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.

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Coronavirus dashboard

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  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 12,573,041 — Total deaths: 561,865 — Total recoveries — 6,915,740Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 3,213,902 — Total deaths: 134,420 — Total recoveries: 983,185 — Total tested: 38,919,421Map.
  3. Public health: Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter: "Please wear a mask to save lives" Fauci hasn't briefed Trump on the coronavirus pandemic in at least two months — We're losing the war on the coronavirus.
  4. Food: How the coronavirus pandemic boosted alternative meat.
  5. Sports: Charge of "money grab" by college football.
  6. World: India reimposes lockdowns as coronavirus cases soar.
  7. 🎧 Podcast: Rural America has its own coronavirus problem.

Scoop: Don Jr. plans convention-week Biden book

Cover via Don Jr.

Donald Trump Jr., in quarantine since girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle tested positive for the coronavirus, says he's used the time to finish a book that he'll self-publish the week of the Republican convention, at the end of August.

What he's saying: Don Jr., whose controversial blasts connect with President Trump's base, told me in a phone interview that "Liberal Privilege" will be his effort to paint a picture of Joe Biden and his record that the press ignores.

Romney calls Stone commutation "historic corruption"

Sen. Mitt Romney. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) on Saturday tweeted a scathing response to President Trump's Friday night commutation of former associate Roger Stone's prison sentence, calling the move "[u]nprecedented, historic corruption."

Why it matters: Romney has emerged as the party's most prominent Trump critic. He sent shockwaves through Washington after announcing he would vote to convict Trump in the impeachment trial — becoming the only Senate Republican to break ranks and vote for the president's removal from office. Now he is the first major GOP lawmaker to condemn Trump's Friday night call regarding Stone.