Wednesday, December 19, 2007

I Couldn't Have Made This Up

If I had aimed for the effect of maximal sarcasm:

A 710-year-old copy of the declaration of human rights known as the Magna Carta — the version that became part of English law — was auctioned Tuesday for $21.3 million, a Sotheby's spokeswoman said.

The document, which had been expected to draw bids of $30 million or higher, was bought by David Rubenstein of The Carlyle Group, a private equity firm, the spokeswoman said.

The Carlyle Group is regarded by some to be a powerful mover in the shadows. Its members are important and rich and its influence far-reaching. This sort of clashes with what the Magna Carta is ultimately supposed to reflect: the rights of the little people, really.

On the other hand, the Carlyle Group could be just a bunch of very nice people who love the concept of habeas corpus and its roots in the Magna Carta. I guess there is no way to tell.