Not hungry anywayDozens of prominent Indian-Americans were among the 338 guests at President Barack Obama's first state dinner, in honor of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. One was notable by his absence: Vikram Pandit.
To be sure, it is possible that the Great Pandito was invited to last night's black-tie bash, and was simply unable to attend. There may have been hiring binges to attend to, failing businesses to rename or top business lines to sell to appease certain pay czars (also not at the state dinner).
On the other hand, maybe the White House thinks Vikram has eaten at taxpayer expense quite enough over the past year. Maybe Barack didn't want the stench of failure hanging over his first state dinner. Maybe Tim Geithner (at the dinner) insisted on a big, fat bailout repayment check before Vik could be seated. Whatever the reason, Nagpur's favorite son seems unlikely to have rated an invite.
All told, Wall Street was not especially well-represented at the dinner, which was populated heavily by Hollywood and media types. A few venture capitalists made the list, as did Avenue Capital Group's Marc Lasry--who backed Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination and now employs the former first daughter, Chelsea Clinton. The Lasrys have given more than $350,000 to Democratic causes over the last five years.
Expected Attendees at Tonight's State Dinner [White House]