Commentary

SPACs – A Primer (Part II)

Just before Thanksgiving a faithful reader alerted us to an article from Business Insider [link]. In it noted sommelier and “lifestyle director” Sara Lehman reviewed eleven wines – cabernets, pinot grigios and rosés – all under $10. Among selections including Trader Joe’s (“It’s reminding me of apple juice”), Costco (“Give it a nice swirl first”),

SPACs – A Primer (Part I)

After COVID, the elections, and what the fifth instalment of the Scream series will be called (hint: it’s not Scream 5), the topic getting the most attention from our readers is the ramp-up of SPACs, or special purpose acquisition companies. By definition, these vehicles are publicly traded shell companies with investor cash as their only

Now We Wait

Answer: For most of US history, it was March 4, not January 20.Question: What is Inauguration Day? We found ourselves channeling our inner Alex Trebek this week as the nation’s attention began shifting from election matters to vaccine watches. News from Pfizer’s late-stage trials that their COVID-19 vaccine was 90% effective buoyed public equities, sending

Indecision 2020

It’s characteristic of the most bizarre year in memory that the presidential election has ended with a big “TBD.” An unsurprising outcome given the dynamics of voter turnout and mail-in ballots, as well as an almost perfectly polarized political climate. What continues to surprise is how little impact this uncertainty has had on the capital

Canards in the Coal Mine

According to the National Retail Federation some 150 million US adults will “participate in Halloween-related activities.” Digging deeper into the data, 53% will decorate their homes, 46% have pumpkin-carving plans, and 18% will “dress up their pet.” Recognizing some animals are more receptive to costuming than others, having one in five Americans squeezing Fidos into

Of Vineyards and Vintages

Sad news reached us last week on the consumer products front. We’re referring, of course, to Coca-Cola’s decision to discontinue Tab by year end. Launched in 1963 against the first diet cola, Diet Rite, Tab came of age in the 1960’s and ‘70’s, appearing in Back to the Future, Terminator and Ghostbusters. But competition from

The Tyranny of Dry Powder

A recent note from our good friend at Bloomberg, Kelsey Butler, pointed to a study in Astrobiology highlighting 24 planets that could sustain life. Criteria for “superhabitability” include home stars younger than the Sun, Earth-like masses, and atmospheres with warmth and moisture greater than Earth. All these planets are over 100 light years away –

Private Credit – Better than Ever (Last of a Series)

“If you liked private credit before, you’ll really like it now.” – Managing director of a private debt investment firm. As we wrap up our special series on the “new” private credit, let’s look at factors influencing both quantity and quality of deal flow next year. First, the economy. Recent employment numbers point to a

Private Credit – Better than Ever (Fifth of a Series)

Will investor worries about a recession’s impact on private credit come true? We asked this question at the end of last week’s installment in our special series on the “new” post-COVID private credit. With all the distractions related to the side-effects of the coronavirus on the economy and our daily lives, it’s a challenge to

Private Credit – Better than Ever (Fourth of a Series)

We mentioned last week our turn at the SuperReturn North America Virtual conference. There we heard participants weigh in on various aspects of the pandemic on private credit, including impact on terms, structures and portfolio performance. But what about new business? A lot depends on managers’ strategies. Over the past five years, institutional investors have