Since Georges Doriot got the ball rolling in 1946, the venture business has remained a straightforward proposition. Invest long-term and earn a return for your limited partners. There have been structural changes, mostly involving VCs edging out of early-stage investment to focus on big bang later-stage deals. But venture investors have generally avoided the financial adventurism common to Wall Streeters. Except, in one important respect: Many of the limited partners that fattened venture funds are the same pension funds, endowments and other institutions that in recent years levered up, piled into hedge and private equity funds, and otherwise made a big problem even bigger. In turn, venture capitalists in recent years plowed much of that money into Web 2.0 companies, such as YouTube and Facebook.From there, the piece just needs a punchy conclusion, which we'll supply: "Now that the economic crunch is affecting online advertising, these investments are no longer seen as can't-lose deals. It's time to pull out!"
"Venture Capitalists: Don't blame us" is the title of an 800-word essay at The Deal. This kind of headline always has an obvious, hidden meaning: Yes, VCs are to blame. Let's skip to the end and see how they did it: