Billionaire Mark Lasley explains where he sees opportunity in the current economy and why rising interest rates are no longer laughing on the phone

  • Recession markets are good for companies like Avenue Capital that make distressed investments.
  • Billionaire CEO Marc Lasry analyzes potential opportunities at the Forbes conference in New York.
  • Lasry sees a surge in demand for high-interest loans of up to 15%.

Mark Lasry has many reasons to like the current economy. One is that borrowers are no longer hesitant about his loan terms.

Lasry is the CEO and co-founder of Avenue Capital Group, which turns a profit in difficult times through high-interest loans and more to distressed borrowers. At a time when interest rates were near zero, some borrowers complained about the terms of the Avenue loan, he explained at Forbes’ Iconoclast conference in New York City.

Referring to JPMorgan’s head of wealth and wealth management, Mary Callahan Ardos, Lazuli said, “I used to say to someone, ‘It’s 8 o’clock,’ and they’d laugh and hang up and call Mary. I was there,” he said. also participated in the panel.

He said the company is now able to offer 10% to 15% financing.

Avenue has proven to be a shrewd player in past recessions. For example, in the dark days of the 2008 financial crisis, despite a dramatic drop in car sales, Ford devoured his motors and his company’s bonds, ultimately doubling his investment. became. That’s just one reason why the crowds at the Forbes conference were interested in hearing him speak. He said he’s already seeing signs of a recession paying off for his $12.3 billion company.

“The world is ugly,” Lasry said of the current economic situation, but he’s optimistic about the situation on Avenue.

“People could borrow for zero, there was a huge amount of capital in the system, and suddenly it was gone,” he said. “There are people now focused on paying off debt and trying to grow, and that’s really hard.”

These opportunities extend to Asia and Europe. He pointed out that China’s economic slowdown will reduce capital inflows to other Asian countries. Avenue He opened a new special circumstances fund for European investments in July. The company has also closed a number of debt financing deals in the past six weeks, including loans to insurance startup Kin, agricultural business Agrovision and publicly traded Aytu BioPharma.

“It’s changed, and I love it,” he said of the favorable climate. “If anyone needs money, call me.”

He also sees a buying opportunity in the stock. “Investors should zig-zag when others zig-zag when it comes to falling stocks,” Lasry said. “It’s better to buy stocks when sentiment is down than when it’s up.”

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