Hollywood’s love affair with private credit could be a recipe for disaster

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Halfway there! Dan DeFrancesco in NYC, and I’m all for the long-awaited return of the fanny pack.

Reminder: This is the last week of 10 Things on Wall Street. You can still get me in your inbox each day, though — I’ll be the new senior editor and anchor of our flagship newsletter, Insider Today. Sign up here.

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Today, we’ve got stories on deep cuts coming to Credit Suisse, Wall Street interns making bank, and a morning routine that might help you age backward.

But first, an actor in need. 

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1. Private credit goes Hollywood.

A town that loves a good story has a leading role in the biggest one on Wall Street.

Everywhere you look, people seem to be talking about the booming private-credit market. Investment firms stepping up their lending game as big banks pull back has taken the spotlight, even if it’s not always good news.

It’s only natural that Hollywood would want in on the action. But this time it’s not looking to create a movie or TV show about these so-called shadow lenders. Instead, it’s going to them as a customer.

As Insider’s Reed Alexander and Rebecca Ungarino report, media, entertainment, and sports industries have started leaning heavily on non-bank lenders. Private-credit assets under management in media grew to nearly $80 billion in mid-2022 from some $31 billion in 2018, according to an analysis by the data firm Preqin for Insider.

Reed and Rebecca spoke to executives at five private-credit funds about their approach to the space and the opportunities they see in everything from sports content to navigating appropriate use cases for AI. 

Creators having access to the cash they need to develop and produce great content is a positive thing. So in that vein, private credit filling the gap left by banks reconsidering their lending decisions is great.

But it’s also not hard to see how things could go sideways. Ratings agency Moody’s has already raised the alarm, suggesting defaults among borrowers in private credit will rise.

If that’s the case, one wonders how lenders will navigate defaults in an industry where the product isn’t always tangible. If a commercial real-estate developer defaults, a lender can go after the land or the building. But if a screenwriter or a fledgling studio can’t pay back their loan, what is a private-credit firm supposed to do? 

I’m not suggesting these Hollywood-types deserve risk-free loans to pursue creative endeavors. But I think it’s fair to say that industry isn’t as cut and dried as others private credit might be lending to.

Whether the lenders took that into consideration, though, remains to be seen. 

Here’s more on the strategies of 5 firms investing credit in media, entertainment, and sports.

In other news:

2. Pray for Credit Suisse staffers. UBS is reportedly preparing to make deep cuts to the Swiss rival it acquired via a rescue deal earlier this year. More on what to expect.

3. Wall Street interns are crushing it. While most finance employees are worrying about their future — see above — interns seem to be doing just fine thanks to a rise in their pay. More on how intern pay is reaching eye-popping numbers, including two high-profile firms offering $120 an hour.

4. What it’s like managing money for the world’s richest families. Decision makers at 6 family offices share what it’s like being responsible for the fortunes of the ultra-rich. Here’s all the tea they spilled.

5. Billionaire businessman and JPMorgan board member James “Jim” Crown has died. Crown, the grandson of industrialist Henry Crown and theater and hotel magnate Junius Myer Schine, died during a racing crash in Aspen, Colorado. More here.

6. The highest paying job in every state. From cardiologists to construction managers, these are the best-paying gigs for all 50 states. Here’s our interactive map.

7. Hey crypto, here comes Fidelity. The giant asset manager is reportedly preparing to file an application for a spot bitcoin ETF, according to The Block. Fidelity follows in the footsteps of BlackRock, which filed its own application earlier this month.

8. Silicon Valley sure loves doing drugs. High-profile executives in the space seem to have grown a strong appreciation for the use of psychedelics and the impact it has on their work, according to The Wall Street Journal. Let’s take a ride.

9. The definitive guide to Wawa’s hot subs hoagies. A staple of any trip to the Jersey Shore, here’s a ranking of 6 sandwiches from the famous convenience store. Check them out.

10. Here’s the morning routine from an anti-aging expert. David Sinclair claims he has reversed his “biological age” by 10 years. Here’s what he does every morning. 

Curated by Dan DeFrancesco in New York. Feedback or tips? Email [email protected], tweet @dandefrancesco, or connect on LinkedIn. Edited by Jeffrey Cane (tweet @jeffrey_cane) in New York and Hallam Bullock (tweet @hallam_bullock) in London. 


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