2020 Surprise #1: The SnapBack

Because last year was so unique, to really capture its themes adequately we’re kick off our special series: “The Five Biggest Private Capital Surprises of 2020.” Surprise #1: The Market Snap-Back Hard to remember now, but by last March 23rd the Dow plunged almost 11,000 points in less than six weeks to 18,592. Today it […]

Private Credit: A Good 2020 Story

December was lost in a fog of masks and Netflix bingeing. But one item that penetrated our consciousness was a superb credit webinar, courtesy Lincoln International. Their data, gleaned from over 1600 portfolio companies, are a strong proxy for private credit behavior: For example, sector performance underlined valuation advantages for less COVID-impacted industries such as […]

SPACs - The Final Word

As we wrap up our special SPAC series, let’s take a look at the performance of these vehicles over time. According to research firm Renaissance Capital, of the 200-plus SPACs launched since 2015, 107 have completed mergers and gone public. Shares in those issuers averaged a loss of 14%. Compare that to an average regular-way […]

SPACSs: Weighing the Benefits

Workers unwrapping the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center last month found a little present. The 75-foot high Norway spruce from Oneanta, NY was sheltering what appeared to be a baby owl. The stowaway turned out to be an adult northern sawhet that hid in the branches until it was discovered. No word whether “Rocky” planned […]

SPACs: Colorful blank checks

For Thanksgiving the noted sommelier and “lifestyle director” Sara Lehman reviewed eleven wines – cabernets, pinot grigios and rosés – all under $10. Selections came from Trader Joe’s (“It’s reminding me of apple juice”), Costco (“Give it a nice swirl first”), and BJ’s (“I’m getting some barnyard”). The winner? Target: “If I were to bring […]

SPACs are Back! What are They?

Besides COVID, the elections, and what the fifth instalment of the Scream series will be called (it’s not Scream 5), what’s getting the most attention is SPACs, or special purpose acquisition companies. These are publicly traded shells with cash looking to buy businesses. SPACs were originally designed to help smaller companies access public equity. For […]

Credit markets: Volumes vs Vaccines

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 elections to vaccines. Pfizer’s trial results sent Wall Street to record highs. But on Main Street rising infections are propelling a […]

Post Election: Markets March On

Given all that’s gone on this year, it’s unsurprising that Election Day came and went, with only a big “TBD” to show for it. Results now are mostly in, but this uncertainty had little impact on the capital markets. The S&P had its best week since April and bond yields sank only mildly. As is […]

Private Credit: Not So Scary

150 million US adults will “participate in Halloween-related activities,” according to a survey. 53% will decorate their homes and 18% will “dress up their pet.” We tried to imagine getting our cat Serena into a pumpkin costume. Not happening. But we are encouraged Americans are spending for the second-costliest holiday of the year. Putting cash […]

Private Credit - Good Grapes and Bad Grapes

We were sad to hear of Coca-Cola’s decision last week to discontinue Tab by year end. Launched in 1963 Tab was a pop culture icon, appearing in Back to the Future and Ghostbusters. But competition from Diet Coke spelled its demise. It takes superior management to keep brands vital. Remember Scooter Pies, Quisp, or FudgeTown […]