior is really, and literally, killing our society. And, along the way to that end, they'll lie, cheat and steal--with government-sponsored impunity, no less--whenever the situation suits them.