Don't sweat the IPO boom

  @FortuneMagazine August 29, 2013: 7:21 AM ET
PRI16 ipo boom

A lot of companies have gone public this year. More than 140 at last count. Don't panic.

For those of us old enough to remember when sock puppets sold dog food, an IPO surge tends to produce perspiration. Are we once again being sold shiny piles of garbage? Will it stink up the broader economy? And why exactly are so many companies going public at the same time (i.e., does something already smell, but we're the last to know)?

A cursory look at the data seems to support such concerns. The best two years for new U.S. listings during the aughts were 2000 and 2007 -- both were immediately followed by recessions. Now 2013 is on pace to become the next surge year, having already topped last year's total.

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