Oaktree Capital, which reported a 5.8 percent increase in second-quarter economic net income, is the world's largest investor of distressed debt, which basically means that bad news is good news. "We still need the development of some events that are going to scare the hell out of people," CEO Howard Marks said at a SF conference in June. "That's what gives rise to that great environment where everybody wants to sell and nobody wants to buy. That's the raw material for our greatest returns." Marks, whose net worth is estimated at $1.35 billion, tells the FT that there are plenty of opportunities. "We have the slowest economic recovery since World War II, the worst drought, a dysfunctional government, a soaring federal deficit, and a central bank pressed to use every tool in its toolkit." By the way, L.A.-based Oaktree, along with JPMorgan Chase and Angelo, Gordon & Co., will take over the ownership of Tribune Co. once the company exits Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The three investors will appoint the seven members of Tribune's Board. After that who knows. From DJ:
The firm, best known for its distressed-debt investments, has increased the size of its latest distressed-debt fund. The Opportunities Fund IX, originally envisioned to be around $4 billion, has so far raised $4.6 billion, with $3.4 billion in new commitments received in the quarter. "It's not really that current circumstances have changed that much, but rather I believe the future opportunities may surprise us on the upside," said Oaktree Chairman Howard Marks in an earnings conference call. "The slowing of the economy, the decline in confidence, the hesitance to put money to work, all of these things lead us to believe...we may be able to put a little more money to work than we had thought."