This snappy little cartoon has many financially savvy writers and investors furious due to its oversimplified explanation of ‘Evil Private Equity’ transactions.
The makers of this video at WarOnGreed.org, want Joe and Jo Public to pick up their pitchforks and march over to that vile Henry Kravis’ house.
To be honest, I don’t even think the cartoon of Kravis looks like the guy at all. Larry the Loophole looks exactly the same in person, however. The real gripe the WarOnGreed guys have with private equity is with the way it’s taxed, but what do they expect from Kravis? Is he supposed to pay more taxes than he’s legally required, just to make the rest of us happy?
Kravis started his investment company, Kohlberg, Kravis, Roberts and Co. (KKR), back in the 1970s and practically invented the process of the leveraged buyout. By this process, his firm would take out loans to purchase under-performing companies in an attempt to improve them. This video and its makers obviously have a bone to pick with Kravis, the merits of private equity transactions and leveraged buyouts.
Unfortunately for the viewer, the positive sides of private equity are not discussed. In many cases, these buyouts make purchased companies more efficient and help salvage a failing business.
On the other hand, anything that attempts to engage the public and increase financial knowledge is good, right? Plus, I think Larry the Loophole is going to get his own TV show. He’s a very insightful character.