Stephen's sartorial advice

While attending the most recent World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, blogger Arianna Huffington bumped into what she described as a markedly “upbeat” Stephen Schwarzman – a standout amid the mostly fearful financial types. “You are walking with your head high,” she remarked. Schwarzman quipped: “I'm walking with my head still on. That's the good news.”Huffington then asked when the recession would end. “Don't hold your breath,”said Schwarzman.“And don't buy new clothes.”

“Forty percent of the world's wealth was destroyed in the last five quarters. It is an almost incomprehensible number.”

Stephen Schwarzman, chairman of The Blackstone Group, speaking at the latest World Economic Forum gathering in Davos, Switzerland

“Will private equity get pulled in to some extent? No doubt. Will it go too far? That remains to be seen. The pendulum usually swings too far one way and then comes back a bit.”

Also speaking at Davos, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) co-founder Henry Kravis says regulation for financial institutions is “coming in a major way”

“People have at best a neutral and at worst a negative impression of what we do. We have a massive PR problem.”

KKR adviser George Fisher, speaking at the Columbia Business School Private Equity & Venture Capital conference in New York, says the industry has an image crisis and needs to do a better job of explaining the benefits it brings to the business world

“Private equity-owned businesses are a timebomb ticking under Britain's economy and banking system. In good times, deals like these pick the pockets of British taxpayers because taxable profits are washed out by loan interest. In bad times…they put jobs in jeopardy because they have stripped away the safety net of assets and reserves built up over many years.”

Treasury spokesman Matthew Oakeshott of Britain's Liberal Democrat party unwittingly backs up Fisher's claims in an interview in the Guardian newspaper