Felix Salmon

The SEC comes round to private markets

Jean Eaglesham has a big piece of news today: yes, the SEC is looking into the private share dealings in Facebook. But not necessarily with any kind of enforcement in mind. Instead, it’s thinking about raising the 500-shareholder limit which marks the point at which companies need to start making public filings.

Why private equity markets are on the rise now

I got some predictably super-smart reactions to my questions about private equity markets at the Kauffman Bloggers Forum today.

Brazil’s love of equity

About the same time that “junk bonds” became “high yield” and shortly after “third world” became “emerging markets,” the finance industry quietly engineered another rebranding: “leveraged buyouts” became “private equity.”

More worries about companies staying private

It’s not just me worrying about the implications of fewer companies going public. Tim Geithner thinks the same way:

The downside of companies staying private

I had a pretty involved Twitter conversation with TED today on the implications of the fact that fewer companies are going public. We’re both agreed that from a corporate-finance perspective, the trend makes perfect sense: the all-in cost of private equity is lower than the cost of going public. (For reasons why that might be the case, see here or here for starters.) But broadly speaking, from a public-policy perspective, is this a good thing or a bad thing? My thesis is that it’s a bad thing.

Why Facebook’s investors want it privately-traded

John Abell asks a very good question about a privately-traded Facebook:

Aren’t all the people investing at this moment assuming that a $50 billion valuation is a bargain? What will drive a higher valuation — let’s limit it to the Goldman Sachs Golddiggers — that makes the investment savvy?

Facebook doesn’t care where Goldman gets its funds

The NYT is reporting that Goldman Sachs only made its $450 million investment in Facebook after its in-house private equity fund, Goldman Sachs Capital Partners, passed on the deal.

Rattner’s rabbi

At the bottom of the NYT‘s long and fascinating account of the feud between Andrew Cuomo and Steve Rattner, there’s a startling kicker:

Who deserves the credit for GM?

Andrew Ross Sorkin loves private equity.

Sorkin finally get around to responding to Malcolm Gladwell today, and he’s unimpressed. Here’s how he frames the question: