Table: The Partnership Machine
-- Since 1999, investment banks have raised $35 billion for private partnerships. They do not disclose such deals, but insiders say they invest in 10% to 50% of the partnerships they sell to pension funds and foundations.
-- Experts estimate that 400 S&P 500 companies have used limited partnerships, or special purpose entities, to move debt off their balance sheets.
-- Investment banks are extensive users of limited partnerships to move trades and investments off their own balance sheets, say insiders.