Blackstone Group

Squatters’ Real-Estate Speculation Fighters’ Rights!

Last year, Tony James argued that private-equity firms should fight their bad reputations with a rebranding effort. But “clarity equity” just never took off, because, you know, it was really stupid.

Now, James’ firm may have another rebranding crisis on their hands after buying up 40,000 foreclosed properties in Barcelona. Because Italian ecological economics professors who aren’t paying for the six-bedroom, two-swimming pool houses to protest Spanish banks’ roles in the country’s economic crisis (also: to live in six-bedroom, two-swimming pool houses in Barcelona gratis) aren’t just going to stop doing so because Tony James says they can’t anymore because these nice people who will pay rent would like to. Read more »

Blackstone Is Taking A Break From Russia

Well, not so much a break as a permanent hiatus from repeatedly banging its head against an increasingly hard wall. Read more »

Who cares about how much Blackstone made on the Hilton IPO? There are adorable penguins and otters puttering about at 345 Park! Read more »

Hedge fund managers: Are you full of great, bold, interesting trade ideas? Haven’t gotten enough money from Blackstone (or anyone else) and/or have an annoyingly restrictive prospectus that won’t allow you to let it all ride on one of them? Need a little extra scratch?

Blackstone is here to help. Read more »

If you work in private equity the last few months have not been kind to you. Man, dog, and Newt have all been ganging up on the industry, and it has not been helped by faux pas from its most famous alumnus, publicity around job losses and dividend-recaps-into-bankruptcy, or a renewed carried-interest debate.

Not to fear, though: coming to the rescue today are a rag-tag bunch of saviors including a cheesy website, a serial private equity CEO who’s pretty sure he was never instructed to torch the place for insurance money, aaaaaaand Blackstone’s Tony James: Read more »

Unlike some private equity famewhores, Steve Schwarzman is a modest, retiring type who shuns all ostentation and just wants to be left alone with his crabs. So it’s not surprising that he doesn’t want those gossip hounds at the Fed all up in his personal finances, and that he’s willing to go to extreme lengths to avoid just that. How extreme? Check this out:

Blackstone is converting part of its 14.1% stake in BankUnited Inc. to nonvoting preferred stock, these people said. The deal will shrink its voting stake to less than 10%, pushing the New York firm below the level at which the Fed requires personal financial data from the Florida bank’s owners.

It isn’t clear why Mr. Schwarzman is sensitive about providing such information. The longstanding Fed rule is in place to allow the regulator to gauge the safety of banks by evaluating the financial resources of their owners. The financial information gathered about a bank’s owners isn’t available to the public, even if requested under the Freedom of Information Act, according to people familiar with Fed policies. …

The matter of Mr. Schwarzman’s personal financial information is tied to BankUnited’s plans to convert from a savings-and-loan institution to a national bank. … As part of the conversion, the Fed requires detailed financial information from “principals” of entities that own more than 10% of the bank’s stock.

So … not that extreme? Two obvious things: Read more »

  • 12 Sep 2011 at 5:32 PM

Steve Schwarzman Has Some Helpful Ideas For Obama

He gets it: no more comparing Obama to Hitler. The new plan is subtlety, which is why the Blackstone boss took to the FT today to show the President an olive branch. Then he whacked Obama with it repeatedly.

His best piece of advice? If you really want to fix what ails America, maybe you should get a private equity executive to turn things around. Just saying.

The US economy resembles a business badly needing turnround. Its growth is anaemic. Like many a faltering business, it has too much debt. No one, least of all S&P, believes that the latest deficit reduction package will solve this. There is too little investment. Corporations and consumers are cautious about spending, while the recent sharp drop in equity prices shows that investors do not want to risk capital in the market.

My firm has invested in, and advised on, hundreds of businesses in the past 25 years and we’ve seen companies successfully overcome such challenges.

Read more »

Leveraged buyout and venture capital firms are steaming over a new carve-out  provision for family farms inserted at the last minute into the carried interest tax hike that passed the House at the end of last month.

The provision appears to exempt farmers who have organized their business as investment partnerships from paying ordinary income tax on the money they take from the partnership. The new bill, of course, will treat most carried interest as income for tax purposes instead of capital gains.  Private equity and VC firms say the exemption is unfair and Congress is merely cherry picking certain industries to raise taxes on. Read more »