Steve Steps In It

Call it a pitfall of being too glib. Or a very misguided attempt at waking up a morning crowd with vivid imagery. Either way, Blackstone boss Steve Schwarzman sure made an insensitive comment last week, during a speech at the firm’s annual investor meeting in Boca Raton.

According to Private Equity Insider, Schwarzman used the following analogy to describe the recent plight of subprime lenders: “[It’s like] being a noodle salesman in Nagasaki when they dropped the A-bomb – not a lot of noodles left, and not a lot of people either.”

Yeesh, foot meet mouth. PE Insider suggests that the crack could damage Blackstone’s business in Tokyo, where it opened an office last fall. Not so sure it will really hurt — this is a personal relationship biz, and Schwarzman isn’t on the ground in Japan — but it certainly won’t help.

A Blackstone spokesman had no comment.