Dueling Petersons

Will someone please help the Peter Peterson clan coordinate its PR strategy? The very summer that the pater familias and co-founder of The Blackstone Group comes out with his autobiography, grandson Peter Carey Peterson (friends call him “PC”) will be appearing in a new reality series called “NYC Prep”. The two cultural products couldn't be more different.

In his new book, The Education of an American Dreamer: How a Son of Greek Immigrants Learned His Way from a Nebraska Diner to Washington, Wall Street, and Beyond, the senior Peterson details his rise from humble origins in Kearney, Nebraska, where at the age of eight he began working his father's diner cash register. “NYC Prep”, by contrast, follows the adventures of PC, of whom the show's producers say: “Like many New York kids, this jaded 18-year-old grew up fast, surrounded by rock stars, artists, and the city's literati. For PC, money, women and life's spoils are all he's ever known.”

The reality show comes two years after another Peterson, daughter Holly (and aunt of PC), released The Manny, a work of “chick-lit” fiction about a male nanny on the Upper East Side. Holly sought to promote the book with a low-budget, straight-to-YouTube music video shot in her father's palatial apartment (unbeknownst to him, he made known). The video includes what some might consider to be a slightly offensive line up of ethnically selected actors portraying various domestic helpers.

In a promotional clip for “NYC Prep”, PC comes off as charming, ambitious and concerned with the broader world – he recently volunteered in a village in Sudan. But the comment most picked up in the blogosphere was his initial response to a question about the economy: “The recession is my bitch!” To be honest, you'll find essentially the same message in a distressed-assets PPM, so give PC points for candor.

QUOTABLES
“If your choice is paying a $30 million fine or doing a perp walk, it is money well spent.”

David Snow, executive editor of PEI, is quoted in the New York Times after Riverstone Holdings agrees a $30 million settlement in New York attorney general Andrew Cuomo's ongoing public pension investigation.

“We, together with our executive colleagues, believe that his collaborative management approach aligns with our values, culture and team spirit.”

Stefano Pessina, executive chairman of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts-owned retailer Alliance Boots, welcomes the appointment of new chief executive Andy Hornby. Hornby's previous post was at the helm of HBOS, the British bank bailed out with government money earlier this year.

“Private equity asset strippers have taken over Boots and loaded it up to the eyeballs with debt. They should learn the lessons of HBOS's collapse under Mr Hornby and pay off their borrowings to make Boots strong again.”

Lord Oakeshott, treasury spokesman for the UK's Liberal Democrat party, is quoted in the UK's Guardian newspaper, urging KKR to rethink their strategy for Alliance Boots.

“There is still a very large unfunded capital requirement in the commercial banking system in the United States and that's got to be funded.”

Following the collapse of Floridian bank BankUnited, former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan highlights a need for capital injection into the banking system. BankUnited was subsequently bought by a consortium of private equity firms for $900 million.