Private equity boom or bust…top professions for 2007…and consumer power online

News study says private equity creates value…top professions for 2007…and would you trust a computer to park your car?

Private Equity Boom to Bust?

Research by McKinsey & Company should set at ease the minds of some investors starting to get nervous about the big prices private equity firms are paying for Australian companies. The McKinsey Quarterly reports:

During the avalanche of mergers and acquisitions at the end of the 1990s, many companies overpaid for acquisitions and destroyed value for the shareholders of the acquirers.

M&A activity for 2006 approached new records, as acquirers seem to be creating more value than they did in the past, judging from an analysis of value creation and of the proportion of acquirers that overpay.

Top professions for 2007

No surprise that wishful-thinking journalists at US print media magazine FastCompany have nominated news analysts, reporters and bloggers as some of the top professions for 2007. The other top nine professions?

Experience designer: These talented individuals work in the retail industry, creating the essence and aura of a store.

Medical researcher: Researchers into cancer and Alzheimers disease, and the developers of prosthetics, are the most coveted titles in the healthcare industry.

Web designer: reports that this profession is still in its adolescent phase, and says that 2007 is going to be a new era of web design.

Security systems engineer: Individuals with a head for engineering and computers can easily expect a six-figure salary in this industry.

Urban planners: Prefabricated one-level homes engineered for the aging baby boomer population are changing the face of suburban America.

Viral marketers and media promoters: Not to be confused with someone in advertising or public relations, a viral marketer knows how to build an audience from nothing with little more than rumor and excitement.

Talent agents: As fame and fortune grows for performers and athletes, a new arena opens for their managers, promoters, and general go-to guys.

Buyers and purchasing agents: These individuals are in charge of store inventory and make decisions on item colour, size, quantity, and country of origin.

Art directors: From Broadway to movie sets, any job that involves paint, lights, cameras and action is in demand

Consumer power

Consumers have been comparing mortgage rates and insurance online for awhile, but now they are doing their mundane weekly shopping comparisons online, according to

For example, compares logistics providers, is an online shopping centre where shoppers network and share recommendations based on common likes and dislikes – and get store credits for doing so.

The trend is being fuelled by the rise of blogging and increasing broadband speeds that allow audio and video showing featured products in action to be uploaded with ease.

Would you trust a robot to park your car?

In New York, the city’s first robotic parking opens in February. The Chinatown owners plan to use technology to squeeze 67 cars into an apartment-sized basement that would otherwise fit 24.

The garage itself does the parking, according to the San Francisco Examiner. The driver parks on a pallet, gets out and hangs on to the car’s keys. The pallet is lowered into the garage innards, and transported to a vacant parking space by a computer-controlled machine similar to a lift that runs sideways.



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