German’s leftwing SPD politicians have been bashing those symbols of hated capitalist activity, private equity buyout funds which look out for distressed firms, sell off some of the assets and reconstruct the remainder in the hope of turning a business around, before selling it at a profit. How shameful. Such people are “locusts” destroying Germany’s economy, scream the politicians (who of course have been doing a tremendous job on that score).
In fact, I find all this abuse rather encouraging. If entrepreneurs see value in the German economic landscape, and perceive there are rich profits to be made in turning around businesses and then flogging them off, it is very good news indeed for the country’s economy. By releasing capital from uneconomic areas and focussing it on lucrative new bits, the overall pie gets bigger, jobs get created, and productivity is also increased.
In fact, one could almost create a new economic law: the amount of abuse raining down on entrepreneurs is directly proportional to the good they do. I haven’t seen much reason to doubt this law yet.