Fillon is on the ropes, and Macron unveils a flabby agenda.
French presidential candidate François Fillon bills himself as his country’s Margaret Thatcher—ready to bury the statist shibboleths that have punished the French economy. But his chances of implementing a Thatcherite agenda look grim after the Republican nominee faced a preliminary indictment this week over alleged misuse of taxpayer funds. Such a pity.
The French judiciary on Wednesday ordered Mr. Fillon to face allegations that he paid his family members nearly a million euros ($1.06 million) for doing little or no work for more than two decades. The former Prime Minister has apologized, but he denies wrongdoing and says he is the victim of a political “assassination” by leftists in the judiciary. Having vowed earlier to resign the center-right Republicans’ nomination if he faced a formal indictment, Mr. Fillon now says it is up to voters to decide if he should stay or go.
Yet his calls to slash 500,000 civil-service jobs now elicit accusations of hypocrisy, and a recent poll found that three of four voters want him out of the race, including 53% of Republicans. A senior adviser quit the campaign after the preliminary indictment, and other party allies have said they are suspending support for Mr. Fillon. The Republicans are stuck, not least because few serious candidates would want to take ownership of a bleeding campaign. This is especially disappointing because none of the other candidates offers a clear pro-growth path out of France’s doldrums.
That includes Emmanuel Macron, the former investment banker who is running as an independent. With the Fillon implosion, Mr. Macron is betting he can capture centrist voters alarmed by the hard-left Socialist nominee, Benoît Hamon, and the hard-right politics of Marine Le Pen, the current frontrunner.
For months Mr. Macron held off unveiling his agenda but promised to put France “on the move” and stand up for young voters frustrated by red tape and a corrupt political class. The bright spots of his agenda, detailed last week, are a pledge to cut 120,000 government jobs and slash the corporate-tax rate to 25% from 33% over five years. But that’s where his reform mojo ends. The full program he unveiled Thursday would maintain the 35-hour workweek and the retirement age of 62. He would create more taxpayer-funded vocational training, expand jobless insurance and hire 5,000 more teachers. The rest is mostly minor bureaucratic tweaks dressed up with the grand rhetoric that is a Macron signature.
If polls are right—and France is lucky—Mr. Macron would defeat Ms. Le Pen by as many as 10 points in a runoff. But hopes that this year’s election would offer French voters a real reform alternative are increasingly dim.
Response to “France’s Disappointing Reformers”, WSJ, March 2017
When a nation is blessed with democracy and cursed for decapitating their King and Queen their manifest destiny is for sure to be in doubt.
For the sad Republic de France after serial years under socialist near Marxist doctrine and the erosion of their values, eyesight and bearings they have reached the precipice of not only national decline and irrelevance but the edge of surrender of individual liberty and the probable emergence of the new caliphate of the devil of Islam.
A discussion about leadership and their four hapless choices merely confirms these fears.
Yes, François Fillon is the closest to a sane choice yet hindered by traditional Gaullist taboos of the untouchable “Etat” and unfairly riddled for practices that have been understood throughout the 5th Republic and before. Apart from him there is a free fall to insanity. Benoît Hamon has never made any sense, a radical red he would be better off moving to Cuba or Venezuela. As for Mr. Macron, we have the typical vacuous empty headed French; a mediocre non-descript provencal investment banker trying with smoke and mirrors to make a paper machete leftist seem enlightened.
Leaving us with the social nationalist LePen. She too is in fact a radical leftist termed ultra-right nationalist with policies from the bog of failed philosophies hatched in the early 20th century by deranged narcissists preying on the fears, and misguided hopes of the disappointed citizenry.
There is no choice for true good if Fillon fails in his own flames. The insider view, unwritten and unstated likelihood is that LePen could emerge the victor.
If so the thin hope is that the country can be resurrected out of the carnage and ashes that are sure to ensue. Don’t bet on it.
Robert F. Agostinelli
Pope cuts penalties for paedophile priests – including one let off with just a lifetime of prayer for abusing five young boys
- Pope Francis said to be applying his vision of a ‘merciful church’ to sex offenders
- He reduced sentence for Rev Mauro Inzoli from defrocking to lifetime of prayer
- But Vatican spokesman said abusive priests are also removed from the ministry
Pope Francis has been slammed by church officials and sex abuse survivors for cutting penalties for paedophile priests.
The Pope is said to be applying his vision of a ‘merciful church’ to sex offenders by reducing punishments to weaker sentences, such as a lifetime of prayer and penance.
It has been revealed by church officials that Pope Francis overruled advice given to him by the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith about two priests – allowing them to be punished by a lifetime of prayer.
One of the priests was the Reverend Mauro Inzoli, who was found guilty of abusing young boys by the Vatican in 2012 and was ordered to be defrocked.
However, he appealed, and in 2014 Francis reduced the penalty to a lifetime of prayer, prohibiting him from celebrating Mass in public or being near children, barring him from his diocese and ordering five years of psychotherapy.
Rev Inzoli was then convicted by an Italian criminal court for his sex crimes against five children as young as 12.
He is now facing a second church trial after new evidence emerged against him.
A church official has said some paedophile priests and their high-ranking friends appealed to Pope Francis by citing the pope’s own words about mercy in their petitions.
They said: ‘With all this emphasis on mercy … he is creating the environment for such initiatives.’
Marie Collins, an abuse survivor and founding member of Francis’ sex-abuse advisory commission, expressed dismay that the congregation’s recommended penalties were being weakened.
She said: ‘All who abuse have made a conscious decision to do so. Even those who are paedophiles, experts will tell you, are still responsible for their actions. They can resist their inclinations.’
Many canon lawyers and church authorities argue that defrocking paedophiles can put society at greater risk because the church no longer exerts control over them.
They argue that keeping the men in restricted ministry, away from children, enables superiors to exert some degree of supervision.
But Ms Collins said the church must also take into account the message that reduced canonical sentences sends to both survivors and abusers.
‘While mercy is important, justice for all parties is equally important,’ she said.
‘If there is seen to be any weakness about proper penalties, then it might well send the wrong message to those who would abuse.’
Comparatively, his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, rarely granted clemency petitions and defrocked 800 priests, who had raped and molested children, during his eight-year papacy.
According to the church official, Pope Francis also ordered three staffers to be dismissed – two of whom worked for the discipline section that handles sex abuse cases.
But Vatican spokesman Greg Burke said they will be replaced and staffing is set to be strengthened after the Pope approved hiring more officials.
He said: ‘The speed with which cases are handled is a serious matter and the Holy Father continues to encourage improvements in this area.’
He also dispelled rumours that sex-abuse cases would no longer be handled by the congregation, saying the strengthened office would handle all submitted cases.
Mr Burke added the Pope’s emphasis on mercy applied to ‘even those who are guilty of heinous crimes’ and priests who are found to be abusers are permanently removed from the ministry but are not necessarily defrocked.
He said: ‘The Holy Father understands that many victims and survivors can find any sign of mercy in this area difficult, but he knows that the Gospel message of mercy is ultimately a source of powerful healing and of grace.’Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4259164/Pope-quietly-trims-sanctions-sex-abusers-seeking-mercy.html#ixzz4Zyp461Bb
Robert Agostinelli’s Response to “Trump’s New Start With Russia May Prove Better Than Obama’s” by John Bolton.
Executive SummaryThe 2015 HEC-DowJones Private Equity Performance Ranking lists the world’s Top PE firms in terms of aggregate performance based on all buyout funds raised between 2002 and 2011. This ranking answers the question: “Which firm(s) generated the best performance for their investors over the past years?” The ranking draws on a comprehensive set of data on PE fund performance provided by DowJones and directly from PE Firms and uses a unique methodology to calculate the aggregate performance of a PE firm based on difference performance measures for all the funds managed by this firm. The method is able to aggregate performance across vintage years and considers relative and absolute returns. In total, we analyzed performance data from 309 PE firms and the 554 funds they raised between 2002 and 2011 with an aggregate equity volume of $1015bn.
The Ranking: Top 30 out of over 300 PE Firms
|1||Vista Equity Partners||3.03|
|2||Odyssey Investment Partners||2.88|
|3||Waterland Private Equity Investments B.V.||1.66|
|6||Clayton Dubilier & Rice||1.35|
|8||Berkshire Partners LLC||1.28|
|9||ABRY Partners LLC||1.25|
|11||Rhone Capital LLC||1.08|
|12||Apollo Investment Corp.||1.07|
|13||Littlejohn & Co. LLC||1.00|
|14||American Securities LLC||0.84|
|15||BLUM Capital Partners||0.84|
|16||Trilantic Capital Partners||0.77|
|18||Leonard Green & Partners LP||0.74|
|19||Baring Private Equity Asia||0.63|
|20||Centerbridge Partners LP||0.62|
|21||Water Street Healthcare Partners LLC||0.54|
|24||Hellman & Friedman LLC||0.41|
|25||Oaktree Capital Management LP||0.37|
|27||Charlesbank Capital Partners LLC||0.26|
|29||Lindsay Goldberg LLC||0.24|
|30||Silver Lake Management LLC||0.22|
The Private Equity industry is notorious for being opaque and access to any data is chronically difficult. In particular, little is known about the performance and competitive behaviour of the key PE Firms. While performance rankings exists for many other areas (the best ‘business school’, the best ‘place to work’, the best ‘stock market analyst’ etc), nothing worth that name exists in PE. Until recently, the only available rankings for Private Equity were based on size
alone, which has very limited meaning. Since 2009, HEC Paris and DowJones have joined forces to publish regular rankings of PE Firms based on their historic performance and expected future competitiveness respectively.
Simply Speaking, what does the performance ranking mean?
This ranking answers the question: “Which firm(s) generated the best performance for their investors over the past years?” It draws on performance information from all buyout funds managed by a given PE Firm and aggregates their performance based on a novel and proprietary methodology (see below) into one overall performance score.
What are the data sources behind the rankings?
To obtain a most accurate picture of the universe of PE Firms and their investments, we drew on a variety of available databases and performed a number of cross-checks of the information used in this study. We used the DJX DowJones database as the primary database for fund performance information, in addition to an increasing amount of information directly provided by PE Firms to HEC for the purpose of these rankings.
While HEC has access to additional proprietary information on the activity and performance of
PE Firms (HEC Buyout Database), this data is anonymous and cannot be used for this study.
How have the evaluated PE Firms been selected?
We gathered data, as of October 2015, on the universe of PE firms worldwide on which DowJones provides performance data or which provided data directly to HEC for the purpose of the performance rankings. This results in a sample of 309 PE firms and the 554 funds they raised between 2002 and 20011 with an aggregate equity volume of $1015. From this starting sample, we selected all those PE firms that met the following objective criteria:
- At least 2 funds which raised over the 2002 to 2011 period for which full performance information is available;
- At least $1000m raised during this time;
- At least 10 observation years (i.e. the sum of the ‘age’ of all funds as of today);
It is our intention to limit the analysis to PE Firms that are of relevant scale in terms of their activities. (i.e. minimum capital under management). Also, we want to make sure that we do not
report any ‘one-hit-wonders’, hence the requirement to have at least 2 funds with full performance information and 10 ‘observation years’. We do not consider funds raised after 2010, as their performance is still too unreliable to be judged at this point.
How large and representative is your sample of PE Firms?
The 86 firms that passed the criteria raised 276 funds between 2002 and 2011 with total equity of over $782bn. This corresponds to over 70% of the starting sample in terms of equity.
How has the aggregate past performance been assessed?
Private Equity is an asset class that makes it particularly challenging to assess the aggregate performance of a given PE Firm. Performance is typically recorded at the fund-level (and not for the entire PE Firm). Furthermore, three factors make the aggregation of performance to the firm- level challenging:
- Alternative, complementary performance measures are used to assess performance (e.g.
- People disagree whether firms should be assessed according to their absolute performance or based on the performance relative to a performance benchmark.
- Private Equity Firms typically manage a number of limited-life funds raised at different vintage years simultaneously and the so-called J-Curve phenomenon makes it difficult to say, whether a 4-year-old fund with a 15% IRR is better or worse than a 7-year-old fund with a 20% IRR.
In a project sponsored by advisory firm Peracs Due Diligence Services, Prof. Oliver Gottschalg from HEC School of Management, has developed a proprietary methodology1 that makes it possible to comprehensively assess the aggregate performance of all funds managed by a Private Equity Firm. The basis for this assessment is the performance of each fund, measured in terms of three complementary performance measures: IRR, DPI (cash-only return multiple) and TVPI (a return multiple that considers accounting values of ongoing investments). We assess performance in each measure both as absolute values and measured against the corresponding performance benchmark, leading to 2*3=6 performance indicators.
These six indicators are then combined for multiple funds based on a proprietary statistical method that considers the empirically-derived historical reliability of performance measured at a given ‘fund age’ as weights. The intuition for this method is as follows: We determined empirically the reliability of performance of funds that are 2, 3, 4… years old. Our sample included detailed data on the evolution of the performance of 492 actual buyout funds over time. Imagine, the performance of a 3-year-old fund predicts its final performance with 35% accuracy, while the performance of a 5-year-old fund predicts its final performance with 70% accuracy. We would then give twice as much weight to performance data of 5-year-old funds than to the performance data of 3-year-old funds in the aggregation. Finally, we combine all six performance measures to a single performance score2 using a standard statistical method called ‘Principal
1 US and International Patents Pending
2 The extracted factor has an Eigenvalue of 5.1 and captures 86% of the total variance of all 6 performance measures.
Component Analysis’. This makes it possible to compare the overall value creation ability of
Private Equity Firms across all their funds.
How to Interpret the ‘Aggregate Performance Score’?
The aggregate performance score is neither an IRR-type annual return measure nor a money multiple. It can only be interpreted relative to the average aggregate performance score of all firms we analyzed: An aggregate performance score of 1 means that a given PE Firm has an aggregate performance that is one ‘standard deviation’ above the average performance, which would position it typically at the 85% percentile, i.e. 85% of all firms would have a lower aggregate performance. Also, an aggregate performance score of 2 means that performance is twice as high as for an aggregate performance score of 1. A PE Firm with the average performance has (by design) an aggregate performance score of 0.
How sensitive are the results to the valuation of unrealized investments?
The valuation of unrealized investments has only a small impact on the rankings. First, we only consider funds that are at least four years old. Second, according to our methodology, young (with relatively more unrealized investments) funds carry less weight in the performance aggregation than older funds, as we consider that the performance of younger funds is inherently less precise. Finally, two of our six individual performance measures (DPI) consider cash-on- cash performance only and ignores valuations of unrealized investments.
What does the ranking not capture?
The Performance Ranking is backward-looking by definition. It cannot capture recent changes in the strategy, the core team or the fund/deal size of a PE Firm. As such, it may not capture all elements of the current competitiveness of a given PE Firm.
The confidential nature of the PE industry makes it impossible to compose a 100% accurate database on private equity and we cannot exclude the possibility of biases in our results due to missing or inaccurate information. However, we rely on the same data sources typically used to compose industry-standard statistics of PE activity and we consider our data by far the ‘best available’ for this kind of analysis.
This material has been prepared on the basis of publicly available information, internally developed data and other third party sources believed to be reliable, however, HEC Paris and Peracs, LLC have not sought to independently verify information obtained from these sources and makes no representations or warranties as to accuracy, completeness or reliability of such information. This material is for information and illustrative purposes only, is not investment advice and is no assurance of actual future performance or results of any private equity segment or fund. HEC and Peracs do not represent, warrant or guarantee that this information is suitable
for any investment purpose and it should not be used as a basis for investment decisions. Nothing herein should be construed as any past, current or future recommendation to buy or sell any security or an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy any security. This material does not purport to contain all of the information that a prospective investor may wish to consider and is not to be relied upon as such or used in substitution for the exercise of independent judgment.
I found this on the Evening Standard site in England – CA
Mayfair club owner Robin Birley has always been a staunch backer of the Republicans. He was an enthusiastic supporter of George W Bush, holding parties on Presidential election night at Annabel’s in Berkeley Square to celebrate his victories.
So last night, Birley’s first US election night at his new club, 5 Hertford Street, was a bit of a fizzer. He was hosting a private dinner for Robert Agostinelli, billionaire private equity hedge fund manager and Romney supporter.
The invitation described it as “a sit-down dinner and it will go on all night until we win”.
Perhaps they’ll have to carry on for another four years now.
Posted in Blog
This was in a financial the other day. Though it appropriate. CA
Rhône appoints Rothschild veteran to front Europe push
Another Italian article I found.
Banca Imi e Unicredit si sarebbero mosse in qualità di advisor su una serie di private equity e alcune offerte sarebbero già al vaglio
Front and center of this disgrace is the shattering of our alliance with life long allie, Israel. Colored as a personal confrontation between Bibi and Obama belittles the magnitude of the latter’s intent to undermine and even erase Israel’s existence. It is joined in an embrace of one of our most dangerous enemies, Iran. It has confused everyday Americans and every Arab state that understands the motives and design of this creature from that deep well where they chant to this ludicrous notion of the lost Imam and the return of their Caliphate.
A man who proclaims he wishes a world without nuclear weapons and proceeds to unilaterally disarm the stabilizing peaceful force of the country of his oath while enabling our murderous enemies the certainty of ultimate possession of the same is the edge of treason and irresponsibility dressed as sophisticated diplomacy. Forcing Israel to heal to strong arm tactics and threats, with disclosure of their own nuclear secrets and plans of proactive defense while inventing once again the Palestinian rouse as the real threat to regional peace, are all part acts of a foe not a friend. Finally the term of the Ayatollah of “Big Satan” rings true for reasons that world make our Founders turn in their graves and remind us to all re read the Federalist Papers to understand the threat to our Republic of the usurper we call POTUS.
For tiny Israel they are forced between a rock and a hard place and recalling their mantra of ” never again”. Regretfully they must pull the trigger of self defense in an environment where they are already well past the due date.
Robert F. Agostinelli A Founding Leader of The Friends of Israel Initiative.