Is Private Equity Over?

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Remember when somebody proposed that we could predict a market downturn by the percentage of Harvard Business School graduates heading toward law school? Well, we passed that marker last year and things still seem to be humming away. So is the HBS business cycle broken?
Or has it changed? Sure lots of HBS's class of 2006 headed into finance but for perhaps the first time the most popular finance destination for last year's graduates was private equity. Even investment banking took a second to the KKRs, Blackstones. Tommy Lees and Bains of the world. And that shift could indicate that the HBS metric no longer measures what it once did, and decision to go into "finance" may no longer be telling us the same thing about the capital markets as it once did. Since these young financiers aren't going to work for investment banks whose clients are publicly traded operating companies, we may not learn much about the direction of the stock market by their job decisions.
We don't have a big enough sample size to know exactly what the shift of HBS grads toward private equity tells us about the broader ecnomony. Other than that HBS grads like to earn lots of money. But it seems to jive with something we mentioned here yesterday—a general shift away from the public corporation toward the New Model Corporation, the operating company owned by a private equity company which itself may actually be a publicly traded company.
Or, you know, it might indicate what everyone in their hearts always hopes a flood of Harvard Business School graduates in to a field means: that it's already over.
Why a job in private equity pays []