Grinding it Out

Last week’s feature on Hershey PA proved to be one of our more popular commentaries. Several faithful Lead Lefters recounted their favorite childhood reminiscences of the American epicenter of all things chocolate.

According to one senior banker who grew up in Hershey, Milton Hershey established the town’s K-12 school in 1909. Today the school’s endowment has grown to almost $10 billion. “It must have a heck of an auditorium” was our considered reply.

Figuring out how to deploy unused cash is also much on loan managers’ minds as the year winds down. As usual for the season, most transacting consists of wrapping up existing deals, rather than launching new ones. Fresh buyouts will be considered 2018 business.

Unlike year-ends of yore, there’s no mad rush to get things done by December 31. Tax considerations can drive deal timetables, but the impact of this nearly-completed tax reform bill is uncertain. Thanks to the haste with which the bill sped through Congress, not all its details are fully understood. Some edits were apparently scribbled in the final document’s margins. Comforting.

While there’s relief legislators finally showed they can get something passed, market optimism may dim as the bill’s long-term effects become clear.