finance boss in the wars after hitler gag

AS A hack, it gets frustrating to be confronted with a deafening silence when asking any financier to stand up and publicly defend the industry against politically-motivated attacks – especially when the same hotshots are perfectly happy to shoot their mouth off when cornered in private.

But, refreshing as it is to find an exception to the rule, there’s something to be said for keeping a sense of perspective.

“It’s a war,” Blackstone Group chief executive Stephen Schwarzman said of the ongoing fight between US politicians and private equity firms over increasing the tax burden for the industry, according to Newsweek. “It’s like when Hitler invaded Poland in 1939…”

Comparing the US administration – and, by default, President Barack Obama himself – to a genocidal dictator?

That’s got to be quite the most bizarre comparison The Capitalist has ever heard, particularly coming from a Jewish businessman.

Unsurprisingly, Blackstone’s spinners are refusing to comment on their boss’ unfortunate
choice of words – though behind the scenes, they’re presumably doing their nut.

AW, SHUCKS

Calling the foodies of the City – especially any competitive souls who sometimes feel left out by the number of sporting stand-offs among the financial community.

As those who know their seasonal ingredients will be aware, British oysters are at their best when there’s an “R” in the month – meaning that we’ve got just over two weeks until the season begins.

It’s an occasion that you’d expect traditional restaurants to mark, and Green’s on Cornhill, the venue set up last year in the old Lloyds banking hall, is no exception. The restaurant and bar is planning a big party for the 1 September, I hear, involving teams of eager City workers competing in an “oyster shucking championship”.

Apparently, there’s an art to getting into those slippery little suckers – and though it’s not
as easy as it looks, Green’s is offering to teach interested parties how to go about it ahead of the competition. Those in search of bragging rights – or a way to impress their dates on a romantic night out – should apply for more information within…

TOP-CLASS ROMP

Throaty chuckles reverberated around the City A.M. office yesterday as it emerged that bookie Paddy Power has put out odds on which adult film company will be the first to produce the world’s first 3D porn film.

Romping home as the favourite (sorry, couldn’t resist) is a 3D “Sex and Zen: Extreme Ecstasy” from Hong Kong director Christopher Sun – in at 5/6 and whipping the competition (a 3D remake of “Caligula” by Italian director Tinto Brass at 2/1 and Hustler’s upcoming porn version of James Cameron’s Avatar at 3/1) into submission.

GETTING SHIRTY

Investec is really upping the ante with its sports sponsorship programme, just over a year after announcing a high-profile deal to sponsor the horseracing Derby.

And yesterday, the South African bank added football club Tottenham Hotspur to its list, having sealed a deal to sponsor the team’s shirts in all cup competition ties – including European club competitions, FA Cup and League Cup matches – over the next two years.