Plenty to go around

March 11, 2009

USA/Private equity company Blackstone Group CEO Stephen Schwarzman knows more about wealth than most people on this planet. By his estimate, the impact of the economic crisis has hit with the kind of devastating impact once reserved for descriptions of nuclear holocaust.

“Between 40 and 45 percent of the world’s wealth has been destroyed in little less than a year and a half,” Schwarzman told an audience at the Japan Society yesterday. “This is absolutely unprecedented in our lifetime.”

Schwarzman, whose $3 million Manhattan birthday party in 2007 is the stuff of legend, leveled a finger at ratings agencies, roundly blamed for assigning inappropriately high grades to mishmash securities.

Schwarzman’s own pay fell 99 percent in 2008, a year that saw his private equity firm post a $1.33 billion loss. He did not receive any cash compensation for 2008 other than a base salary of $350,000. While the pay isn’t what it was, at least he’s been able to keep his job.

Deals of the Day:

* Yanzhou Coal Mining’s takeover talks with Australian coal miner Felix Resources have stalled on price disputes, two sources with direct knowledge of the situation said.

* The biggest shareholders of Slovenia’s leading food retailer Mercator will only sell a total of 25 percent of the company rather than 48.34 percent announced earlier, daily Dnevnik said.

* Polish pay-TV operator Cyfrowy Polsat will buy 11 percent in wireless phone operator Sferia for 53.4 million zlotys ($14.4 million), it said in a statement on Wednesday.

(PHOTO: Stephen A. Schwarzman, Chairman, CEO and Co-Founder of the Blackstone Group, attends a conference on Sovereign Wealth Funds at the Asia Society in New York April 14, 2008.  REUTERS/Shannon)

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