Yvette Kantrow, the executive editor of TheDeal.com, has an incisive piece about how the recent spat of leveraged buyouts is being covered in the business media. Her conclusion is that business journalist come off as being confused about what’s going on and seem to have forgotten the lessons learned in the 1980s covering LBOs.
Kantrow writes: “The media seems to have emerged, well, confused. Witness three recent stories in the big three business glossies: Forbes, Fortune and BusinessWeek. In the past few weeks, each has offered its own take on the buyout boom while reaching divergent conclusions.
“The weirdest and most-wrongheaded of the bunch is Forbes, which takes on private equity in a March 13 cover story. ‘Buyout Bubble,’ the mag’s cover shouts, adding, ‘The mad rush into private equity â€” is your retirement at risk’? The ominous tone continues inside, where its designed-to-scare story is headlined ‘Private Inequity.’ Its over-the-top subhead: ‘Driven by greed and fearlessness, private equity firms are the new power on Wall Street. Investors beware: A reckoning is nigh.'”
Kantrow calls Forbes’ coverage “deeply flawed.” As for Fortune’s article, she notes that things “aren’t quite as rosy in private equity land as Fortune suggests.” BusinessWeek’s piece is “confused” and “simplistic” and turns CEOs into celebrities once again.
“And we thought the age of the celebrity CEO was over,” ends Kantrow.
Read her column here.