Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Time magazine celebrated the release of its "100 most influential" list last night, a gathering that attracted plenty of rich finance-y types a year ago, back when saying you worked at a hedge fund or investment bank didn't have the reputational value of saying you spent your day repossessing cars or running a funeral home. The financial meltdown translated into a slightly different guest list and seating plan this time around, not surprisingly. Hedge fund billionaire Steve Cohen, who graciously stood on the red carpet last year and even permitted a photographer to take his picture (not that he smiled or anything), wasn't even invited. And while billionaire financier Steve Schwarzman did make the invite list—and turned out for the ceremony—he probably should have just stayed at home.
Poor Steve was relegated to the Siberia of table 14. And who replaced the Blackstone Group co-founder at the table he occupied at last year's ceremony? The nerdy co-founders of Twitter and a bunch of wonky Obama policy advisers. The indignity!
Sadly, it's just the latest self-esteem-crippling seating-related snafu for Schwarzman. In December, a Vanity Fair photographer taking a group shot in honor of the Four Seasons' 50th anniversary suggested that the Blackstone chairman switch his seat with food critic Gael Greene, who was standing right behind him. Schwarzman didn't budge, and the photo shoot went ahead with Steve seated next to Sandy Weill and Ed Koch.
Too bad he didn't try that approach last night. Photos of Schwarzman getting escorted out of the room by security after he plopped himself down next to Michelle Obama? Priceless!
HOW TIME HAS CHANGED [NYP]