Mark to Market (Short Academics & Long Optimism)

MIT released a study that indicated that private equity and venture capital marks tend to increase as the public equity market increases. Shockingly, the marks don't decrease, correspondingly, when the equity market decreases. Choice quote, "'We make no claim that this behavior is intentional...[i]t is quite plausible that private equity managers subconsciously produce positively biased valuations merely because they are optimistic.'" Riiiiight. Color us cynical, but we think it's pretty hard to justify that 2-and-20 when an ETF is up 18% and your risk-adjusted return is -3.3%. But optimism. Sure.