DEBTUMENTARY

As Warren Buffett blesses the $4.7 billion acquisition of Constellation Energy Group, a US power company, by MidAmerica Energy – a portfolio company of Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway – PEI can't help but wonder what Constellation management makes of recent comments by the great man at a town hall meeting on America's debt crisis: “I try to buy stock in businesses that are so wonderful that an idiot can run them – because sooner or later one will. And maybe even the present management. Our country's like that.” The town hall gathering took place in Nebraska immediately following the screening of IOUSA – a new documentary designed to raise awareness about America's $9.6 trillion national debt. In July, the rights to the film were acquired by Blackstone Group senior chairman Peter Peterson's eponymous foundation, which he created with his proceeds from the Blackstone IPO to raise awareness about critical issues facing America's future – among them, the country's debt crisis.

QUOTABLES
“Our LPs are very comfortable with our status as a public company. They understand the long-term strengths it brings to the firm and that their interests and those of Blackstone and its partners are still precisely aligned.”

A Blackstone Group spokesman quoted in the Wall Street Journal at around the same time as reports surfaced that pension giant CalSTRS was considering committing just $250 million to the latest Blackstone fund compared with $1.7 billion to the firm's previous fund.

“The regulator has the power to look back as far as it wants into the past and I don't think that is fully appreciated by everyone.”

Darren Mason, of Grant Thornton, on the decision by the UK's Pensions Regulator to force Duke Street Capital to contribute capital to a former portfolio company, Focus DIY, quoted in the Financial Times.

“Into theWild: oil-company executives see a chance to strike it rich with start-ups hungry for experienced managers.”

Headline of a Wall Street Journal article looking at the huge capital sums being offered by private equity firms to experienced oil and gas industry managers to launch energy start-ups.

“Investindustrial believes that financial and industrial investors have a duty to play a major role in making the world a better place to live in.”

Part of a statement issued by Southern European private equity firm Investindustrial announcing the launch of its inaugural sustainability report and signature to the UN Global Compact principles.