Random Ramblings

Return greetings to the dozen or so of you actually working today. So, what did I miss over the past two weeks? Something about the Magna Carta, continuing credit market woes and more year-end lists than yearly happenings. There was probably a bit more than that, which means that I’ll spend the next few hours reading up on recent history. That will be followed by several hours spent liquefying myself of such knowledge. In the meantime, a few notes:

*** I spent the past two weeks in Costa Rica, catching up and pigging out with J’s friends and family. Almost every single one of them (exception: toddlers) was extremely concerned about the U.S. economic picture, which of course translates onto the global economic picture (or at least the Latin American picture, where decoupling is not yet even a blip). They basically wanted to know if I was expecting a massive catastrophe – I heard the word “depression” twice – or just a minor catastrophe.

Please understand that this wasn’t a bunch of campesinos without television antennas. It was doctors, academics, students, a former oil trader and even a venture capitalist. Many have studied and/or lived in the U.S. And their confidence is completely shot.

Their worry isn’t necessarily predictive, but is still a stark reminder of how things are being viewed from outside of the financial bubble (where “mild recession” seems to be the growing consensus), and from outside of our borders. Probably good for me – and by extension you, dear reader – to get immersed in such thinking now and then… Broadens the perspective.

*** So the Manor Care deal closed while I was gone, and just days after I said on television that regulatory troubles could push it well into 2008. Most interesting comment on the deal came from Manor Care spokesman Rick Rump to The Washington Post, in regards to most senior executives remaining in place: “Carlyle are shareholders, not managers.”

Just shareholders, eh? Either Rump doesn’t understand private equity, or Carlyle’s limited partners don’t understand Carlyle.

*** Sevin Rosen is losing its Silicon Valley partners, according to a report in Private Equity Insider. No surprise, given that past troubles have, in part, revolved around performance differentials between the Palo Alto and Texas offices (although Xensource helped even things out a bit). Alex Haislip has more at peHUB.

*** I’ll leave it to you to determine the year’s largest venture capital deal. When I left, it appeared to a two-way tie between CardioNet and Globus Medical, which each raised $110 million rounds. But today we learn that Motricity has raised $185 million in new funding. The only caveat is that Motricity will use much of that money to help fund a $135 million acquisition of InfoSpace’s mobile services unit.

*** HUGE thanks to my colleagues for filling in while I was gone. Not only here at peHUB, but also at PE Week Wire. Special recognition to Alex Haislip and Eamon Beltran…