We used to do some work for a private equity guy who refused to even glance at newspapers or business magazines. His thought was that people who read newspapers were to caught up in the present, and should probably start reading magazines. And he said that people reading magazines should given them up for books.
“Worse than the news. By the time it’s in a magazine, it’s old news,” he’d say. “There’s nothing useful to be learned from them.”
But that isn’t true.
A trio of finance professors have demonstrated that at business magazines are good at indicating the end of a period of abnormal performance. Basically, if a magazine is writing about it, it’s already old news. And that is useful to know.
The study focused on the covers of BusinessWeek, Fortune and Forbes. But they’re old news themselves. We decided to apply the measurement to Portfolio. Glancing at the cover at Portfolio one sees that the magazine cover has, well, nothing. No words except it’s title, subtitle, title, date, and website. And it has a picture of Manhattan rooftops.
So is the message that nothing is over? The Portfolio is over? The Conde Nast is done? New York City is through? “Business Intelligence” is no longer businesslike or intelligent?
Then we remembered that we torn off a cover-flap. It’s stuck between the pages of an biography of Hilaire Beloc that we’ve been reading. Maybe that's where the secrets to what is already over are hiding.
After the jump, the cover-flap stories and our analysis.
Sometimes the Stock Does Better Than the Investor That Buys the Stock [New York Times]
•The New Masters of the Universe by Tom Wolfe.
[Analysis: Either hedge funds are over or Tom Wolfe is.]
•The Scariest Man In Media.
[Analysis: The craze for newspapers comes to an end.]
•A Tiger Woods IPO.
•The (Only) Woman of Private Equity
[Three guesses. Private equity, dead! Going Private blog, dunzo. Private Equity, at its top.]
•Can The Fords Hold On To Ford?
[Get ready for that Ford recovery.]
•Valerie, Scooter, and Me
[Remind us why this is in a magazine that is ostensibly about business.
•The $300 Trillion Time Bomb
[Derivatives no longer a hot market]