Predictions: 2011 Will Be Good for PE, While Apple Seen Buying Facebook

The holidays are typically a slow time for news and big for predictions.

This morning, David Rubenstein, co-founder and MD of the Carlyle Group, predicted that next year will be a good time for private equity.

Carlyle, which seems to be announcing a deal every week, has invested about $7 billion this year and returned the same amount to investors. “It’s been the best year for us in a few years,” he told CNBC.

As to 2011, Rubenstein says the “signs are quite good, interest rates are quite low, financing is available, equity is available, prices are reasonable for deals getting done.”

Also Monday, FT Alphaville spotlights Saxo Bank’s outrageous, Black Swan predictions for 2011. Every year, Saxo comes out with a list of unpredictable events that could potentially have massive impact. The predictions are inspired by Nassim Nicholas Taleb who developed the “theory of black swan events” (highly improbable and unpredictable events that can have massive impact).

Last year, the bank seemed to hit it right with three of its 10 predictions for 2010, including “Angry American public to form third party in the U.S.”

This year, Saxo Bank forsees the U.S. Congress blocking Bernanke’s QE3 (Congress blocking the Fed’s authority to expand its balance sheet),  as well as Apple buying Facebook. Now that last one isn’t new. Apple CEO Steve Jobs has confirmed that the Apple was in talks with Facebook about partnership opportunities but those discussions went nowhere. Apple has no significant presence in social networking and a warchest of $51 billion. So, if this came true, wouldn’t it be amazing?