Could there be any clearer sign of a rate-driven market top in private equity — buyouts, LBOs, etc. — than the Economist’s current cover piece? Titled “Capitalism’s New Kings”, the article is a 14-page paean to the bliss-out wonders of being a private equity guy (and they are mostly guys) in the early 21st-century. It even includes (relatively) un-ironic biz-culture references to prior epoch-defining “It” guys, like junk bond salesmen (“Barbarians at the Gate”) and investment bankers (“Wall Street”):
Today, the private-equity industry has moved from the fringe to the centre of the capitalist action. In the process, the leaders of private equity have earned themselves both wealth and respect — if not always respectability.