Regaining My Footing

Greetings from the home office, where I’m glad to be back after a two-week respite. Just a few notes as I hop back into the saddle…

*** Last Friday, The New York Times reported that Blackstone Group executives will essentially pay no taxes on their individual IPO gains, because the executives will receive good will deductions that typically are passed on to regular shareholders. Blackstone took the unusual step (for Blackstone) of firing off a press release that characterized the NYT article as being “filled with inaccuracies, myths and misrepresentations.”

I need a few more hours to analyze the matter before passing judgment, but here’s one thing that both sides acknowledge: What Blackstone did is perfectly legal, and was disclosed in its pre-IPO filings with the SEC. So no whining from any IPO buyers who now feel they got a raw deal. All they had to do was read the prospectus. If it was too long at more than 300 pages, then just say “pass.”

*** Yes, that was me on CNBC during my vacation. Yes, I appeared right after a segment on workaholics. So kind of so many of you to notice the irony.

*** Hillary Clinton has taken a (belated) position on the carried interest tax debate, by referring to the current system as a “glaring inequity.” She joins Democratic frontrunners Barrack Obama and John Edwards in supporting a change in tax treatment for carried interest, while GOP candidates like Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney say they want to maintain the status quo. Wonder how this will affect Q3 donations for the Dems from buyout pros, hedge fund managers and venture capitalists…

*** Totally unrelated, but… A quick promotion for something called Urban Dare, which is like a one-day Amazing Race within a single city. J and I competed in the Boston version on Saturday, and it was great fun (even though we got crushed and our legs are still aching). You can get the future schedule and more info here
*** Tomorrow I’ll be speaking and moderating in Washington D.C., as part of the Mid-Atlantic Venture Association’s Vanguard series. The topic is private equity as an exit avenue for VC-backed and growth capital-backed companies. You can get more info here…