March 16, 2006

Who wants to marry a private equity graduate?

An interesting indicator about our wonderful youth in Business Schools, from Paul Kedrosky:

Twin Peaks and Contrarian Private Equity Indicators

I've written various times here on the current excessive ardor among MBAs and the like for private equity and venture capital, despite the relatively small number of jobs. There are some particularly choice examples in a New York Sun piece today on the hunger for private equity:

Harvard's Venture Capital and Private Equity course has 192 slots, but 400 students applied (half the Harvard class)
"Almost 75% of HBS students want to do private equity or venture capital", said one student
700 of Wharton's 1,600 students are members of the private equity club
600 of Columbia's 2000 students are members of its club

As one Columbia professor says at the end of the piece, surges of MBA interest in anything generally indicate a market top. It happened in investment banking in 1987, in real estate in the early 1970s, in dot-coms in the late 1990s, and, after a private equity mini-peak in 2000, and to paraphrase the giant in Twin Peaks, it's happening again.

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