A Biblical view of the recession
There have been a lot of analogies to describe the financial pain of the current economic recession, but CCMP Capital Chairman Gregory Brenneman evoked a more holy view.
“A prolonged recession feels a little Biblical to me. It’s like the story of Joseph — seven years of feast, seven years of famine. It feels like we’re in year two to me,” Brenneman said.
He said he expects U.S. unemployment to hit 10-11 percent before the recession ends, and real GDP (gross domestic product) will be down 2 percent.
“Recovery won’t happen until the back half of 2010. That means nobody really knows, but it’s going to be a long time from now,” Brenneman told the Wharton Restructuring and Turnaround Conference in Philadelphia on Friday.
Despite his view that the U.S. was mired in economic famine, Brenneman said it was a great time for private equity firms to buy good assets for low valuations.
“Really good companies are priced the same as so-so or bad companies. It’s a great time to buy things you couldn’t otherwise buy,” he said. ”The best P/E times have been in times like these,” Brenneman said.