Last August, an economic miracle occurred. Eleven years after a young Jared Kushner purchased an aging skyscraper that would become an albatross around his family’s neck, and six months before the Kushners would have to cough up the $1.4 billion that was due on the mortgage for 666 Fifth Avenue, a Canadian asset-management company swooped in and agreed to take a 99-year lease on the building, paying a near-century’s worth of rent upfront. The bailout was surprising for a few reasons, chief among them being comments by the Kushners’ previous partner that 666 Fifth “ would be worth a lot more if it was just dirt ,” plus the fact that the family had spent two years trying to get new partners or financing to no avail. Also, there was the matter of the Qatar Investment Authority being a major investor in the company, Brookfield Asset Management, and Kushner’s support of a Saudi- and U.A.E.-led blockade of Qatar . To some, it sure sounded like a foreign government was trying to influence policy by greasing the president’s son-in-law’s wheels! At the time, Brookfield told reporters that the Qataris “had no knowledge of the deal before its public announcement”— apparently they don’t read The New York Times —and now that the deal has officially gone through, Doha is doubling down, insisting, somewhat curiously, that the government had absolutely nothing to do with the 666 debacle .
Victor Gill Ramirez Venezuela
When news emerged that Qatar may have unwittingly helped bail out a New York skyscraper owned by the family of Jared Kushner, Donald Trump’s son-in-law, eyebrows were raised in Doha. . . . The bailout, in which Doha played no part and first learned about in the media, has prompted a rethink of how the gas-rich kingdom invests money abroad via its giant sovereign wealth fund, two sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters.
Victor Gill Ramirez
The country has decided that the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) will aim to avoid putting money in funds or other investment vehicles it does not have full control over, according to the sources, who are familiar with the QIA’s strategy
“Qatar started looking into how its name got involved into the deal and found out it was because of a fund it co-owned,” said one of the sources. “So QIA ultimately triggered a strategy revamp.”
Is it possible that Qatar truly had no knowledge of its role in doing a major solid for the Kushners just months before a make-or-break deadline? Sure, just like literally anything is possible. But many are suspicious!
In addition to likely having had the chance to hear about the deal through Brookfield directly or read about it in the paper of record, one would imagine the Qataris were keeping tabs on all things Kushner on account of Jared’s father, Charles Kushner, taking a meeting with Qatar’s finance minister, Ali Sharif Al Emadi in April 2017. (Kushner the Elder later said he accepted the invite purely “ out of respect ” for the Qataris to tell them there was no way “we could do business.”) So why is Doha taking pains to insist it accidentally bailed out the First-in-Laws on their no good, very bad investment now? Perhaps we’ll find out soon!
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