Captain's Blog, stardate 2/21/07
A magazine chock full of private money, a surf-and-turf battle, and college basketball predictions from Fortune's Managing Editor Andy Serwer.
NEW YORK (Fortune) -- YOUR NEW ISSUE OF FORTUNE MAGAZINE: It rocks. It rolls. It thrills. It chills. People, this issue is all about private money (honey!) Private equity, hedge funds and the like. Check it out, it's the issue with Steve "The New King of Wall Street" Schwarzman on the cover! Inside is an amazing piece by "Big Swinging" Rik Kirkland on rise of private equity and where we go from here. We also rank the private equity players...and we have a way cool almanac of American wealth. Where the rich people at, kinda deal! And a very cool graphic (thanks Sarah) and story about the ill-fated Airbus A380, (anyone else working on that story?), as well as an exclusive exit-interview with NBC's Bob Wright by Tim 'you the man' Arango! Have fun with this issue, I know I will.
MS. MARKET: Okay, so everyone calls it Mr. Market. Why? Why not Ms. Market? She's certainly exercises her prerogative to change her mind, right? (Okay, she's fickle.) I find that if I don't listen to her I'm in trouble. And I do that repeatedly. She's got a beautiful mind. She likes to talk about her feelings. She isn't good at compartmentalizing necessarily. I find that we sometimes think very differently. Contrary to common belief she doesn't care if the AFC or the NFC wins the superbowl. (Not sure about hemlines.) She likes holidays and spending time with her family, but not too much. After a day or two she's anxious to get back to work. I'm sure I will die before she does.
ON BUILDINGS AND STEAK STOCKS: As in the Time Life Building in NYC. Yep, good old 1271 Ave of Americas. Some stuff to report. First I hear Lehman Brothers (Charts) is invading. Lehmies needs room, growing like a weed, and we here at Time Inc, um, well we have space.....But more interesting is that our famous eatery, Cite, the restaurant on the ground floor on 51st is closing soon. This after 18 years! Means I was in there drinking in my 20s! Scary! A gal there explained it was a fight over the lease. She said that Cite was paying $700,000 a month in rent and she said Rockefeller Center maintained that the lease contained automatic increases. The Smith & Wollensky Restaurant Group (Charts) disagreed. The amount that the landlord said SWRG owed kept growing and finally the two just agreed to part ways. Now SWRG, which also owns S&W obviously, as well as the Park Ave Café, the Post House, and Maloney and Porcelli, hasn't exactly been burning up the track (or Porterhouse) until recently. In mid January, Landry's Seafood Restaurants (Charts) made an unsolicited bid to buy SWRG for $7.50 a share. Yes it's a surf and turf deal---though LNY owns a slew of eateries including not only the Chart House but also the Rainforest Cafe. In the wake (nyark) of the offer the stock popped from $5 to $8. (Market cap is now about $70 million.) SWRG is studying the deal, but Ms. Market seems to be saying that the LNY bid is too low.
LOOSE CHANGE: Reading "A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier" by Ishmael Beah....my wife got it at Starbucks (Charts). About a boy soldier in Sierra Leone. Absolutely chilling. .....So, the Today Show is going reality: "TODAY KICKS OFF ITS FIRST-EVER "ANCHOR FOR TODAY" COMPETITION...America Votes For "Today's" Guest Anchor Spot." Well, truth be told I guess it was always a reality show, right?....Hey to Adam Herman at Mediacom!!!!.....So, what's NOT on my iPod? Beatles of course, and Zep. But also no Who. No Cheap Trick, or Toto, or Jefferson Airplane, or Janis Joplin, (only the 1st Dead album---before the drugs really kicked in). No Huey Lewis, or Platters, or Randy Newman (hey I'm short!), or Police, or Love and Rockets, well I could go on forever...Wonder what ML listens to?....College Hoop: I'm sorry but I don't think Air Force or Washington State is for real. So what if Wisconsin just lost, THEY are real. Along with FLA, UNC, and Ohio State. (Notice I ignored UCLA and Pitt.) How much you wanna bet National Champ is either: WIS, FLA, UNC or OU?.... Some sad news: Natalie Cohen (not the tennis player) passed away this Sunday. She was 98. RIP Natalie.