Private equity haiku<link rid="fn1">&#42</link> of the month

In the third of a series, PEI applies an ancient art form to a modern (private equity-related) setting:

My thoughts are haunted

By terms of yesterday's funds

Default, rescue me

“Business must adjust to the idea that this stagnation could last for many years. The age of free money from mad lenders is finished. The growth game is over. Whole swathes of industry are on life support. The banks are in desperate straits. If their management cannot see that, then they are even more incompetent than they are portrayed.”

British entrepreneur Luke Johnson, whose private equity firm Risk Capital Partners recently closed its first institutional fund

“Over the past four years, I have expressed great concern about the state of Western economies, how leveraged they were, and about our financial systems. However I did not foresee either the speed with which recent events would unfold or how systemic and deep the collapse would be.”

Guy Hands, founder and chairman of London-based buyout house Terra Firma, in the firm's annual review

“If Chrysler is really on track for a turnaround and all it needs is some financing to get over a bad patch in sales and debt markets, why doesn't Cerberus Capital Management, which owns 80 percent of the company, put up the money itself? Why should taxpayers have to take the risk? That's what private equity funds like Cerberus are supposed to do.”

An editorial in the New York Times newspaper in response to the latest $5.3 billion government bailout for Cerberus-owned carmaker Chrysler

“The boom had attracted a lot of tourists into the industry, both GPs and LPs, with limited understanding of what they were doing. These tourists will leave, leaving the rest of the industry to go back to what historically it has been good at, which is: one, be the disruptive force in industries that need disruption and two, empower people.”

Danny Truell, CIO of the Wellcome Trust, speaking at European Private Equity & Venture Capital Association's Investors' Forum in Geneva.

*Haiku is a short, naturalistic form of Japanese poetry, which first began as a kind of humorous light verse, known alternatively as haikai or hokku. It has three lines with 5, 7 and 5 syllables, respectively.