Early 2010 – Calling A Turn In The Economy

Joseph Schumpeter, the legendary economist and political scientist, called it “creative destruction” when a severe downturn ravaged a wide range of industries, sectors and nations – ruining growth, devastating jobs and squeezing credit in the process.

Well, we’ve certainly seen plenty of “destruction” over the past 18 to 24 months; now it’s time for the “creative” part, and it should start sometime early in 2010, when the economy’s healing process begins to make itself felt.

That’s right. I believe the economy is beginning to mend and knit back together. As we all know, the “destruction” has been excruciatingly painful and dislocating, but it has cleared out the uneconomic and unproductive investments and set the stage for steady new growth and sustained capital markets-driven enrichment.

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How the Project Finance Market Can Profit From Renewable Energy

In the late 1950’s and early 1960’s, the modern technology sector began its life. Unfortunately, the innovation was there, but the capital market funding wasn’t. So, in 1961, Arthur Rock raised $3.5 million from 25 limited partners and formed a venture capital fund. The rest is history.

A similar void and opportunity exists today in the world of project finance. To put it simply: there’s very little financing available for projects that employ new technology in the fast-moving and fast-growing renewable energy sector. It’s true that the government is helping to fund projects in this area, but public-sector money, on its own, is hardly a long-term solution. To supplement and solidify these efforts, I believe we need to create the equivalent of a junk bond or venture capital market for renewable energy project finance.

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How a Changing Investment Banking Industry Will Finance the Future

Investment banking is going through its most severe dislocation since the Great Depression. The economic turmoil during the 1930s led to the Glass-Steagall Act, which separated investment banks from commercial banks and also introduced new regulations to protect the monetary system. Congress repealed much of Glass-Steagall in 1999. And now, a decade later, it’s all […]

Fine-Tuning Obama’s Plans for the Financial Services Industry

Storm clouds and static keep threatening the already uneasy relationship between Wall Street and Washington DC, and many disgruntled investors and bankers believe the financial services industry is being unfairly singled out for blame by Congress and the Obama Administration. As a veteran investment banker with more than 20 years’ worth of deal-making under my […]

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Embracing Capitalism

I’m writing this as Lehman Brothers closes its doors and Bank of America rescues Merrill Lynch. Clearly, the news isn’t good on Wall Street. And it’s also far from good on Main Street. The economy has lost jobs for eight months in a row, and the nation’s unemployment rate is now over 6 percent, the […]

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Energy Markets Confront the Post-Petroleum Era

Focusing on the supply side of the petroleum markets isn’t the right way to come at this, at least from my perspective. There are more than 300 million acres of public land now available for oil leasing in the United States. Oil companies are currently sitting idle on nearly 70 million of those acres, so there’s plenty of room for new drilling and exploration – we don’t need to add more acreage to the mix.

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The Financial World Enters the Era of Re-Regulation

Michael Butler is chairman and CEO of investment bank Cascadia Capital. He is writing a book titled Financing the Future and the Next Wave of 21st Century Innovation, and is serializing it here at peHUB. What follows is an excerpt from the eighth chapter. It’s been nearly 30 years since Ronald Reagan tore down the […]

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Is the Golden Age of Investment Banking Over?

Michael Butler is chairman and CEO of investment bank Cascadia Capital. He is writing a book titled Financing the Future and the Next Wave of 21st Century Innovation, and is serializing it here at peHUB. What follows is an excerpt from the fifth chapter. The Big Guns have been weighing in on the state of […]

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The Death and Re-Birth of Venture Capital

Michael Butler is chairman and CEO of investment bank Cascadia Capital. He is writing a book titled Financing the Future and the Next Wave of 21st Century Innovation, and is serializing it here at peHUB. What follows is an excerpt from the fourth chapter. A decade ago, every ambitious and analytical business-school student dreamed of […]

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What’s Next for Hedge Funds?

Michael Butler is chairman and CEO of investment bank Cascadia Capital. He is writing a book titled Financing the Future and the Next Wave of 21st Century Innovation, and is serializing it here at peHUB. What follows is an excerpt from the third chapter. I wonder what Alfred Winslow Jones would think if he were […]

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Today’s Global Market Crisis: Changing The World as We Know It

Michael Butler is chairman and CEO of investment bank Cascadia Capital. He is writing a book titled Financing the Future and the Next Wave of 21st Century Innovation, and is serializing it at peHUB. What follows is an excerpt from the second chapter. It’s not the end of the world, but the wrenching global market crisis that’s now unfolding […]

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Introduction: The Path to Prosperity

Michael Butler is chairman and CEO of investment bank Cascadia Capital. What follows is the introductory chapter to a new book he is writing called Financing the Future and the Next Wave of 21st Century Innovation. Butler has agreed to serialize the chapters here at peHUB, and we can expect around one per week: The world is […]