Thursday, August 14, 2008

On CNBC's Squawk Box

CNBC's premier morning financial news talk show, Squawk Box, featured the Blackwater chairman on August 14, 2008, in as wide-ranging an interview that seven minutes would allow.

Among the points Prince raised in the interview, prompted by the three co-hosts:

On commitment: "Our guys take tremendous risks. Many have paid the ultimate price. Many have given parts of themselves in the process."

On business expansion: "We’re certainly not focusing as much on security going forward because we take a lot less grief. … It hammers our ability to raise capital. Our training site is growing like crazy, our aviation is growing a lot."

On whether an Obama administration would affect Blackwater's security contracting in Iraq: "All of it is competitively bid. Whoever takes over in January, the US government unfortunately is not going to be born again hard fast innovative and efficient. Someone’s going to do the work. The private sector’s going of be a part of it."

On profitability: "The margins aren’t nearly as good as you think. Law firms, PR firms and accounting firms have much better margins than we do." (Hmm - that raises the question: Is the taxpayer getting a good value in services performed by law firms and accounting firms under federal contract? A Congressional Budget Office study might be revealing.)

On the entry of big, publicly-traded defense contractors to the security area: "We’re uniquely positioned because we have a large facility. No one’s made the investment in the assets that we have. Even our big competitors, the Lockheed Martins, the Northrop Grummans of the world, they are running hard to get into this space but I’m surprised their risk management boards let them do that. They’re one incident away of being filleted in the media like we were."

Here's the direct link to the video:

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