Found in 2 comments on Hacker News
dmix · 2020-01-07 · Original thread
There have been studies showing private equity does more good for dying businesses than bad. Congress attacked them heavily during the 2008 crisis and they were the first companies called in to congress to answer "tough questions". But it turns out they didn't cause the crisis and that more companies are better off after PE acquisition (ie, they got turned around for the better and created greater economic production had they not existed). Basically most of those companies would be dead without PE as they are often the only solution left, even if it often seems on harsh terms.

Private equity firms aren't all just corporate raiders of the 1980s that certain politicians try to spin them as.

That's not to say that small towns selling off public services to them is a good idea. Or any other public/private partnership bullshit that is sold as 'free markets' when its the mostly just politicians and their wealthy connections being complete vultures creating things that are nothing like markets.

The book "King of Capital" has a really good overview of the history of private equity:

srunni · 2016-08-26 · Original thread
Right, it's good for a weekend read. I wouldn't say it's completely devoid of educational value. It's interesting to see how Johnson manages his board relationships, as well as the details of the bidding process and how difficult it can be to form partnerships.

The late 80s were definitely a different time, though - the amount of money needed for the RJR LBO is much more easily accessible to people in similar positions in 2016. As of June 30th, KKR's AUM is $131B, while Blackstone is at $356B.

Another good read on PE is King of Capital (

If you're interested in learning the technical details of corporate finance, you're probably best off starting with something like the Coursera class Introduction to Corporate Finance (, and then reading the textbooks referenced by the course for a more in-depth understanding.

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