Private equity is a fancy name for a simple operation. Big dealmakers round up billions, buy companies, strip them down, add debt and resell. Done right, it can add efficiency to the US economy. Done right or wrong, it can and often does put billions in the pockets of the dealmakers.
Last Friday, one of the biggest, the Blackstone Group, went public at a $38 billion dollar valuation. Its bigwig's tax rate - fifteen percent - like that of the poorest Americans.
Now, even some big investor voices worry that private equity is on a bad track for the whole country.
This hour On Point: inside the billionaire's club of private equity.
Roben Farzad, he covers Wall Street for BusinessWeek Magazine.
Peter Brooke, Chairman of Advent International, which he founded in 1984 and which was the first global private equity firm in the industry.
Stephen Lerner, Director of the Service Employees International Union's Private Equity Project.;
Colin Blaydon, Director of the Center for Private Equity and Entrepreneurship at the Tuck School of Business.
This program aired on June 25, 2007.