Like shoppers on Black Friday, Wall Street titans have a keen smell for deep discounts. At the moment, they're sniffing in oil fields.

Many parts of the U.S. stock market look expensive these days, but prices have fallen dramatically in the energy sector from over $100 a barrel in the summer to under $50 now.

Private equity firms are raising vast sums of money to buy oil assets on the cheap.

Blackstone Group (BX) alone launched a $4.5 billion energy fund on Monday. That gives the private equity giant a formidable war chest to deploy on distressed assets like beaten-down oil companies and drilling projects thrown in disarray by the oil meltdown.

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