Legg Mason Has Loss, Writes Down $1.2 Billion at Wealth Unit; Shares Sink Legg Mason Inc. reported the biggest loss in 25 years as a public company after the market’s collapse and record fund withdrawals forced a $1.2 billion writedown in the value of its hedge-fund and private-client businesses.

`Black Swan’ Author Taleb Says Stock Rout Threatens Private-Equity Firms Private-equity firms may follow banks into failure should U.S. stocks extend their worst rout since the Great Depression, said Nassim Nicholas Taleb, author of the best- selling finance book “The Black Swan.”

Einhorn Follows Grandfather’s Advice as Greenlight Hedge Fund Buys Gold Greenlight Capital Inc. founder David Einhorn is finally taking his grandfather’s advice. The $5.1 billion hedge fund is buying gold for the first time amid the threat of inflation from increased government spending.

Schwarzman Pledges `Wonderful Time’ for Buyouts as Wealth Drops $7 Billion On the 18th floor of American International Group Inc.’s headquarters in Manhattan, Blackstone Group LP executives regularly gather to carve up what was once the world’s largest insurer. The battered giant is unloading more than two dozen businesses worth about $60 billion to repay the government after its bailout last year.

New Zealand Cuts Key Rate More Than Expected to 3.5% as Recession Deepens New Zealand cut its interest rate by 1.5 percentage points to a record low and said there’s room for further reductions to steer the economy out of a deepening recession. The local currency fell.

Legg Mason’s Sherman Replaced as Top Executive of Private Capital Unit Legg Mason Inc. replaced Bruce Sherman as the top executive of a unit that caters to wealthy investors and will close or merge about 28 mutual funds as the company seeks to reverse the biggest outflows in its history.