Opinion | Populists Don’t Know Much About Private Equity

Wall Street has never been particularly popular in the American imagination, but the recent growth of conservative populism threatens to erode its position even further. A case in point is a new think tank, American Compass, run by Oren Cass, a former policy director for Mitt Romney. One of its first major projects—“Coin-Flip Capitalism”—concludes that investment funds, like private equity and venture capital, are socially wasteful.

A primer on Coin-Flip Capitalism, published in May, reviews the returns of various funds over…

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