Commentary

2021: The Great Reception (First of a Series)

It was just another painful ramification of the pandemic. We’re referring, of course, to the nationwide absence of Grape-Nuts on supermarket shelves. Graver consequences of COVID-19 abound, but the whole point of comfort food is to be there in times of duress. First produced in 1897 by Mr. C.W. Post, Grape-Nuts contains neither grapes nor

2020: A Year of Surprises (Last of a Series)

We conclude our special series, “Five Biggest Private Capital Surprises of 2020,” with: Surprise #5: The M&A Big Bang Last July we published a white paper (see “COVID-19 and M&A Activity”) showcasing conversations with leading middle market investment bankers. They reported distinctions between businesses hit by the pandemic and those depending less on the consumer

2020: A Year of Surprises (Part Four)

We continue our special series with the fourth of “Five Biggest Private Capital Surprises of 2020”: Surprise #4: Which Industries Mattered? For experienced credit managers, diversity is a critical guiding principle. This applies to both industry concentration as well as commitment sizes. The question coming into last March’s downturn was, have we made the right

2020: A Year of Surprises (Part Three)

We continue our special series with the third of our “Five Biggest Private Capital Surprises of 2020:” Surprise #3: Where Are the Distressed Loans? Last April as the pandemic crisis unfolded, the CEO of a $20 billion asset manager cited $1 trillion as the volume of potential distressed credit investments. COVID has presented, he said,

2020: A Year of Surprises (Part Two)

We continue our special series with the second of our “Five Biggest Private Capital Surprises of 2020:” Surprise #2: Non-Correlated Trends – Infections, Markets, and the Economy The Global Biological Crisis of 2020 was different from the Global Financial Crisis of 2008 in several ways. Of course, one started with a virus, the other with

2020: A Year of Surprises (Part One)

It’s accepted wisdom in the publishing world that magazines sell better with headlines like “The 7 Fastest Ways to Lose Weight,” “The 5 Most Awesome Martinis,” and “The 10 Hottest Vacation Spots.” Ordinarily a sophisticated finance journal such The Lead Left would never stoop to that kind of promotional gimmick. But, in the immortal words

The Value Props

We typically dedicate the new year’s first issue to reviewing the year gone by. Unfortunately when we emerged from the holidays, 2020 seemed lost in a fog of masks, sanitizers, and Netflix bingeing. Two items in December did manage to penetrate our consciousness. First was an opinion piece from our content partner, Creditflux. Fellow columnist

SPACs – A Primer (Last of a Series)

As we wrap up our special series on SPACs, let’s take a look at the performance of these vehicles over time. Early last year, as SPACs began their rise in popularity, the WSJ reported of those that IPO’ed in 2015 and 2016, over 50% “were trading below their IPO price.” Performance of SPACs in the

SPACs – A Primer (Part III)

In the spirit of the season, workers unwrapping the Christmas tree at NYC’s Rockefeller Center last month found a little present. The 75-foot high Norway spruce trucked from Oneanta, NY was sheltering what appeared to be a baby owl. The unusual stowaway turned out to be an adult northern sawhet, one of the smallest species.

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”),