Steve Schwarzman, fully Stephen "Steve" Allen Schwarzman

Schwarzman, fully Stephen "Steve" Allen Schwarzman

American Financier and Philanthropist, Chairman and CEO of the Blackstone Group

Author Quotes

The Schwarzman Scholars is a program that was designed with Tsinghua University. They asked me to do something in honor of their 100th anniversary. Tsinghua was founded with money that China owed as a result of the Boxer Rebellion. They were giving [reparations] money to the great powers, and the U.S. refused to accept it, basically saying ?I don?t need the money, you take the money and start a school and send your kids who are graduates of the school to the United States. So there?s a natural link between Tsinghua and the United States. And we had an involvement with our business, Blackstone, because the government of China had bought 9.9% of our stock in our IPO in 2007, which was the first investment by the government of China in a foreign business, in their equity, since World War II.

This country, of course, needs fundamental reform of our financial regulatory system, as I, and many other financial institution executives, have publicly advocated for a considerable period.

What you find when you live in the United States, you live in the West, is that when somebody fails, it?s never their fault. They always like to blame somebody other than themselves for a failure. Right now we?re having a curious thing because for 30 years, the middle class, whether it?s in the United States or Europe, has not been able to increase its disposable income. So these people are getting frustrated because the costs of society are outrunning their ability to pay the bills. And they?re getting angry. At first, after the financial crisis, they blamed financial institutions and financial people. Then they just started blaming wealthy people. And all that blame hasn?t changed anything for them. My concern is they?re eventually going to blame somebody else, and the logical people for them to blame is China. The reason they?re going to blame China is China is the winner of the global game. They?re producing 10 million jobs a year. The West is producing almost nothing. Their income is going up. The income in the West is not going up. And once the West targets China, my experience is that the Chinese don?t like being attacked. They?re no different than anybody else, and they will react. And I have seen them react when they?re not happy, and it?s not pleasant. They don?t do it gently, they?re very tough. You could find yourself as a result of this, whether it?s in 10 years, 20 years, 40 years or 50 years, with real antagonism between the West and China ? trade wars, economic problems, and potential military issues. You?ve already seen military tension between China and Japan, China and the Philippines.

When you buy a company sometimes there are some short-term cuts, but basically we make money when companies grow our interests are linked with the number of people working for us.

Our intention is to support the company and its management in executing a strategy of long-term value creation for all stakeholders in a collaborative environment.

So you need to be careful and have very good operating plans for the companies that you buy.

The library helps lower- and middle-income people - immigrants - get their shot at the American dream.

For future geopolitical stability and global prosperity, we need to build a culture of greater trust and understanding between China, America and the rest of the world.

I can't micromanage what anybody pays or doesn't pay. But the concept that half of the public isn't involved with the income-tax system is somewhat odd and I'm not saying how much people should do, but we should all be part of the system.

I don't feel like a wealthy person. Other people think of me as a wealthy person, but I don't. I feel the same as when I was a fifth-year associate trying to make partner at Lehman Brothers. I haven't changed.

I love picking people. I started Blackstone, and we had no people, and now we have with our portfolio companies about 750,000 people all over the world. Everybody who is at a senior level has ultimately been picked by me.

If I get angry, it's obvious. I don't have to say much.

I'm concerned with China growing at double or triple the rate of the West, that there will be tensions. One needs to do something to start addressing misunderstandings and frustration.

I'm not feeling undertaxed. Tax reform is an important issue. You have to have an inherent sense of fairness.

It's wonderful to learn about new cultures and to be able to travel easily to so many countries.

I've always been comfortable with people who run things, whether it was the principal of my high school or the president of the university.

I've lived through periods of illiquidity before. Asset prices come down. The economy slows or even goes into recession. Then the cycle re-starts. We buy at lower prices with less leverage.

My biggest job really is to figure other people out. I need to understand what makes a person tick.

My father was very bright. My mother had enormous drive. Put that together, and that's my gene pool.

Other people think of me as a wealthy person, but I don?t. I feel the same as when I was a fifth-year associate trying to make partner at Lehman Brothers. I haven?t changed. I still think of Blackstone as a small firm. We have to prove ourselves in every deal. Every piece of paper is important. I?m always still trying.

Blackstone has spent a significant amount of time and effort searching for the right manager to spearhead our effort into the long/short equity space.

Competition I don't worry about. Nothing can really solve the problem of high prices.

All roads are barricaded off with dread.

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Schwarzman, fully Stephen "Steve" Allen Schwarzman
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American Financier and Philanthropist, Chairman and CEO of the Blackstone Group