Book Reviews

King Of Capital: The Remarkable Rise, Fall, And Rise Again Of Steve Schwarzman And Blackstone [Book Review]

Here is an excerpt from Value and Opportunity‘s book review of King Of Capital: The Remarkable Rise, Fall, And Rise Again Of Steve Schwarzman And Blackstone by David Carey followed by a description from Amazon.

The title of the book is actually a little bit misleading. Yes, Blackstone and Steve Schwarzman play a large role in the book, but the book also covers the story of the whole private equity industry pretty well.

After working for DLJ and Lehman, Schwarzman started Blackstone as a 2 person M&A advisory boutique in the 1980ties. As the M&A advisory business was somehow limited, Schwarzmann and his partner decided trying to get into the then fledgling private equity business. Just before they were out of money, they got their first investor money and then became on of the most succesful Private Equity players.

What I liked the book ist that it looks not only at Blackstone but at the development of Private Equity since the 1980ties in general. There is also a lot of interesting detail to be found on specific deals which I found very interesting. For instance how Blackstone failed in Germany in the Cable sector and many more deals. Blackstone in contrast to some other players invests often in cyclical companies where timing is quite important.

Most recently they also branched out big time into Real Estate. A funny side story is the fact, that Larry Fink started Blackrock as a division of Blackstone and relatively early bough the company out for a couple of hundred million USD. Blackrock is now a 65 bn USD market cap company, almost 20 bn more than Blackstone, its former parent.

See full article here by Value and Opportunity

King Of Capital: The Remarkable Rise, Fall, And Rise Again Of Steve Schwarzman And Blackstone – Description

King Of Capital: The Remarkable Rise, Fall, And Rise Again Of Steve Schwarzman And Blackstone by David Carey

Strippers and Flippers . . . or a New Positive Force Helping to Drive the Economy . . .

The untold story of Steve Schwarzman and Blackstone, the financier and his financial powerhouse that avoided the self-destructive tendencies of Wall Street. David Carey and John Morris show how Blackstone (and other private equity firms) transformed themselves from gamblers, hostile-takeover artists, and ‘barbarians at the gate’ into disciplined, risk-conscious investors.

The financial establishment—banks and investment bankers such as Citigroup, Bear Stearns, Lehman, UBS, Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley—were the cowboys, recklessly assuming risks, leveraging up to astronomical levels and driving the economy to the brink of disaster.

Blackstone is now ready to break out once again since it is sitting on billions of dollars that can be invested at a time when the market is starved for capital.

The story of a financial revolution—the greatest untold success story on Wall Street: Not only have Blackstone and a small coterie of competitors wrested control of corporations around the globe, but they have emerged as a major force on Wall Street, challenging the likes of Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley for dominance.

Great human interest story: How Blackstone went from two guys and a secretary to being one of Wall Street’s most powerful institutions, far outgrowing its much older rival KKR; and how Steve Schwarzman, with a pay packet one year of $398 million and $684 million from the Blackstone IPO, came to epitomize the spectacular new financial fortunes amassed in the 2000s.

Controversial: Analyzes the controversies surrounding Blackstone and whether it and other private equity firms suck the lifeblood out of companies to enrich themselves—or whether they are a force that helps make the companies they own stronger and thereby better competitors.

The story by two insiders with access: Insightful and hard-hitting, filled with never-before-revealed details about the workings of a heretofore secretive company that was the personal fiefdom of Schwarzman and Peter Peterson.

Forward-looking: How Blackstone and private equity will drive the economy and provide a model for how financing will work.

King Of Capital: The Remarkable Rise, Fall, And Rise Again Of Steve Schwarzman And Blackstone – Review

“The authors … [take] us from the early days of the Blackstone Group, when the firm was just two guys and a secretary, to the buyout boom, when Mr. Schwarzman’s conspicuous consumption became a symbol of the new Gilded Age. In between, the book dives deeply into the firm’s signature deals — Celanese! Nalco! Distressed cable bonds! – that made Mr. Schwarzman and his partners so rich. It also delivers some fun details about many of the now-famous Wall Street players that did tours of duty at the firm. – New York Times DealBook

“Carey and Morris’ thorough reporting offers a compelling look into the little understood Wall Street giant and the secrets of its success.” – Worth Magazine

“[R]anks as one of the most even-handed treatments of the industry. David Carey and John Morris . . . received unusual access to Blackstone. . . . This allowed them to chronicle the firm in full and entertaining fashion across its 25-year history.” – Bloomberg Brief – Mergers

“[A] broad history of private equity, with Blackstone as the touchstone.” – Fortune.com

“Check out “King Of Capital: The Remarkable Rise, Fall, And Rise Again Of Steve Schwarzman And Blackstone” because it’s got gossip, it’s got brains, and it’s as readable as hell. And it’s got some really good Schwarzman stories too.” – The Deal

King Of Capital: The Remarkable Rise, Fall, And Rise Again Of Steve Schwarzman And Blackstone aspires to be a serious portrait of Blackstone and the way that Schwarzman so brilliantly built it up, scoring numerous coups along the way and avoiding the mistakes of many competitors. And it does a fine job in what it sets out to do.” – Financial Times

“The authors link Blackstone’s history to the larger story of private equity’s expansion and its relationship to corporate America. They offer a lucid explanation of how the debt markets evolved from junk bonds to securitised loans, changing the types of deals that private-equity firms were able to finance.” – The Economist

About the Author

DAVID CAREY is senior writer for The Deal, a news service and magazine covering private equity and mergers and acquisitions. Before joining The Deal he was the editor of Corporate Finance magazine and wrote for Adweek, Fortune, Institutional Investor, and Financial World.

JOHN E. MORRIS, now an editor with Dow Jones Investment Banker, was for many years an assistant managing editor at The Deal in New York and London and before that was an editor and writer at The American Lawyer magazine.

To find out more visit: www.king-of-capital.com

King Of Capital - The Remarkable Rise, Fall, And Rise Again Of Steve Schwarzman And Blackstone

King Of Capital: The Remarkable Rise, Fall, And Rise Again Of Steve Schwarzman And Blackstone by David Carey