Monday, February 26, 2007

Private Equity-Too Much Liquidity?

CNBC was gossiping this morning, talking about "the market" and they were talking to some guy (sorry, forgot his name!) about the big TXU (Texas Utility) private equity acquisition, and Mark Haynes (not a fan at all but he does ask the right questions from time to time, in between relentless cheerleading) asked if the deal wasn't so much about market conditions but really a matter of private equity liquidity, in other words, there's too much money available in private equity.

The trader somewhat agreed, and that's the point, really. Wonder where all of our money has gone? The "Market." There have been a large number of these privitization deals of late, due in large part, IMHO, because these firms have all of our money, courtesy of BushCo. Consider this snippet from one article discussing the deal.

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Texas Pacific Group led a group that included Goldman Sachs and three other Wall Street firms that will pay $69.25 per share, or about $32 billion, for TXU, and assume TXU's debt. [...]

Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers, Citigroup and Morgan Stanley also intend to be part of the purchasing group at closing [...]

TXU also said former Secretary of State James A. Baker III will serve as advisory chairman to the new owners, former EPA Administrator William Reilly and former Commerce Secretary Donald L. Evans will join the TXU board.

Now, I'm not criticizing the deal, it sounds like there are plans for some seriously good environmental concessions as part of the deal, time will tell of course, The firms won support for the buyout from some environmentalists who have criticized TXU by agreeing to sharply scale back TXU's controversial $10 billion plan to build 11 new coal-fired power plants that would produce tons of new greenhouse gas emissions, there's that 'ol ubiquitous "some" for one, but it just seems to me that too few people have too much money, that for all of their incompetence, stupidity, and delusion, that's one area where the Bush Administration has been quite successful. And given George W's inabiltiy to find oil both in Texas and the Persian Gulf, you have to think that somebody else has been in charge of that part of the government.

If only that bunch had allegiance to anything besides money.

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