Skip to main content

Monthly US IPO filings collapsed



IPO filings. month by month, when graphed as above yield a very volatile line, much more volatile than the S&P 500 index represented by the overlain blue curve there. 

Nonetheless, the recent collapse in the quantity of IPO filings by United States companies is remarkable. As you see, in late 2007 and in the early months of 2008 the IPO market almost disappeared entirely.  But the line was headed back up BEFORE the worst of the crisis. The worst, you may remember, began with the bankruptcy of Lehman and the sale of Merrill Lynch for a fire sale price. That was in mid September 2008, during the upswing in IPO rates you see in the middle of the graph.

Simplifying greatly, there was a high in 2010, a month with 35 IPOs, and a lot of lows later that year and throughout 2011.  Then a recovery getting above 40 IPOs per month a couple of times in 2013 and again in 2014.

Since then, though ... collapse, fairly consistently month to month. ONLY THREE IPO FILINGS IN FEBRUARY. We're back down to those early 2008 levels.

This is very significant, because public offerings have long been a key engine of growth for a wide range of businesses, and a step in their maturation. The IPO means that an enterprise has left the world of private equity and entered the world of the public listing, and that is accordingly the moment of pay-out and reward for those who successfully invested during the hardscrabble private-equity days.

The financing system is changing, and not for the better

The reason for this collapse, I can't help but believe, has a lot to do with the dysfunctions of market structure we've seen building up since the GFC. The arm's race of high frequency traders, the literally robotic nature of much trading, so that human discretion disappears from the picture for long periods of time, the flash crashes and mega-glitches that arise in this situation. The world of public listing no longer looks like the land of promise.

We should all be worried about this. 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

England as a Raft?

In a lecture delivered in 1880, William James asked rhetorically, "Would England ... be the drifting raft she is now in European affairs if a Frederic the Great had inherited her throne instead of a Victoria, and if Messrs Bentham, Mill, Cobden, and Bright had all been born in Prussia?"

Beneath that, in a collection of such lectures later published under James' direction, was placed the footnote, "The reader will remember when this was written."

The suggestion of the bit about Bentham, Mill, etc. is that the utilitarians as a school helped render England ineffective as a European power, a drifting raft.

The footnote was added in 1897. So either James is suggesting that the baleful influence of Bentham, Mill etc wore off in the meantime or that he had over-estimated it.

Let's unpack this a bit.  What was happening in the period before 1880 that made England seem a drifting raft in European affairs, to a friendly though foreign observer (to the older brother…

Cancer Breakthrough

Hopeful news in recent days about an old and dear desideratum: a cure for cancer. Or at least for a cancer, and a nasty one at that.

The news comes about because investors in GlaxoSmithKline are greedy for profits, and has already inspired a bit of deregulation to boot. 

The FDA has paved the road for a speedy review of a new BCMA drug for multiple myeloma, essentially cancer of the bone marrow. This means that the US govt has removed some of the hurdles that would otherwise (by decision of the same govt) face a company trying to proceed with these trials expeditiously. 

This has been done because the Phase I clinical trial results have been very promising. The report I've seen indicates that details of these results will be shared with the world on Dec. 11 at the annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology. 

The European Medicines Agency has also given priority treatment to the drug in question. 

GSK's website identifies the drug at issue as "GSK2857916," althou…

Francesco Orsi

I thought briefly that I had found a contemporary philosopher whose views on ethics and meta-ethics checked all four key boxes. An ally all down the line.

The four, as regular readers of this blog may remember, are: cognitivism, intuitionism, consequentialism, pluralism. These represent the views that, respectively: some ethical judgments constitute knowledge; one important source for this knowledge consists of quasi-sensory non-inferential primary recognitions ("intuitions"); the right is logically dependent upon the good; and there exists an irreducible plurality of good.

Francesco Orsi seemed to believe all of these propositions. Here's his website and a link to one relevant paper:

https://sites.google.com/site/francescoorsi1/

https://jhaponline.org/jhap/article/view/3

What was better: Orsi is a young man. Born in 1980. A damned child! Has no memories of the age of disco!

So I emailed him asking if I was right that he believed all of those things. His answer: three out of …