by Max Brantley
The night’s agenda was twofold: install officers for the coming year and haze incoming members by having them don wigs, gold-sequined skirts and skin-tight tops and put on a comedic variety show for the enjoyment of other members.
Among the 21 inductees featured in the variety show were Marc Lasry, the billionaire founder of the Avenue Capital Group, Warren Stephens, the chief of Stephens Inc. and Ted Virtue, the chief executive of MidOcean Partners.
Kappa Beta Phi, which started in 1929 as a group of Wall Street bigwigs whose social club was named as a send-up of Phi Beta Kappa, the honor society, has become a sort of upper-crust Friar’s Club roast.
... Inductees sang Wall Street-themed versions of “Mama, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys,” (replacing “cowboys” with “traders”) and Abba’s “Dancing Queen” (which was retitled “Bailout King”). Mr. Lasry, along with two other inductees, dressed as a member of the Village People for a financial rendition of “Y.M.C.A.” Mr. Lasry declined to comment.
Aware of the Romney-like tone deafness that such a gathering and jollity suggests, some Wall Streeters have become sensitive.
Kappa Beta Phi’s gatherings have become divisive among members in recent years. Some Wall Street executives, wary of taking part in an event that could be construed as tone-deaf to the economic woes facing the country, are choosing not to attend.
“The skits can be offensive and I don’t want to sit through it,” said one fraternity member who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
Sorry, the Times' only photo was of big limos lined up outside the St. Regis Hotel, scene of the hijinks.
More details from Bloomberg on the lobster-and-lamb-chop feed.
UPDATE: I can't verify authenticity of the following underground photo, but ....