Wilbur Ross's presentation to the Oregon Investment Council

Macro Economic Outlook:

  • No double-dip, but no “W”, or “V-shape” recovery either. “It won’t look like any letter in the alphabet, it will look more like punctuation marks (e.g. ! ? - : )”
  • There are still more opportunities in the distressed debt market.
  • The American consumer (70% of GDP) lost 11 trillion in net worth due to the collapse in the real estate market
  • While headline unemployment is 9.7%, realistic unemployment (under employed, no longer looking) is probably double that. Unemployment is no longer cyclical and is becoming structural.
  • Large corporations are in great shape from a balance sheet perspective which is why we are seeing small increases at the top line leading to big bottom line increases. Corporations are doing more with less and creating bigger profits with fewer workers.

The following is Mr. Ross’s current investment themes for distressed investments:


  • Buying small local and community banks to create larger regional banks then selling off the large regional bank as a whole.
  • Outside of the US, Ireland and German banks look favorable too


  • Healthcare represents 16% of the US economy
  • The recent healthcare reform has created the biggest opportunity since the Clinton Administration passed the Medicare reform

Shale Gas and Natural Gas

  • Specifically looking in the Exploration and Production area.
  • The increase in natural gas due to shale gas production in TX, WY, and PA has caused a glut in natural gas cause the price of natural gas to fall substantially.
  • Natural Gas is much cheaper and much clearer than other fossil fuels
  • At $4mcf natural gas companies are just breaking even, but going forward he sees prices increase to $7-$8mcf which will make the industry much more profitable

Real Estate Services

  • Specifically in RE brokerage, property management, CRE special services
  • The firm (Invesco Inc. which is the parent company for WL Ross & Co) is also one of eight Public-Private Investment Program (PPIP) members.

India & China

  • The Firm has recently opened up offices in Mumbai, India and Beijing, China. They are specifically looking at the housing market in India as well.
  • Continued flow of opportunities in India and Beijing

Bonus: Long Term outlook for America:

America is producing 1/7 the engineers as China and India combined. This will lead to a lack of talent and innovation in America. One of the reasons this is happening is due to the complexities and problems with getting visas.

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