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Showing posts with label The Economist trillion. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Economist trillion. Show all posts

August 23, 2010

A useful industry that will probably become more useful as it becomes less grandiose

Less Pomp and Circumstance and more humbleness is wanted from private equity, according to The Economist.  The recent article goes on to go over the same, tired hypothesis that private equity developed a weak model of using bank debt madly (which the banks were throwing at Private Equity) and buying up companies like drunken sailors.
Yes, and the government policies and mortgage craziness had nothing to do with the last three years?
The Economist does grudgingly admit that zero of the top 20 companies owned by private equity have gone under or needed a bail out, while banks have been wiped from the top 100 Bank list. Canadian banks find themselves in the top 20 banks in the WORLD!
Here is a look at the article:

IF PRIVATE-EQUITY outfits were once the kings of capitalism then during the credit crunch they behaved a bit like George III. Gripped by a bout of madness, they overpaid for firms at the top of the economic cycle and loaded them with too much debt. Today private-equity types are quick to admit things got out of control, just as in the buy-out booms of the late 1980s and 1990s. Most big shops, including Blackstone (see article), are keen to clean up the mess and move on. Yet it will take the industry a long time to rebuild its credibility.
Capitalism still needs private equity in its pure form. The stockmarket is not good at dealing with some firms—those that need surgery, are in the grip of bad bosses, or in industries that fund managers sniff at. Then it can make sense to have a lone, obsessive owner—particularly if it uses a dollop of debt to concentrate managers’ minds and locks in its own investors so long-term decisions can be made. The mere threat of a buy-out also helps keep managers at all listed firms on their toes.
The 2005-07 boom was damaging because it was so wild. Some $1.6 trillion of buy-outs took place—not far off the total for the preceding three decades, after adjusting for inflation. There was also a shameless degree of mission creep, with buy-out firms investing in volatile industries that are allergic to debt, such as semiconductors, and taking stakes in listed firms much as any investor might. A few private-equity outfits even listed their own shares and managed to keep a straight face.