People who have been likening this recent crisis to 2008’s will love this similarity.Last weekend Leon Black, the head of Apollo Group, a top private equity firm, hosted a big, extravagant birthday party: his 60th.
Flashback to 2007: Steve Schwarzman, the head of Blackstone, a top private equity firm, also hosted a big extravagant party: his 50th.
Both made headlines for their indulgent perks. At Black’s, Elton John performed. His asking price is typically $1 million. At Schwarzman’s, Rod Stewart, who costs the same, performed.
Schwarzman’s party was later referred to as the apex of the lavish spending that ultimately led us months later into the financial crisis.
Lloyd Blankfein, a guest at Black’s, pointed out the parallel.
He told Schwarzman, who was also at the party, “Your 60th got us into the financial crisis. Let’s hope this party gets us out of it,” according to Dealbook’s Peter Lattman.
That’s optimistic. Most people would read impending doom into the coincidence.