Tuesday's New York Post carried a blunt reminder of just how painful trying to bottom-fish in a roiled financial market can be. The case study in this instance is none other than private equity giant Warburg Pincus, which was last seen six months ago pumping $800 million into troubled monoline bond insurer MBIA Inc. Let's just say things haven't worked out all that well since that time:
According to its most recent quarterly performance report, which was obtained by The Post and covers the three months ended March 31, Warburg took a $215 million writedown on its MBIA stake ... At the time that Warburg made its first investment in December, MBIA shares were trading at $30. Since then, a collapsing debt market and persistent questions about MBIA and its competitors' financial health have sent the sector reeling, with MBIA shares cratering nearly 90 percent. Yesterday, MBIA shares closed at $3.91, down 3.5 percent.
There's only one word that comes to mind, reading the above. That word? Ouch.