Was it Mr. Geithner in the Library with the dagger? Or Mr. Patterson in the den with an eraser? What exactly happened to the story in the UK’s Telegraph in which Mark Patterson, Chairman, private equity firm MatlinPatterson, said TARP is a sham? Patterson received TARP funds to help him purchase struggling Flagstar Bancorp; so the remarks were noteworthy. On Thursday, I had pulled the headline to readers’ attention; by Friday the story had been zapped from cybersapce.
Zerohedge was the first to notice the missing link; this weekend, he posted a letter from Patterson himself stating that the Telegraph story “mischaracterized our firm’s investment in Flagstar.”
So we join in asking Zerohedge — what really happened at the Qatar Investment Forum where Patterson spoke? Also in attendance: Harvey Shapiro of Institutional Investor, Johannes Huth of KKR and Shahzad Shahbaz of QInvest. Did Patterson really criticize TARP and then regret his remarks? Was Qatar embarrassed by the story? It could hardly have been an off-the-record event: Institutional Investor was in attendance.
The point for me is whether or not Treasury tried to muzzle criticism by coming down hard on Patterson (I doubt the Telegraph would care what Geithner thinks about its stories) enough to get him to say it’s not true, no one ever said anything bad about Treasury –especially me. They’re great guys! I also seriously doubt that the Qatar Investment Forum or the Telegraph would give two hoots what Geithner thinks of them. Zerohedge has made a request for a transcript; I will do the same. Stay tuned.