Open for (Private Equity) Business


Andrew Ross Sorkin, in the course of responding to Malcolm Gladwell, says “the private equity industry and its many lobbyists have been fighting for years to prove their value to the public, producing all sorts of studies and white papers to back up their claims.”

Is this really true? Can I get my hands on some of this money to back up the claims of the private equity industry? It seems to me that they’re clearly correct. Widely dispersed ownership of publicly traded firms presents massive problems of governance and huge misallocations of resources. It’s a necessary evil because it allows for the mobilization of capital that would otherwise be sitting around uselessly. But clearly insofar as private equity dudes are able to mobilize capital in other ways, that’s fine. If there’s a problem of some people getting too stinking rich as a consequence, then those people should pay more taxes. But there’s nothing wrong with there being an industry in that field as such.

I’d say more, but I hereby resolve to not write another word on the subject until someone cuts me a fat check to do so. I’m not too proud to beg.