Nassim Nicholas Taleb of Black Swan fame predicts that a stock market decline of 20% would take down a lot of private equity firms along with it. Note that Nouriel Roubini predicted a fall of that level when stocks were a tad lower than today.
The grim view is confirmed by a BCG study that said that many P/E firms could fail as their portfolio companies defaulted.
If this were to come to pass, it’s a no-brainer to think the firm’s principals would be in the dole queue for bailout money.
Private-equity firms may follow banks into failure should U.S. stocks extend their worst rout since the Great Depression, said Nassim Nicholas Taleb, author of the best- selling finance book “The Black Swan.”…
The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index has dropped 4.7 percent this year following a 38 percent plunge in 2008 that was the worst in 71 years. Blackstone Group LP, manager of the world’s largest buyout fund, fell 78 percent since the end of 2007.
“Banks are being bailed out, and private-equity firms are going to go next,” Taleb said in an interview with Bloomberg Radio. “These people in a bull market look like geniuses. And now they don’t look that intelligent, and it’s going to get a lot worse for them. If the S&P goes down 20 percent from here, what will happen to private equity firms? They’re all under water.”
As many as 40 of the biggest 100 buyout firms may collapse by 2011 as their debt-strapped assets default, according to a 2008 report by Boston Consulting Group Inc., which didn’t identify the firms in its study.