High Profile Republican Firm, Cerberus, to Sell Freedom

It has come to this. Cerberus–the private equity firm full of well-connected Republicans like John Snow and Dan Quayle–has decided it can no longer continue to invest in Freedom Group, the maker of the Bushmaster assault rifle used in Friday’s massacre at Sandy Hook.

In its statement announcing the decision, it attempts to absolve itself of responsibility for killing 20 children.

In 2006 affiliates of Cerberus Capital Management, L.P. made a financial investment in Freedom Group.  Freedom Group does not sell weapons or ammunition directly to consumers, through gun shows or otherwise.  Sales are made only to federally licensed firearms dealers and distributors in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.  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.

It then couches its decision to sell Freedom in fiscal responsibility, not moral complicity.

It is apparent that the Sandy Hook tragedy was a watershed event that has raised the national debate on gun control to an unprecedented level.  The debate essentially focuses on the balance between public safety and the scope of the Constitutional rights under the Second Amendment.  As a Firm, we are investors, not statesmen or policy makers.  Our role is to make investments on behalf of our clients who are comprised of the pension plans of firemen, teachers, policemen and other municipal workers and unions, endowments, and other institutions and individuals.  It is not our role to take positions, or attempt to shape or influence the gun control policy debate.  That is the job of our federal and state legislators.

There are, however, actions that we as a firm can take.  Accordingly, we have determined to immediately engage in a formal process to sell our investment in Freedom Group. [my emphasis]

But that mention of its clients, including teachers pension plans, is the real tell. As CNN suggests, it was likely pressure from the California Teacher’s pension fund that prompted this decision.

Yesterday we reported that one of the largest investors in Cerberus private equity funds was the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, which subsequently said it would review its indirect investment in Freedom Group (it made no such pledge following the Aurora shooting, where a Bushmaster rifle also was used).

In any case, having made the decision to sell Freedom, things will now get interesting for Cerberus, as the sharp decline in gun stocks will force Cerberus to sell Freedom at a big loss.

Often when something like that happens–most spectacularly when Cerberus decided to sell Chrysler–it asks for a bailout. Will John Snow and Dan Quayle orchestrate a federal bailout for themselves again, as they did with the auto bailout?

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12 Responses to High Profile Republican Firm, Cerberus, to Sell Freedom

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Emptywheel Twitterverse
emptywheel The reason I ask is bc Daines just described himself as a Daddy of 4. https://t.co/JvbjmA9gw6
1mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Has a female Senator ever described herself as a "mommy" on the Senate floor? Grandmother, mom, mother, sure. But "mommy"?
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emptywheel @PhilPerspective Plus he might like following in Holder's lucrative footsteps of not prosecuting the banksters. @Taniel
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emptywheel @PhilPerspective AG? Still pretty far down the list. Still, forgotten fact is that he was mentor to a lot of top lawyers. @Taniel
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emptywheel @PhilPerspective That's not in Presidential succession is it? Then ... no, that's not the one he had in mind. @Taniel
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emptywheel I mean, would Rudy Giuliani call Germany and ask the boys to make Merkel go easy on Trump? https://t.co/Uwa52RjY3i
26mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Donald Trump is afraid of a few hard questions from a woman? https://t.co/Uwa52RjY3i
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emptywheel @somejustguy Hey, while we're at it, let's get the emails OVP destroyed from their server in 2003. All for it!
32mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz From the No Shit Department:----> "Tom Brady shouldn’t ask for permission to appear in court by phone" http://t.co/rN47Dcvfg9
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emptywheel RT @davidgreene: NEW! Street Level Surveillance https://t.co/MlDC38yUdy portal for info legal & advocacy resources on hi-tech domestic law …
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emptywheel Shorter Trump's flunkies: as President, even Trump's phone records won't be accessible via FOIA. https://t.co/ScuVwn0yPp
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emptywheel Hey!! Brits actually sent a BANKSTER to PRISON!!!!!! Can you believed Banksters engage in "Conspiracy to defraud"??? http://t.co/dxcmRSJVDo
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