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Helen Thomas and Zombie Private Equity

April 23, 2013

WSJ: “Private Equity’s Zombie Problem” by Helen Thomas:

So-called tail-end or zombie funds, where the manager’s track record will preclude raising more cash, could total $500 billion, according to Triago.

What can investors in zombie funds do? Not much.

Stakes in zombie funds are unpopular in the secondary market.

At first I thought this article was by the famous political reporter Helen Thomas. I couldn’t understand why she wrote this article but by the time I realized that this was a different Helen Thomas, I had already turned the other Helen into a zombie.

zombie helen thomas

And then I found out she was already made into a zombie at Uncyclomedia Commons

That Helen Thomas is famous for the longevity of her career in the White House press pool and her aggressive questioning of President Bush during the recent war. Comedian Sephen Colbert used her in video segment mockery during the 2006 White House Correspondents Dinner. In 2009 she celebrated her 89th birthday with President Obama but in 2010 she resigned amongst controversy:

When asked for comments on Israel, she replied: “Tell them to get the hell out of Palestine.” and “Remember, these people are occupied and it’s their land. It’s not German, it’s not Poland…” When asked where Israeli Jews should go, she replied they could “go home” to Poland or Germany or “America and everywhere else. Why push people out of there who have lived there for centuries?” She also mentioned she was of “Arab background.”

So it seems at 90 years old she was basically blacklisted from major journalism. Or maybe this was just a good way for her to retire with an exclamation point on her long career of hot questions.

Meanwhile, the above WSJ article about zombie private equity is surely by Helen Mary Thomas, Deputy European Editor for WSJ’s Heard on the Street. She previously worked at FT.

zombie helen mary thomas heard on the street wsj

Financial editors seem to love “zombies”. Is it just because the word is sticky gaining more clicks and page views? or is the meme carrying meaningful information? Are they trying to reduce fear, increase it, reposition it? The managers of zombie funds are likely thinking of themselves as something else. Because, as with the Israeli-Palestinian conflicts, it’s hard to know who are the occupiers and who are credible stakeholders, until after you pick a side… it’s the same with banking – they call some funds, zombie funds, or some foreclosures, zombie foreclosures – but it’s the whole system that is dead.

foreclose on the banks

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  1. ZombieLaw in German | zombielaw

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