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Lloyd Blankfein Wants To Be A Little Princess

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The Pritzkers, who are like the Hiltons you still recognize with clothes on, sold a $1 billion stake in their Hyatt hotel chain to Goldman and Madrone Capital Partners started by Wal-Mart chairman Rob Walton.
Speculation about the fate of Hyatt has been on the rise with the chain’s ongoing restructuring plan, internal family drama, and Blackstone’s $26 billion Hilton buyout. The Hyatt restructuring has involved 53 internal mergers, expansion into China and preparations to release detailed financials.
The Pritzker domestic squabbles culminated in a $1 billion lawsuit a couple years ago in which Liesel Pritzker accused her father Robert of tapping into the trust fund. Liesel eventually won $450 million (or lost $550 million, or made normal people want to cry).
Liesel has taken the stage name “Matthews” (or mom's maiden name) for a number of screen roles (and real life), including Sara Crewe in the mid-90s classic, “A Little Princess,” which is one of Lloyd Blankfein’s favorite films, and played a vital role in getting Goldman to pull the trigger on the purchase. Scenes like this are not uncommon at 85 Broad Street:
Miss Minchin (played by a confused junior analyst): Don't tell me you still fancy yourself a princess? Child, look around you! Or better yet, look in the mirror.
Lloyd Blankfein: I am a princess. All bank CEOs are. Even if they live in tiny old attics. Even if they dress in rags, even if they aren't pretty, or smart, or young. They're still princesses. All of us. Didn't your last boss ever tell you that? Didn't he?
Actually, the entire premise of “A Little Princess” is that a batty girl (Sara Crewe) in an oppressive boarding school responds to every situation by claiming that she is a princess. A typical scene:
Random Teacher: Your dress is on fire.
Sara Crewe: I am a princess.
Random Teacher: I’m fucking serious, your dress is on fire.
Sara Crewe: All girls are princesses, even if they are burning, or freezing, or suffering from a horribly infectious rash.
Random Teacher: Stop, drop and roll bitch, our insurance doesn’t cover this.
Sara Crewe: All girls are princesses, whether they are stopping, dropping or rolling…
This has also been the Goldman response to its hedge fund’s ignominious performance (Investor: Your hedge fund is blowing up, Goldman: We’re princesses, we’re Goldman, we’re Wall Street Royalty alright! We’re PRINCESSES!”)
Pritzkers sell $1bn stake in Global Hyatt [Financial Times]


Crystal ball image courtesy George Hodan

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