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The Private Equity for Families Blog

Insight for those interested in private equity or direct investment in privately-held businesses. The opinions expressed in the PE4Fams blog are those of Rob McCreary and not necessarily those of CW Industrial Partners or its employees.

The 2% Titration Experiment

The 2% Titration Experiment One of our portfolio companies specialized in the remediation of chemical waste. It often received shipping manifests for liquids purporting to be a harmless mix of chemicals. Once that barrel had been accepted for processing the contents of the barrel became our portco’s environmental responsibility.

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Book Review: “The Price of Time”

I have been doing some reading on what most of you would consider a boring topic- the history of interest rates. James Grant calls this book by Edward Chancellor “A masterpiece of history, analysis—and properly understated outrage.” It is called “The Price of Time.” What fascinated me was “understated

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Strong Dollar Thrashes The World

After travelling to Scotland this Fall I was surprised by the conversion rates into British Pounds. Meals, lodging, beer and even golf balls were much cheaper than 2021 when this trip was first planned. Somehow this did not make sense given all our domestic problems. What about our rising

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Rowboat Investing

One of the challenges of having a rowboat is learning to navigate forward by constantly looking backward. This is unique. No other mode of transportation has your future course decided by a point behind you— a rock, a buoy, shoreline trees or a mooring. Unless your head can spin

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Grease Is The Word

In a tribute to Olivia Newton John who died last week and who at age 29 acted as teenage Sandy to a 23 year old John Travolta in “Grease” I dedicate this timely reminder that grease is still the word. Recent discussions with several of our portfolio companies suggest

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Inflation Playbook May Distort Reported Earnings

There are many lessons from the 1970’s and 80’s “Big Inflation” about interpreting reported financial results to determine if a public company is doing well or not. One of those lessons was wage inflation lagged, not led, price increases in goods and services. This stretched out the period of

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Manufacturing Is Homeward Bound

After decades of globalization where manufacturers expanded supply chains to access low labor cost countries like China and Vietnam, manufacturing is coming home. Here is a chart from The Daily Shot showing China wage advantages versus the US have declined: According to a recent article in Bloomberg titled “CEOs

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Credit Card Toxicology Report

My recent research on financial literacy has helped me understand credit cards may be the number one enemy of consumer welfare for the foreseeable future. Here are some of the top ten findings from an article by Samantha Rose on December 22, 2021 writing for OPPU at www.opploans.com about

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TikTok Promotes Financial Responsibility

When I got my first job in 1976 going out for dinner was a new experience.  As associates in a law firm you were asked to help recruit summer interns who might be candidates for a permanent job. The big problem was none of us had any credit and

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Musk Eschews Deal Math

Elon Musk shocked many private equity firms when he proposed acquiring Twitter in a going private transaction for $44 billion plus fees. Twitter had struggled after the recent departure of its bearded co-founder and CEO/messiah, Jack Dorsey.  Here is a chart of Twitters stock price since April 2017 courtesy

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Tightening Its Own Noose

Quantitative easing was pure honey. Buying low yield, new issue Treasury bonds, buying government mortgage-backed securities, and providing overnight liquidity with yield through a repo facility were the important tools for 21st century central banks. They worked beautifully and provided liquidity and momentum for just about every asset class

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A Greyhound In Your Future?

A return to normal travel protocols is creating some surprising twists. Based on my family’s experience with airline travel this spring here are four new rules for domestic airline travel: 1. An airline reservation is simply a highly profitable call option exercisable only by the airline in its absolute

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Sneak a Tax

Wait until people start getting their 2022 real estate property assessments and their new real estate tax bills. After decades of small increases in property taxes, state and local taxpayers are completely unprepared for what inflation has done even without any rate increases. Property Taxes Are Not Indexed A

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Weaponizing Financial Systems and Networks

A new armory of weapons for punishing international transgressions or restoring global economic order has recently been displayed. Whether it is economic sanctions imposed by the US and the EU on Russia for unprovoked attacks on Ukraine or the Canadian government breaking up a trucker blockade by freezing credit

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A Fink May Be Voting Your Index Shares

Charlie Munger may be approaching 100 years old, but he is still sharp, and, more importantly, he is independent of the big money influences on Wall Street. Among that elite group is Larry Fink, Chairman and CEO of Black Rock. Black Rock dominates the index fund business with $10

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Cryptocurrencies May Shine If Inflation Persists

We are all getting a pretty good understanding of scarcity. When you combine it with demand you get $50 steaks and used cars worth more after 5 years and 40,000 miles than they were right off the lot. We are all hoping the demand for goods and services will

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Are You Feeling Wealthy, Punk?

Detective Harry Callahan, Dirty Harry, was played by Clint Eastwood in a series of movies beginning in the 1970’s. As a detective for the SFPD Dirty Harry was highly unconventional in his approach to policing. For example, he did not carry the standard issue police revolver, preferring instead a

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Money, Like Water, Will Seek Equilibrium

The wealth management industry has a prediction dilemma. Like environmentalists trying to predict where you could safely preserve five trillion gallons of newly created fresh water, crafting an asset allocation strategy for 2022 is complicated. $5 Trillion is slightly more than the gallon volume of water in Seneca Lake

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Momentum May Highlight Worldwide Winners

Everyone likes momentum, especially mountain climbers. 2022 will present a” Seven Summits “challenge for US and world economies. That challenge was popularized by Richard Bass in 1985 who set out to summit the highest peaks on all seven continents. He was successful and his exploits demonstrate how connected and

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The Fed’s Balance Sheet Mirage

Does anyone really understand what it means for The Fed to “monetize” Treasury Debt it purchases? Does it evaporate? Is it just a book keeping entry? Does it have to be paid back?  And to whom?  I was curious enough to consult The Google with the following search “What

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This blog represents the views of Rob McCreary and do not reflect those of CW Industrial Partners or its employees. This blog is not intended as investment advice. Any discussion of a specific security is for illustrative purposes only and should not be relied upon as indicative of such security’s current or future value. Readers should consult with their own financial advisors before making an investment decision.