Sep 22, 2017

Private equity is the new bank

The Sterling Group is a Texas private equity firm that has focused on mid-market buyouts for more than 30 years. But now it's raising up to $225 million for its first-ever private credit fund, according to an SEC filing. This comes one day after Capital Dynamics said it was launching a private credit business, which itself followed numerous similar announcements from private equity shops that look a lot more like Sterling Group than giants KKR or Blackstone (which began building credit arms years ago).

  • Numbers: Private credit funds raised $21.1 billion in Q1 2017, which was up 63% over the same period from last year, according to EY. Over half of that was for direct lending.
  • Why it matters: We hear a lot from politicians about how "banks have stopped lending" to anything but the largest of companies, thus requiring a rollback of financial regulations. But if you buy the first part of that argument, it seems that private equity is moving in to fill the void.

Go deeper

Coronavirus updates: CDC monitoring 4 presumptive positive cases in western U.S.

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

State public health authorities are monitoring four new presumptive positive cases of the novel coronavirus as of late Friday evening, per the CDC. California is evaluating a second possible instance of community spread as Oregon announced its first possible case. Washington state has two presumptive cases, only one of which is likely travel-related.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,900 people and infected more than 85,000 others in over 60 countries and territories outside the epicenter in mainland China. The number of new cases reported outside China now exceed those inside the country.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 4 mins ago - Health

Don't panic

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The stock market is heading south with unprecedented velocity. Does that mean it's crashing? Are we in a recession? Is this a financial crisis?

No, no, and no.

Sanders' big socialism rebrand

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Bernie Sanders is trying to rebrand socialism in the U.S., but he'll have to overcome common fears about what the word means — fears the Trump campaign is watching and waiting to exploit.

Why it matters: Sanders may face a major challenge in convincing Americans in their 40s or older that there's a meaningful difference between what he supports, described as democratic socialism, and the authoritarian socialism that we've seen in regimes like Venezuela.