Category Archives: Private equity

Reuters Writes About Our Suit Against CalPERS to Obtain Private Equity Data

We were surprised and pleased when a reporter from the Reuters publication peHUB, Chris Witkowsky, contacted us a couple of days ago about the suit we had filed against CalPERS, the California Public Employees Retirement Systems, over their refusal to provide us with information they had given to three Oxford academics who had used that data as the basis for a recently-published paper.

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Private Equity Industry Floats Trial Balloon For “Get Out of Decades of Flagrant SEC Abuses for Free” Card

In late February, Bloomberg stated that the SEC is “considering” forgiving decades of private equity firms acting as unregistered broker-dealers and possibly legalizing the practice going forward. In case you think this is not a big deal, as we explain later in the post, the SEC is in fact vigilant about enforcing these regulations, so this would be an unprecedented waiver of liability. But richer-than-Croesus private equity firms are special, right?

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We Sue CalPERS Over Denial of Our Private Equity Public Records Act Request

[Yves asked me to sticky this -- lambert]

Although it’s probably sensible to expect a public agency to resist providing information in response to a Freedom of Information Act filing, the lengths to which CalPERS has gone to mislead and obfuscate in trying to thwart my efforts is quite remarkable, particularly since some of the moves CalPERS staff took are in violation of CalPERS’ own procedures.

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Focus on TBTF Banks Misses How Even More Powerful Private Equity Kingpins Are Moving More into Unregulated Parts of Banking

The fact that the world’s biggest banks drove themselves off a cliff yet managed to save their hides and even profit from the exercise while leaving ordinary citizens to pick up the tab is ample reason for citizens and the small cohort of non-captured regulators and politicians focused on their continuing misdeeds.

But as a result, an even more powerful set of financial players, namely, private equity firms, is continuing to expand the scope of their activities with little scrutiny and pushback by the press and public interest groups.

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Bill Moyers and Michael Winship: Advice to Plutocrat Perkins – Shut Up!

Yves here. Billionaire Tom Perkins, who made the widely-pilloried claim that rich people like him were horribly victimized and on the verge of being slaughtered like Jews in World War II’s Germany, managed the impressive task of digging his hole even deeper in a follow up interview.

Bill Moyers, who among his many accomplishments was President Johnson’s press secretary, and his colleague Michael Winship put on their PR professional hat to describe where and how badly Perkins screwed up.

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Congressmen Call for Hearings on Risks of Rental Securtizations

Private equity firms have been playing residential landlord for only a few years, but the impressive amount of capital they’ve deployed in this strategy means they’ve had significant impact in the markets they’ve targeted. Needless to say, that impact does not look to be very positive. A Congressman has called for hearings on rental securitizations out of concern that this structure could make this already not-too-good-looking situation much worse from the perspective of tenants and communities.

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Claire’s Stores: Private Equity Broker-Dealer Violations in Action

In an earlier post, we discussed the ongoing violation of SEC broker-dealer regulations by private equity firms when they collect “transaction fees” for buying and selling companies on behalf of the funds they manage. The 1934 Exchange Act mandates that only SEC-registered broker-dealers may collect transaction-based compensation (subject only to limited exceptions which are not […]

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401(k) Plan Abuses Finally Coming to Light

I doubt that I’m unusual in being a finance type who has heard about 401 (k) abuses and bad practices for a very long time. So it’s gratifying to see the Financial Times that something is finally being done to try to curb this behavior. But that is hardly the full extent of what is rotten in retirement fund land.

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Whistleblower Describes How Private Equity Firms Flagrantly Violate SEC Broker-Dealer Requirements

Last week, Crain’s Business Daily and Fortune reported that whistleblower has provided the SEC with evidence of massive, ongoing violations of securities laws, specifically, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, by several unnamed private equity firms.

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How Wall Street Has Turned Housing Into a Dangerous Get-Rich-Quick Scheme — Again

Over the last year and a half, Wall Street hedge funds and private equity firms have quietly amassed an unprecedented rental empire, snapping up Queen Anne Victorians in Atlanta, brick-faced bungalows in Chicago, Spanish revivals in Phoenix

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Why the “Maximizing Shareholder Value” Theory of Corporate Governance is Bogus

One mantra you see regularly in the business and popular press goes something along the lines of “the CEO and board have a fiduciary duty to maximize shareholder value.”

That is untrue. Moreover, the widespread acceptance of that false notion has done considerable harm.

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IRS Wakes Up to Private Equity Scam

For decades, the IRS has been oblivious to the tax dollars that private equity firms have been stealing from the U.S. Treasury via this abusive fee waiver tax shelter. But NC readers in the tax world have alerted us to recent IRS pronouncements indicating that both the Service, as well as influential tax commentators, have woken up to the scam and don’t like what they see in terms of its compliance with tax law.

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