Unit One What Will Be
Unit Two The Era of the Euro Arrives
Unit Three Will We Follow the Sheep?
Unit Four Venture Capitalists—A Really Big Adventure
Unit Five Biology and Human Affairs
Unit Six Science in A World of Turbulence
Revision 1 （Unit One～Unit Six）
Unit Seven Scenarios for the Future
Unit Eight Adam Smith:Right and Wrong
Unit Nine New Myths for the New Millennium
Unit Ten Undermining Social Security's Basic Objectives
Unit Eleven Preparing for the 21st Century:A philosophy for New Thinking
Unit Twelve Foreword to New World Dictionary of the Amenrican Language
Revision 2 （Unit Seven～Unit Twelve)
That's because a growing number of banks —— large and small —— are setting up venture arms to invest in private-equity deals with entrepreneurial companies.At a time when volatility in the stock market, reduced venture-capital investment, and a range of other economic concerns have put some constraints on capital raising, banks' increased involvement as investors is one trend that is .moving in the right direction for business owners.
"There are so many banks doing these kinds of deals now that they've quickly become a standard source of financing to pursue," says Gordon Tunstall, a financing intermediary whose firm,Tunstall Consulting Inc., is based in Tampa.When Tunstall recently raised 100 million for a software company that needed the funds to convert to an application-service-provider model that would substantially broaden its customer base, several banks were among the equity investors. "I'd have to say that they're interested in the same kind of deals that any other professionalprivate-equity investors would consider: companies with at least a 20% to 30% growth rate, good profit potential, and a clear exit strategy;, which might mean an IPO2 or a sale to a strategic partner,"Tunstall says.
Although the trend developed relatively quickly, it seemed for a while as though it might be confined to the nation's largest banks, with Chase3, Bank of America, and First Union emerging as big players."Throughout much of the late 1990s, large banks were successful in finding legal ways around the regulatory restrictions that had limited their abilities to underwrite securities4 and make equity investments," explains Jerome Walker, a partner and banking regulatory expert at Salans, Hertzfeld, Heilbronn, Christy &Viener, a law firm in NewYork City/q-hey were looking for ways to move beyond the small, community-based investments that the government had been encouraging them to make for decades."
The logic behind the appeal of equity was irresistible."The return that a bank can earn on a good private-equity investment is a lot more than the spread between the interest it pays for deposits and the interest it earns on loans," comments Sarah Miller, general Counsel for the American Bankers Association Securities Association, based in Washington, D.C. "This is why we're no longer just seeing the top-tier banks getting involved in what we call 'merchant banking' activities. Even the smaller banks are interested, and many have started getting their feet wet."
A friendlier regulatory environment has also helped clear the path.Although legal restrictionsstill exist —— largely to preserve the financial soundness of banks as they take on new risks —— many types of investment opportunities are now'possible, among them joint ventures or investing in common-stock deals, leveraged buyoutss, and mezzanine （or interim） financing.