In short, capital is exceedingly difficult to obtain. As the very successful serial entrepreneur Joel Trammell explained it in his essential 2014 book The CEO Tightrope,
“I’ll be honest: my track record for providing capital is not great. Raising money is hard. Over my career of leading multiple companies, I have talked to more than a hundred institutional investors and have reached a deal exactly once. For this reason I advise companies to take the money when they can, because it isn’t often there when you really need it.”
Trammell’s honest assessment of his own capital-raising skills should be on the wall of every business journalist and activist with a tendency to be skeptical about finance and the bonuses earned by those individuals who work for companies tagged as “Wall Street.” They earn their bonuses many times over for once again doing what most can’t, including top CEOs. Companies need working capital, and Wall Street earns its fees for finding it.