Carl Icahn, the latest rat tired of winning, is jumping ship. It took this billionaire 210 days to realize the Trump ship named “So Much Winning” isn’t seaworthy.
Icahn and Trump share a bit of notoriety. Both hold a place on—
“The 10 Worst People on Forbes 2013 Billionaire List”
The list includes drug lords, murderers of the environment, oligarchs, and scum bags in general. That is not to say that there are not ethical billionaires who are true charitable souls, not just charitable because they need a tax deduction, but good people— Warren Buffet is proof of that.
On that villainous list of 2013, #7 was Carl Icahn, beating out Donald Trump #8, by a nose.
Icahn’s net worth today is $15.9 billion. His occupation is listed as “Investor,” but that is an airbrushed picture of how Icahn makes money. Some would say he ruins lives; I know some of his victims.
Remember TWA? What ever happened to TWA, the legendary Trans Continental Airlines formed in 1930, big and glamorous, the “Marilyn Monroe of Airlines” frequented by celebrities, once owned by Howard Hughes…what ever happened to TWA?
The short answer is Carl Icahn.
The longer answer is long, so I’ll just hit the high points: As with all the Airlines it had it’s ups and downs (pun intended.)
Deregulation sent the industry into a tailspin of under cutting and back stabbing. Ask any old timer what is wrong with the airline industry and they will say deregulation started it all.
“President Jimmy Carter signed the Airline Deregulation Act into law on October 24, 1978, the first time in U.S. history that an industry was deregulated. Deregulation lifted restrictions on where airlines could fly.” Smithsonian Institute
Jimmy Carter had a business minded advisory board who navigated the course that led to that decision, so he isn’t entirely to blame.
There is an undisputed winner to the title of most reviled man in the Airlines industry, and he is the union busting Frank Lorenzo, who took over TWA. When he finished shaking down the entire workforce he turned the Airlines over to Carl Icahn who is perhaps second most reviled.
When Icahn took the wheel, employees breathed a hopeful sigh of relief because he promised great things, but the honeymoon period was short. He soon began selling off it’s most profitable routes, filed bankruptcy a few times, and finally he sold what pieces remained to American Airlines.
It sounds like business as usual these days, but back then it wasn’t. Icahn was a pioneer. He blazed a contrail to be followed by a long line of airline CEO’s who were not interested in creating viable companies, but only in personal profit. First he sold the routes and then the planes, and then he jumped— wearing perhaps the first golden parachute, leaving employees, who had invested their lives in the company, without pensions, and to start over.
Carl Icahn isn’t really an “investor” as he claims. C.E. Meyer, then chairman of Trans World Airlines, called him “one of the greediest men on earth,” others would call him a “corporate raider,” and terms of endearment used by his casualties— “Icahn the Barbarian” and “vulture capitalist.”
He took over companies, sold the good parts to pay the debt used for the purchase, screwed over employees to enrich himself, and moved on to his next victim. His unscrupulous practices are sadly common place in today’s corporate world.
So back to his resignation as Donald Trump’s “special adviser”:
Icahn did not say he was stepping down because of Trump’s stance on the Charlottesville White Supremacist violence of a week ago, although he is a Jew. His primary concern is staying out of jail.
Icahn has conflicts of interest. His current business venture is CVR Energy, oil refinery. Regulations instituted by the Environmental Protection Agency were going to cost him $200 million. Trump signed a presidential order to dismantle the EPA on May 28, 2017, and now democrats want to know about Icahn’s interests.
Like the warning to Robert Mueller, who is investigating Trump’s Russian ties – “Don’t look into my personal finances!”
Carl Icahn penned a carefully worded letter of resignation from his job as “special adviser” to President Trump on regulatory reform.
“Indeed, out of an abundance of caution, the only issues I ever discussed with you were broad matters of policy affecting the refining industry, I never sought any special benefit for any company with which I have been involved, and have only expressed views that I believed would benefit the refining industry as a whole.”
Carl Icahn’s letter reads like a recitation of denial of crimes of which he has yet to be charged.