It’s still very good to be the head of the Blackstone Group. Steve Schwarzman tops the Corporate Library’s list of highly paid executives with $702.4 million last year.
Despite criticism of hedge funds and private-equity firms from labour unions and European politicians, it’s clear that the real problems in our financial system didn’t stem from the lightly regulated sectors but from the most regulated sectors.
Blackstone was heavily involved in real estate but managed to avoid the subprime implosion and, so far, hasn’t been heavily hit by troubles in the commercial real estate sector. Neither Blackstone nor KKR needed a TARP bailout.
(A boring explanation of an inside joke: Long ago the Wall Street Journal profiled Steve Schwarzman, describing his lunches as including $400 of crab claws. I came up with the idea that we should use Photoshop to attach crab claws to Schwarzman’s hands–you are what you eat. Later, we just figured any scary crab picture would do.)
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