Alexandra Lebenthal

Over at New York today you will find an excerpt of Kevin Roose’s new book, Young Money. The passage is an extended version of a story written by Roose for the Times, about a 2012 gathering of the members of a “secret Wall Street fraternity” called Kappa Beta Phi (which included Wilbur Ross, Ace Greenberg, and Robert Benmosche). Like college-age members of Greek organizations 30 and 40 years younger than the people assembled that night at the St. Regis, “Wall Street Kappas” initiate newbies (called “neophytes) with hazing, enthusiastically take part in cross-dressing, and are blissfully unaware of how embarrassed they should be for each other. In the extended version of the piece, we learn that the fraternity’s motto is “Dum vivamus edimus et biberimus” (Latin for “While we live, we eat and drink”); that private equity exec Paul Queally wrote and delivered this joke: Q: “What’s the biggest difference between Barney Frank and a Fenway Frank?” A: “Barney Frank comes in different-size buns; and that Fortress exec Mike Novogratz would have lifted Roose up by the tux lapels had his “brothers” not intervened. Read more »

Alexandra & James, the Lebenthal’s family wealth advisory business, continues to recommend that its clients buy munis. There are some cities and states which the firm avoids, but Lebenthal continues to recommend double-A and triple-A bonds. Investors should not sell, she added, regardless of Whitney’s warnings.”I don’t dispute her knowledge of the investment banks, but she is not a municipal bond expert,” Lebenthal said. “I would put any muni analyst in a room with her — on TV, outside in the school yard — and see who comes out ahead.” [Reuters via BI]