MIRROR, MIRROR ON THE WALL…

… who's the best private equity firm of all? In order to preserve our reputation for steadfast impartiality, we at PEI would have to respond to such a highly subjective question with a robust “no comment”. So we asked ask.com instead. The question submitted was simply: “who is the best private equity firm in the world?”. No definition, methodology or qualifying criteria sullied the purity of that very to-the-point question: who's the best? And, proving that even search engines are impressed by global, multi-strategy heft, The Blackstone Group came top of the resulting list of websites (excluding sponsored results). Global SME investor HIG Capital and Dubai-based private equity firm Abraaj Capital can content themselves with having been judged the world's second- and third-best respectively.

QUOTABLES
“I believe in fair value accounting. I think it's hard to run a financial institution if you don't have the discipline which requires you to mark securities to market.”

US treasury secretary Hank Paulson expresses support for FAS 157, the controversial accounting rule that requires institutions to mark their securities to market, during a speech at the New York Public Library.

“If Governor David Paterson has his way, New Yorkers might one day be buying their lottery tickets from the Carlyle Group private equity firm and paying their highway tolls to the Calpers pension fund or the Australian investment companyMacquarie Group.”

In an article for Portfolio.com, Kit Roane anticipates New York viewing infrastructure deals as a way of overcoming its multi-billion dollar tax revenue deficit.

“Pirates of Private Equity Flying Colours Off Australia's Shores” A headline in Australia's Daily Reckoning, from an article discussing private equity interest in the country's energy, mining and financial services industries.

“The allocation to AIM [alternative investments] has exceeded its target, and it appears highly likely that it may exceed the maximum end of the range in the foreseeable future if the public markets do not recover and if distributions do not return to more normal levels.”

From a memo compiled by the California Public Employees Retirement System's investment committee staff.