Friday, January 18, 2008

David Rubenstein says private equity is now in the Purgatory Age

Rubenstein, of Carlyle Group and Magna Carta fame, just spoke at Wharton's Private Equity conference today in Philadelphia. He likened the Eighties buyout era, in all its RJR glory, to the Bronze Age. The Nineties were the Silver Age of expansion, ending due to the tech bubble bursting. We just finished up the Golden Age.

Now we are in the Age of Purgatory. It started with a bang, too.

Hopefully we will speed through it.

Rubenstein struck me as incredibly grounded and poised. As he dealt with the protesters and shared some of his humble beginnings, I sensed a great deal of authenticity. When, as a former aide, he admitted that Jimmy Carter wasn't qualified for office, I knew this was a man who could confess, repent, and win.

UPDATE: Guy Hands of Terra Firma says that his summer prediction of $3 trillion of liquidity drain and $300 billion of bank losses was too optomistic. This probably made him a little grouchy.

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