Breakingviews

M&A world could teach niche U.S. colleges

March 16, 2015

The collapse of liberal arts enclave Sweet Briar is bad news for cash-strapped schools across the country. Sagging enrollment has pushed some institutions to offer debt-shy students big discounts on tuition. But that risks a spiral. Merging may be one way to ease the pressure.

U.S. student loans could need $500 bln bailout

February 27, 2015

Borrowing for education has soared over the past decade, ballooning to $1.2 trln and growing far faster than GDP. With serious delinquencies at 11 pct and Washington on the hook, there’s a mess in the making. A Breakingviews calculator shows how big Uncle Sam’s exposure could get.

Harvard could get smarter about its endowment

June 12, 2014

Jane Mendillo, who ran the Ivy League university’s $33 bln portfolio for six years, is leaving. Predecessor Mohamed El-Erian is partly to blame for crisis losses, but Harvard overpaid for mediocre returns. Less of both Yale model investing and Wall Street pay may be in order.

Obama student loan fix spares rod, spoils borrower

June 11, 2014

Extending repayment caps and debt forgiveness to older graduates gives too many high earners a break. Making everyone pay a flat percentage of income would be simpler, fairer – and cheaper for taxpayers. It could also deliver a valuable lesson in financial responsibility.

Pearson makes a tidy turn in the merger market

November 29, 2013

The UK publisher is selling Mergermarket to private equity at an enterprise value of 382 mln stg - far more than it paid for the news and data firm. Loyal subscribers, good cashflows, and potential bolt-on deals are probably bigger draws for the buyer than any M&A resurgence.

Trump gives for-profit education an even worse rap

August 26, 2013

American schools looking to make a buck have been scrutinized recently for taking students’ money but providing lackluster results. The Donald’s foray into the industry did it no favors. New York’s $40 mln lawsuit underscores the need for institutions to make credentials clear.

Former junk bond king has more leverage than ever

May 1, 2013

Three decades after Michael Milken mastered raising money he now trades mostly in intellectual capital. This year, the likes of Carlos Slim and Tony Blair joined old friends at his annual Beverly Hills jamboree. These growing networks are a better sort of crony capitalism.

“Schwarzman scholarships” have many beneficiaries

April 22, 2013

The Blackstone founder’s $100 million donation for a Beijing study programme may not be wholly philanthropic - China lost much more than that investing in his buyout firm’s IPO. But improving links between Chinese and Western elites is a noble and necessary cause.

U.S. student loan trouble discredits their value

November 28, 2012

If pricey education provided the hoped-for labor market edge, then 11 percent of student loan balances shouldn’t be overdue. The proportion of delinquent education debt has surpassed even late credit card balances. Maybe students need better vetting.

West still rules in global education

By Edward Hadas
October 5, 2012

The original homelands of modernity - Europe, the U.S. and their close cousins - account for 90 percent of the world’s top 200 universities in the new Times Higher Education rankings. Developing nations are trying to catch up, but this cultural advantage is likely to persist.