Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Geithner's Mentor, Pete Peterson Publishes Book

Peter G. Peterson, co-founder of the Blackstone Group, published his memoir, The Education of an American Dreamer. Reuters published excerpts from the book due out June 8.

“The irony did not escape me that a private equity firm, which emphasized why their private companies did better over the longer term, should be going public."

Blackstone’s June 2007 IPO made Peterson a billionaire and put him, and CEO Steve Schwarzman, firmly into the public spotlight.

“The clouds of the populist storm swirled and deepened and, in the wake of our public offering and the now famous public sixtieth birthday party, came down on the private equity industry in Washington. At issue is a proposal to more than double the tax on gains made from carried interest..."

Peterson, a private equity underwriter (PEU), made almost $2 billion from the sale of 59% of his Blackstone holdings. The PEU boys want badly to hold on to their preferred tax status. They fought it for two years. How much longer can they hold off change? When it comes, will it make any impact?

The above excerpts came from the chapter titled "Becoming a Force." Pete clearly remains one, as mentor to Treasury's Tim Geithner.