quarta-feira, 8 de setembro de 2004

Richard Perle e Lord Black

The Spectator: It is now up to Lord Black to prove his innocence to the rest of the world

The report alleges that ‘the aggregate cash taken by Hollinger’s former chief executive officer, Conrad M. Black, and its former chief operating officer, F. David Radler, and their associates, represented 95.2 per cent of Hollinger’s entire adjusted net income during 1997–2003’. Wow! (Hollinger International directly controlled the Telegraph Group until it recently sold it to the Barclay brothers.) To trouser 95 per cent of a company’s profits is not just an example of monumental greed but also an act of madness. For how could they think that they would continue to get away with it? This is what strikes me most about this report, if it is true: the utter insanity of Lord and Lady Black.(...)

The Blacks — and perhaps Lady Black in particular — were in love with conspicuous consumption. They needed to live like the richest of American billionaires, and the income they derived legitimately from Hollinger, though very large, appears not to have been enough for them to do this. For all his professed love of Britain, Lord Black emerges as a strikingly un-English figure. I do not mean that there are no rich English crooks, but they tend, particularly if they aspire to social respectability as Lord Black did, to understand the value of restraint. Lord Black also latterly turned the Daily Telegraph — again partly under the influence of his wife? — into a raucous neoconservative organ which often sounded as though it had been edited in the United States.

NYT: Perle Asserts Hollinger's Conrad Black Misled Him

Mr. Perle, a top Pentagon official in the Reagan administration, wielded considerable influence in foreign-policy circles as recently as 2002 as an intellectual parent to the neoconservatives. He was named to the Hollinger board in 1994, joining other like-minded men selected by Lord Black, a self-made businessman from Canada who surrounded himself with conservative thinkers. He particularly did that at Hollinger, a global media company whose holdings at the time included The Chicago Sun-Times, The Jerusalem Post, The Sunday and Daily Telegraph and The Sydney Morning Herald.

But the relationship between the two men was particularly special, friends and Hollinger officials recall. Lord Black approved plans that ultimately earned Mr. Perle more than $5 million - including a bonus formula that rewarded Mr. Perle for the successful investments he placed on behalf of a subsidiary of Hollinger but did not subtract for the losers. Mr. Perle served on a three-member executive committee of the board headed by Lord Black. The two men socialized frequently and traveled together extensively on the company jet, once going to see Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel.

Even so, by 2002, Lord Black was complaining in internal company messages about Mr. Perle. Now, their relationship, which has come under scrutiny by federal regulators and investors, has decidedly changed.

In the face of federal investigations and a scathing internal report for Hollinger by Richard C. Breeden, a former chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Mr. Perle has broken ranks and turned on Lord Black. (...)"

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