The Great Debate

Are the big banks winning?

By Charles R. Morris
October 24, 2012

The Dodd-Frank Act to re-regulate the big banks was intentionally tough. It was passed in the wake of the 2008-2009 financial crash to end cowboy banking; require far more capital  and much less leverage, and rein in the trading-desk geniuses who pumped up serial bubbles. Since Congress is a poor forum for crafting such a complex statute, the details were left to the expert regulatory agencies.

Why Romney can’t defend capitalism

By Nicholas Wapshott
July 31, 2012

When Fox News worries out loud that Mitt Romney’s failure to account for his time at Bain and his personal tax affairs may represent his Swiftboat moment, it is plain the Republican presidential bid has careened offtrack. The Bain attacks are “part of a strategy by Team Obama to turn Romney’s biggest perceived strength – his business experience – into his biggest weakness,” writes Fox’s Juan Williams. “Romney needs to come clean or his hopes of being president will end long before Election Day.”

Mitt Romney, the Schrodinger’s Cat of private equity

By Tim Fernholz
July 19, 2012

Mitt Romney is a quantum CEO, the Schrödinger’s Cat of private equity: From 1999 to 2002, he both was and was not the chief executive officer and sole owner of a powerful Bain Capital investment fund. After that period, Romney’s surrogates explain, he “retroactively” retired from this post. But, as Schrödinger’s famous thought experiment reminds us, just because you find a retroactively dead cat doesn’t mean he wasn’t previously simultaneously alive and dead.

from James Saft:

Private equity wins, U.S. creditors lose

December 7, 2010

James Saft is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

The move to reform taxation of billions of dollars in so-called carried interest paid to hedge fund and private equity executives is dead and prominent among the mourners should be investors in U.S. debt.

Carried interest and the big lie

June 1, 2010

As an investment strategy, making private equity and hedge fund managers rich is a probable loser. As a tax policy, it is a guaranteed one.

from Commentaries:

The Top Secret PE Exit Strategy

June 4, 2009

The problem with being a private equity investor is that you're subject to long lockups for withdrawing money--sometimes up to 5 years.

3i in distress, please give generously

May 8, 2009

REUTERS– Neil Collins is a Reuters columnist. The views expressed are his own –

from The Great Debate UK:

Don’t say aye, aye to 3i

April 30, 2009

REUTERS-- Neil Collins is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own --

It's hardly surprising that the shareholders in 3i, the listed private equity group, are deeply unhappy at the prospect of having to return 700 million pounds of the 1.75 billion pounds of capital they have received from the company in recent years.

from DealZone:

Pay-to-play funds scandal: Time for a change

April 17, 2009

primackDan Primack is the editor of peHUB, a Thomson Reuters publication.

The New York State Pension Fund kickback scandal is making new headlines. The Wall Street Journal reported that Steven Rattner, the head of the Obama administratino's auto task force, was one of the executives involved with payments that are under scrutiny, citing a person familiar with the matter.

The future is smaller for private equity

April 14, 2009

Margaret Doyle– Margaret Doyle is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are her own –