Steve Schwarzman

blackstoneiposecondayfirstdaypopletdisapointingipoperformancedownwarddowndowndown.JPGLess than a week after Steve Schwarzman’s Nagasaki joke bombed in Boca (of his failure to get the loan money to buy mortgage company PHH, Crab Hands said, “Trying to buy a mortgage bank in the midst of the subprime crisis was the equivalent of being a noodle salesman in Nagasaki when the atomic bomb went off. Not a lot of noodles left, or even a person, and that’s what happened to us on this deal.”), Blackstone has announced it would like to get in on some deal opportunities in Asia.
It plans to do so with the launch of Blackstone Altius Advisors, an event-driven strategy based in Hong Kong, with staff in Tokyo, Mumbai, and New York, and focused on money making schemes on the left-hand side of the Pacific. Good to see no one over there’s holding a grudge. Though, to be fair, it’s been a while since the atrocities that Schwarzman made light of in Florida went down. That real test would be to have Schwarzman make some cyclone cracks in his next public appearance, and see if they have an effect on Blackstone’s (non-existent) business efforts in Myanmar (which you know he would probably call Burma, after making “Formosa” and “Peking” jokes).
Blackstone to Launch Blackstone Altius Advisors, an Asia-Focused, Event-Driven Investment Business [BusinessWire]

Schwarzman Joke Bombs In Boca

Steve Schwarzman, the head of private equity giant Blackstone, has found himself in hot water after he made some remarks at his firm’s boondoggle at Florida’s Boca Raton Resort & Club. In an early morning session, Schwarzman was noodling over Blackstone’s failed attempt to buy the mortgage company PHH, a deal that collapsed when Blackstone discovered no one was willing to lend it money for the acquisition, Peter Lattman explains on DealJournal. To illustrate just how radioactive the mortgage industry has become to financial players, Schwarzman decided to exercise his well known penchant for world history.
“Trying to buy a mortgage bank in the midst of the subprime crisis was the equivalent of being a noodle salesman in Nagasaki when the atomic bomb went off. Not a lot of noodles left, or even a person, and that’s what happened to us on this deal,” Schwarzman said.
Some are now speculating that this remark could have some serious fallout with Blackstone’s business efforts in Japan. If it does mushroom into a major issue, it could cast a cloud over Blackstone’s many important Japanese connections. Apparently, some of those Japanese types don’t find noodle salesmen appropriate material for homey, jokey anecdotes.

Steve Schwarzman’s Take on the Subprime Mess
[DealJournal]

Schwarzman Tells Victor Stuyding Is Overrated.jpg“How do you get from here to the rest of the world?”
The question is one of the most heart-breaking moments on this season of the Wire. It’s asked of Cutty, an ex-con turned proprietor of a neighborhood boxing gym. The youngster asking it is Dukie, of the desperate kids caught up in the mess of youthful drug dealing but who is told by friend and foe alike that his talents lie elsewhere. “I wish I knew,” is Cutty’s humble answer.
One guy who might know is Steve Schwarzman, the billionaire head of private equity giant Blackstone. And last week he went to the Sacred Heart School in the Bronx to deliver his answer. Unlike conventional advice—that it was important to work hard at school and stay out of trouble—Schwarzman seemed to propose that doing well in school isn’t all it is cracked up to be.

Read more »

Being Steve Schwarzman Means Never Having To Stay Home

Happy Birthday Mr. SchwarzmanApparently a quiet night at home in the largest living room in Manhattan wasn’t cutting it for Stephen Schwarzman. His birthday celebration was certainly toned down from the multimillion bash at the Armory the year before. But he still managed to make it out for the night with his wife Christine Schwarzman. The couple was spotted by spies for Page Six at Le Cirque on Schwarzman’s birthday, which also happens to be Valentine’s Day.
DealBreaker was unable to determine if Schwarzman ordered the crab salad.
A Night Of Love [Page Six]

A Quiet Night In The Biggest Living Room In NYC

Happy Birthday Mr. SchwarzmanBlackstone badboy Steve Schwarzman is still planning a big let down for his Valentine’s Day birthday party. Last year’s bash rang the bell at the top of the “golden era” of the private equity deal frenzy. It featured giant portraits of Steve hanging in the Park Avenue Armory and Rod Stewart’s crooning, giving new meaning to “over the top.” It’s said to have cost at least $3 million.
This year Schwarzman is apparently planning on celebrating with a quiet party at home with his family. Fortunately “at home with his family” means spending the night in one of New York’s most lavish and expensive apartments in one of the city’s toniest apartment buildings with a woman five years his junior who has some quite entertaining skills. The guy has the biggest living room in New York City.
Over at the New York Post, the boys are asking for better suggestion on how Schwarzman should spend his 61st birthday. Twenty eight percent of readers suggest buying a dinner at Tad’s Steak House. But another 29% suggest just buying Tad’s Steak House altogether. (To take the poll, click here and scroll down. The poll is on the lower right._

We Feel Pretty Bad About This

blackstoneiposecondayfirstdaypopletdisapointingipoperformancedownwarddowndowndown.JPG“How does it feel? Unattractive. No thinking person wants to be reduced to a caricature,” Steve Schwarzman tells James Stewart in the giant New Yorker profile we haven’t gotten around to reading yet.

Can Steve Schwarzman Be Saved?

blackstoneiposecondayfirstdaypopletdisapointingipoperformancedownwarddowndowndown.JPGBlackstone big Steve Schwarzman may have gone into hiding but he’s still the talk of the town. Especially if your plot of land in that town—Greenwich, East Hampton, etc—was bought with private equity tax-advantaged dollars.
“Whenever group of private-equity guys gets together nowadays, the conversation inevitably turns to Steve Schwarzman,” the Economist reports today.

“It was all going so well until Schwarzman went over the top,” one will say. “Yeah, why did he have to hire Rod Stewart to sing at his birthday party?” replies another. “And then make quite so much money in the Blackstone IPO? Now everyone hates us, no one wants to lend to us any more, and Congress wants to tax us to hell and back.”

The forces of envy and political rent-extraction had been aiming at private equity for quite some time but there is little doubt that Schwarzman and the Blackstone IPO provided them with a much easier target. It’s always harder to attack abstractions than actual people. One of the Okies of The Grapes of Wrath once asked, “Who can we shoot?” Schwarzman accidentally volunteered his head—or, well, claws—for the rifle scope.
But it’s not just the politicians, labor unions and tax-eaters who have Schwarzman in their scopes. Another special interest group is looking askance at Schwarzman—his own industry. According to the Economist, a popular question among private equity hochos is “Well, what’s Schwarzman going to do to clean up this mess?”
The suggestion of the Economist editors is philanthropy. That’s a popular decision among the super-wealthy but we’re not sure it’s the right one. For starters, we can’t remember a single malefactor of great wealth whose reputation was rescued within his lifetime by charitable donations. Most of those who have made huge donations recently—say, Warren Buffett or Bill Gates—were already hugely popular. Schwarzman is no Buffett.
What’s more, there’s little evidence that huge donations to institutional charities are effective at accomplishing the presumed goals of the charities. Schwarzman may simply be throwing good money after bad if he pumps up the coffers of our giant charity industry. So what’s a down-on-his-luck private equity king, who brags about his own skill as a counter-puncher, to do to rescue his rep?
Saving Steve Schwarzman [Economist.com]

Should Blackstone Take Itself Private?

blackstoneiposecondayfirstdaypopletdisapointingipoperformancedownwarddowndowndown.JPGAfter the monumental IPO last month, Blackstone Group may already be an appealing target for private equity, Slate columnist Daniel Gross suggests.
What makes a good target? Slumping stock, healthy margins, lots of cash, valuable brand name, manageable debt, liability in public ownership. Check, check, check, check, check, check.

There’s a final bonus to Blackstone taking Blackstone private. Buyout firms pay substantial fees to the investment bankers who steer them toward targets, and help structure, and negotiate deals. Blackstone, of course, has a well-regarded financial advisory unit. So, Blackstone’s partners could essentially pay themselves for advising themselves to take Blackstone private.

Before the IPO, Institutional Investor predicted a Blackstone reprivatization in 2012, but with stock down 25% since June, this may be a conservative estimate. BX is trading down 1.75% today at $25.91.

Blackstone, Meet Blackstone
[Slate]