Bridgewater, Blackstone Buck No-Holiday-Party Trend

Dec 20 2011 | 1:26pm ET

Wall Street's biggest banks are still shying away from the extravagant holiday parties that helped make them infamous before the financial crisis. But while Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Bank of America held no holiday parties for their employees, alternative investments firms aren't without the holiday spirit.

None are so full of it, perhaps, as Bridgewater Associates: the country's largest hedge fund rented out the whole of the 10,000-seat Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, Conn., for its party. The arena is more used to hosting college basketball and minor-league hockey games.

Another alternative investments giant, the Blackstone Group, scaled back this year; last year's shindig, in honor of its 25th anniversary, was held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. This year, Blackstone settled for a "low-key" affair at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, The New York Times reports.

The firm even held a coat drive at the party.

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