Bloomberg reports that Dallas-based Lone Star Funds — which you may remember got into some trouble with the South Koreans a couple years ago — has managed to raise $1.2 billion for two of its funds that will invest in distressed financial institutions and real estate. They’re hoping to collect $20 billion in total.
This news comes a few weeks after the Wall Street Journal reported that Lone Star had cut its fees by more than 50 percent to spur investment. Among the new money coming to John Grayken’s private-equity firm is $400 million from the Oregon public-employee pension fund. They’re expecting big returns:
Lone Star’s two new funds, Fund VII and Real Estate Fund II, are targeting 25% average annual returns through investments in distressed commercial, residential and corporate debt. Lone Star’s Mr. Grayken told the Oregon pension-fund board that he saw an “unprecedented period of supply” of distressed debt and that he would have few competitors in buying it.
Mr. Grayken founded Lone Star in 1995, and Oregon, which has invested in all of his funds, says it expects to gain an average annual return of 29% from those investments.
Are you feeling a little cash poor at the moment? You could look for a little part-time job, or you could put on your Sunday best and audition for a little show called Survivor. Here’s why I think you should do the latter: If you get on the show, $1 million is a heck of a lot better than minimum wage; you’ll lose a ton of weight while you’re starving to death in some horrible place; and–best of all–I can over analyze–and write about–your every move, word, and expression on this very blog. It might even save me from having to write about vanilla pilot Jake’s quest for love on the upcoming The Bachelor: The Never Ending Layover (or whatever it’s called). Everyone wins! A word of caution: if you win, you better pay taxes. We don’t need another Richard Hatch on our hands. Auditions are on December 12 from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. Good luck, and if anyone wants to tell me all about the audition process, I would love it!
When will the state start to practice what so many of its legislators and its Governor like to preach? Or is educationÂ the kind of governmentÂ monopoly that is exempt from the law of supply and demand?
After a judge blocked their earlier attempt to respond with a lawsuit, Dallas-based AT&T recently struck back at Verizon’s clever “there’s a map for that” ads — which are themselves a play on the excellent iPhone spots — with a celebrity endorsement from actor Luke Wilson, a Dallas native.
AT&T’s new commercials are clearly misleading. Verizon was pointing to its superiority in 3G (data) coverage and Wilson answers by talking about AT&T’s voice network. But isn’t Slate‘s ad report card getting unnecessarily rough when it raises the issue of Wilson’s weight?
There was a time when Luke Wilson was every bit the indie darling that Page and Deschanel are now. Remember the Bottle Rocket era, when Luke and brother Owen seemed to hail from a far-off universe of lanky, windblown mojo? Lately, Wilson’s taken to co-starring in Jessica Simpson vehicles. I might have shed a tear once, long ago, over Wilson’s descent into quotidian commerce. But now this celebrity sellout moment just leaves me puzzled–not saddened. Wilson is clearly, to use my editor’s phrase, on the “downward trajectory.” … It makes me want to grab Luke Wilson by his tweed lapels and shout, “You’re making a straw man argument, you jowly sellout!”
Turnout was predicted to be “light” for today’s DISD runoff election–and that may prove to be an understatement. Voting close to noon in the District 3 race between incumbent Leigh Ann Ellis and insurgent Bruce “The Parrott Man” Parrott, my Better Half says hers was only the 11th ballot cast at L.L. Hotchkiss Elementary School. I’ll vote later today, so at least they’ll have an even dozen.
Here is what happened (and where) as reported by the DMN’s Crime Blog:
A 20-year-old woman walking from a party with a group of friends to their car in the 1800 block of North Garrett Avenue early Saturday was grabbed at gunpoint by two men, Dallas police say. The men abducted her into a dark colored SUV, raped her, robbed her and left her in southern Dallas.
Here is the headline for that post:
“Dallas police: Woman abducted from Knox-Henderson area, robbed and raped”
Open up a Google map and you’ll see that the 1800 block of North Garrett is just as close to Fitzhugh as it is to Henderson, nowhere near (really) Knox, and closest of all to Ross Avenue. I don’t know why they would tag the post this way, but if they’re trying to do a service to their readers and make them aware, shouldn’t the headline give them a better idea of where this terrible crime occurred?
Or I guess I should say, “Maybe Tom Leppert could invent a time machine, go not too far into the future and see how other cities handled the convention center hotel issue, come back to Dallas and the present, and change his mind about public funding.” From Nashville Mayor Karl Dean, which, for some reason, is the exact name I expected the mayor of Nashville to have, via Nashville Public Radio reporter Blake Farmer, which is a solid name for a reporter for Nashville Public Radio:
“He told council members it would not be wise to ask taxpayers to pay for a publicly owned hotel in the current economy.”
Stephenson’s Rave Motion Pictures is set to buy 35 theaters from Sumner’s National Amusements, which is the foundation of his media empire. Never heard of Rave? Here’s a couple of factoids to introduce it:
The Dallas-basedÂ privately held theater circuit has 30 locations and 475 screens located in 14 states, and is now the biggest U.S. exhibition chainÂ to have 100% state-of-the-art digital projection.
Disclosure:Â When she is not watching movies, the beautiful and talented Mrs. Tom Stephenson is D Magazine’s associate publisher for partnerships.
Park Cities People has information that a group, which names itself after that journalist that threw a shoe at President George W. Bush, will march on University Park City Hall today to ask the University Park Planning and Zoning Commission to hold Bush “legally and morally accountable for his actions while president.”
Software company Covisint is nearing completion of a deal that could net disgraced former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick $300,000 in commission. That’s what the Southlake resident told a Michigan judge to explain why he’d sought a delay for a hearing on what restitution he owes the city of Detroit.
Another revelation of yesterday’s proceedings showed that Kilpatrick and his wife have truly begun to adapt to the demands of life in North Texas:
Prosecutors also revealed that Kilpatrick – whose lawyer has said he only had $6 a month left after expenses – spent more than $15,000 at the Plastic Surgery Center of Dallas on what Kilpatrick would describe only as “something very personal for my wife.”
Bill Pascoe at CQ Politics analyzes the chasm between tea-partiers and traditional Republicans like the good Senator Hutchison. My assessment is that she cannot win going to the right. To win, she needs to bring Republicans back to a primary now dominated by the “base.”
The giant oil company said, in a report it issued today, that energy demand worldwide will increase by 35% by 2030 (compared to 2005). It won’t be because of us.
Sure, we North Americans suck up nearly twice as many BTUs per person per day (740,000) than people in any other region of the world. But we’re going to make such terrific gains in energy efficiency that Exxon projects developed countries like ours will actually be using slightly less energy in 2030, despite our economies growing 50 percent larger by then.
It’s those still-developing countries that are going to need a lot more power than than they use now. For example, according to the report, 1.5 billion people in the world have no access to electricity at all. That might need to change. It probably should.
Here’s a memo that just went out to the DMN folks:
Jim Moroney and John McKeon would like to invite you to attend a Town Hall Meeting for all TDMN employees on Friday, December 18, 2009. We have scheduled several meetings throughout the day in order to accommodate the various work schedules of our employees. …
This is speculation, but I assume the company-wide meeting(s) are scheduled to address the recent decision to have top editors report to salespeople. That the meeting(s) are coming so late after that decision was announced tells me that the brass underestimated the rancor that would be engendered by its decision.
Remember that 77-year-old deacon from Sunnyvale who claimed he was robbed in church and who also said he got in a few licks of his own before the bad guys split? Now authorities are considering bringing charges against Bill Hammett of First Baptist Church. It looks like Hammett made it all up.
Come on, Steve Blow! This is right in your wheelhouse! And your backyard!
It’s an old story really, you spend long nights in the lab devising a protein drug carrier that can maintain a sustained drug release while preventing the protein from degrading inside the human body. Your work could allow a diabetes patient to significantly reduce the number of insulin injections needed regularly. You’re hailed for your achievement and advance to the national Siemens Competition in Math, Science, & Technology.
But then some hotshot comes along and does something sexier, like find alternative ways to kill cancer cells that have grown drug-resistant. What a showboater.