For-profit Laureate University is discovering the downside of Clinton cronyism

Karma has come calling on Laureate University, the highly connected for-profit corporation backed by highly connected billionaires including George Soros, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, and private equity investor Henry Kravis.  The Daily Caller News Foundation has an exclusive story by Richard Pollock showing that the 16.5 million dollars paid to Bill Clinton over 5 years and the 1 to 5 million dollars donated to the Clinton Foundation may cost the company deeply at a moment when it could do real damage.

Laureate officials are trying to raise $1 billion in the IPO and told potential investors in a May 26, 2016, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing update the company’s financial statements may be inaccurate and unreliable, after uncovering “five material weaknesses in our internal control over financial reporting.”

Clinton’s tenure [as “honorary chancellor” of Laureate] partially coincided with the period of Laureate’s inaccurate corporate reports, at least one of which remains unremedied. The company is trying to get out from under a crushing $4.8 billion debt load. A successful public offering would provide significant financial relief to Soros, Allen, Kravis and other Laureate investors. It’s unclear, however, if Laureate could survive a failed IPO.

In the updated SEC filing, Laureate spelled out the consequences of the faulty reporting, stating, “we may be unable to report our financial results accurately on a timely basis, which could cause our reported financial results to be materially misstated and result in the loss of investor confidence.”

Why on Earth would a company with huge financial backing have faulty control (internal accounting) systems?  These are not underfunded amateurs.  I am deeply suspicious that the systems were designed in order to conceal, not inform.  The money paid to both Clintons as community property and to the foundation they control looks a lot like the purchase of influence and reputation out in the open.  There may well be officials in the 28 countries where Laureate operates whose influence and prestige (among other things) would be helpful to Laureate but who lack the ability to be so open about the transaction.

And speaking of crony capitalism, I was shocked to learn that:

While Hillary Clinton was secretary of state and her husband was collecting millions from Laureate, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), an arm of the World Bank, sent a $150 million equity infusion to the cash-starved company. (snip)

The $150 million equity investment in Laureate in January, 2013, was the largest single education investment ever made by the IFC and was made one month before Clinton left the State Department, according to IFC documents.

The United States Government is the largest single donor to the IFC, providing 21 percent of its $569 million total funding.

A Laureate spokesman told TheDCNF that “the IFC’s decision to invest in Laureate had no connection to and was not influenced in any way whatsoever by Hillary Clinton.”

But the IFC investment in Laureate was not the only one involving the Clintons. In 2013, the IFC invested another $150 million in a port-and-pipeline project in Colombia that was 49 percent owned by billionaire Frank Giustra. Giustra is a $100 million donor to the Clinton Foundation and co-founder with Bill Clinton of the “Clinton-Giustra Enterprise Partnership.”

The World Bank and IFC are U.S. taxpayer-funded entities.  Our share, at just over one fifth, is the largest block of control of the World Bank.

And topping it all off:

The Obama administration has tried to end for-profit universities in the United States. Two for-profit universities, Corinthian Colleges Inc. and Education Management Corp. were delisted from the Nasdaq Stock Market last year as the Obama administration pressured the sector.

“For some reason, Laureate escaped aggressive punishment by the Obama administration,” notes Ortel.

The Democratic Party’s education platform also pledges to go after for-profit universities.

“We will go after for-profits that engage in deceptive marketing, fraud, and other illegal practices. It is not right that for-profit schools with low graduation rates keep encouraging their students to take out federal loans they will have trouble paying back,” the party platform states.

So the blanket hostility to for-profit higher education slams into reverse for an entity controlled by the rich, powerful, and connected when they hand over roughly twenty mill to Clinton entities.

It may be that the financial markets will deal with the IPO imore severely than the political system is able to muster in this scandal.

Karma has come calling on Laureate University, the highly connected for-profit corporation backed by highly connected billionaires including George Soros, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, and private equity investor Henry Kravis.  The Daily Caller News Foundation has an exclusive story by Richard Pollock showing that the 16.5 million dollars paid to Bill Clinton over 5 years and the 1 to 5 million dollars donated to the Clinton Foundation may cost the company deeply at a moment when it could do real damage.

Laureate officials are trying to raise $1 billion in the IPO and told potential investors in a May 26, 2016, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing update the company’s financial statements may be inaccurate and unreliable, after uncovering “five material weaknesses in our internal control over financial reporting.”

Clinton’s tenure [as “honorary chancellor” of Laureate] partially coincided with the period of Laureate’s inaccurate corporate reports, at least one of which remains unremedied. The company is trying to get out from under a crushing $4.8 billion debt load. A successful public offering would provide significant financial relief to Soros, Allen, Kravis and other Laureate investors. It’s unclear, however, if Laureate could survive a failed IPO.

In the updated SEC filing, Laureate spelled out the consequences of the faulty reporting, stating, “we may be unable to report our financial results accurately on a timely basis, which could cause our reported financial results to be materially misstated and result in the loss of investor confidence.”

Why on Earth would a company with huge financial backing have faulty control (internal accounting) systems?  These are not underfunded amateurs.  I am deeply suspicious that the systems were designed in order to conceal, not inform.  The money paid to both Clintons as community property and to the foundation they control looks a lot like the purchase of influence and reputation out in the open.  There may well be officials in the 28 countries where Laureate operates whose influence and prestige (among other things) would be helpful to Laureate but who lack the ability to be so open about the transaction.

And speaking of crony capitalism, I was shocked to learn that:

While Hillary Clinton was secretary of state and her husband was collecting millions from Laureate, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), an arm of the World Bank, sent a $150 million equity infusion to the cash-starved company. (snip)

The $150 million equity investment in Laureate in January, 2013, was the largest single education investment ever made by the IFC and was made one month before Clinton left the State Department, according to IFC documents.

The United States Government is the largest single donor to the IFC, providing 21 percent of its $569 million total funding.

A Laureate spokesman told TheDCNF that “the IFC’s decision to invest in Laureate had no connection to and was not influenced in any way whatsoever by Hillary Clinton.”

But the IFC investment in Laureate was not the only one involving the Clintons. In 2013, the IFC invested another $150 million in a port-and-pipeline project in Colombia that was 49 percent owned by billionaire Frank Giustra. Giustra is a $100 million donor to the Clinton Foundation and co-founder with Bill Clinton of the “Clinton-Giustra Enterprise Partnership.”

The World Bank and IFC are U.S. taxpayer-funded entities.  Our share, at just over one fifth, is the largest block of control of the World Bank.

And topping it all off:

The Obama administration has tried to end for-profit universities in the United States. Two for-profit universities, Corinthian Colleges Inc. and Education Management Corp. were delisted from the Nasdaq Stock Market last year as the Obama administration pressured the sector.

“For some reason, Laureate escaped aggressive punishment by the Obama administration,” notes Ortel.

The Democratic Party’s education platform also pledges to go after for-profit universities.

“We will go after for-profits that engage in deceptive marketing, fraud, and other illegal practices. It is not right that for-profit schools with low graduation rates keep encouraging their students to take out federal loans they will have trouble paying back,” the party platform states.

So the blanket hostility to for-profit higher education slams into reverse for an entity controlled by the rich, powerful, and connected when they hand over roughly twenty mill to Clinton entities.

It may be that the financial markets will deal with the IPO imore severely than the political system is able to muster in this scandal.