Blackstone in Black and White

Those who focus on CEO Stephen Schwarzman's opulent lifestyle are missing the point about the private equity firm's real accomplishments

It has been a dozen years since the celebrity-gawking TV show Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous died. However, there were echoes of host Robin Leach's ceaseless amazement in the numerous reports leading up to this month's historic initial public offering by the Blackstone Group (BX). But the populist critiques of the colorful parties, homes, and business style of CEO Stephen Schwarzman seem to miss the real black-and-white story of Blackstone.

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