by Max Brantley
... for the Little Rock-based Stephens financial empire. Cash-laden and not burdened with debt, they are finding opportunities in a tough climate, Forbes reports in a glowing article. There's even a bright side in the company's newspaper business, not exactly a booming sector of the economy.
One of Stephens' private equity investments is a conglomeration of 40 newspapers, including the Las Vegas Review Journal and the North Little Rock Times. It's not a lovely business these days, but it has side benefits. Warren [Stephens], a McCain supporter, last year penned an editorial in his Las Vegas paper condemning Democrats' plans to raise taxes on the wealthy. With no debt, Stephens says, the papers are in no danger of going under. "If you don't lever up in good times, you won't be hamstrung in bad times," he says.