Saturday, August 20, 2011

How Did I Do?

So finally Roderick looks at me and says, “If you don't get this guy out of here in 30 seconds, I'm gonna slice his balls off.” As I walk out with Leon, Leon looks at me and says, “How did I do?”

So, squeaky-voiced were-bear Leon Black threw himself a little clambake out in Southampton last weekend in celebration of his 60th birthday. It seems that a sixtieth birthday blowout featuring aging rock stars of similarly creaky vintage has become de rigeur among the caviar and pointy-toed shoe set of baby boomer private equiteers. David Bonderman of TPG had one, Steve Schwarzman of Blackstone had one, and now Leon of Apollo gets his own. It's only fair.

And, notwithstanding the clashing of pitchforks and gnashing of proletarian (and bourgeois) teeth in the comments section to DealBook's newest chronicle of 21st Century plutocracy, the affair seems to have been a relatively tame example of its kind. Unless they happened offscreen, away from the privileged confines of approved journalistic access, we learn of no infants being roasted on a spit, underaged Eastern European “models” sporting multi-colored armbands, secret auditions of the latest Michael Bolton hit to select insiders, or similar ethical outrages. Based upon the known moral fiber of Mr. Black and the other baby-seal-blood-drinkers who came with him from Drexel Burnham Lambert to found Apollo, I for one find this positively restrained.

But the financial class has learned a lot about public relations since Steve Schwarzman made everyone crazy with his onanistic love fest in 2007. In fact, much is made in the DealBook article of Lloyd Blankfein's no-doubt carefully staged tête à tête with the tiny Lehman Brothers relic:

Before the concert, around 8 p.m., as a full moon rose over the Atlantic, Mr. Blankfein and Mr. Schwarzman stood at the foot of the stairs leading down to the beach. Guests overheard Mr. Blankfein playfully ribbing Mr. Schwarzman about his fin de siècle affair.

“Your 60th got us into the financial crisis,” Mr. Blankfein is said to have told the private equity titan
[sic]. “Let’s hope this party gets us out of it.”

Ha ha ha.

What's the economic multiplier effect of a seared foie gras station?

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