So much money, so little time

The private equity boys took a pass on Tribune (for good reason), but they're interested in just about everything else under the sun - so much so that with stock prices rising, there's increasing concern about cuttting quick - and bad - deals. Steven Rattner, with the private equity firm Quandrangle Group, told Reuters that "we are all feasting off the imprudence of our lenders" and that a the buyout boom is "an accident waiting to happen...Of all the bubbles, the bubble in the credit market today is one of the greatest. It is beyond any rational measure." Uh-oh. What's amazing about all this, as noted by Deal Maker's Dana Cimilluca (courtesy of LBO Wire), is that there's so much institutional money wanting to get into the private equity funds. Why? Because cash is coming back to them faster than they know what to do with it. So basically there's a logjam - not enough cash going out for new deals and too much coming in on completed deals. That why there's so much pressure to buy more companies, even if the companies or the terms aren't so great. It's kind of similar to what happened during the LBO boom in the late 80s.

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Mark Lacter
Mark Lacter created the LA Biz Observed blog in 2006. He posted until the day before his death on Nov. 13, 2013.
Mark Lacter, business writer and editor was 59
The multi-talented Mark Lacter
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