Q4 2018 was terrific for PE transactions. Massive. The last time we saw such activity was Q4 2007 ($272bn in Q4 '07 versus $277bn in Q4 '18). Problem is, what followed was the global financial crisis. Now, I'm not for a moment suggesting a causal relationship, and circumstances are different (not least the breathtaking amount of money in funds waiting to be deployed) I believe there is something in observing this data point and being mindful of the other. Consumer debt is worryingly high, everyone expects UK retail numbers to be down, stocks are down and Brexit lumbers on. Rapacious optimist that I am, I think we are in for a tough year.
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