The financial establishment---banks and investment bankers, such as Citigroup, Bear Stearns, Lehman, UBS, Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, and Morgan Stanley---were the cowboys, recklessly assuming risks, leveraging up to astronomical levels, and driving the economy to the brink of disaster. In King of Capital, David Carey and John E. 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. This is 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. And since it is sitting on billions of dollars that can be invested at a time when the market is starved for capital, Blackstone is now ready to break out once again.
Insightful and hard-hitting, King of Capital is filled with never-before-revealed details about the workings of a heretofore secretive company that was the personal fiefdom of Steve Schwarzman and Peter Peterson. A great human interest story, as well, it tells 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 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.
©2010 David Carey and John E. Morris (P)2010 Tantor
"[King of Capital] ranks as one of the most even-handed treatments of the industry." (Bloomberg Brief: Merger)
I'm not sure who thought it would be a good idea to have the reader for this book, but it was an incredibly bad idea. This will an audible first for me, but I've decided to not continue wit this book because I just can't follow the reader. He speaks in an incredibly slow cadence like he's telling some kind of fairy tale. He should not be narrating business books.
I think the story of Blackstone and more broadly LBOs and the evolution of finance is a great story and very interesting. The writing itself is crisp but sometimes veers off.
The largest issue I have with this is the narration. While the narrator is talented, I think he is ill equipped for this kind of book. He has a monotone voice that drones along from development to development. I find it so bad that it is difficult to get through the book.
The subject matter and the perspective.
No I think it does a fine job of covering the subject thus far.
Inside private equity
The details about how many of the deals were structured and the thought processes behind them.
Indifferent to Wilson's performance, but I can say that I listened to it on 1.5x and I have no complaints on his style.
A great read for anyone who wants to learn more about Schwarzman, Blackstone, and private equity in general.
I own BX stock (not an emplyee), thus, this book presents a special personal interest -- read it twice.
It provides fascinating detail into the deals and the people behind them.
With an abundant pool of interlectual and capital, Blackstone is the contender to be the next great financial institute.
I like this better than I expected to. I got a lot of comprehension about this intensive modern capitalist business. The opening obligatory and silly description of Schwarzman's luridly crassly materialistic showy 60th birthday party is quickly finished and we get down to crisp deal points, what worked and what didn't, across the history of the firm and players up through this publication date. There is enough overview to get a good feel for the kinds of deal and finance structures and competition that were there, and we get enough color and history about the personalities (meaning not too much). There are subtexts about organization governance, booms and recessions, and recent evolution of capitalism itself, woven seamlessly in and out of the individual stories of the deals. The effects of big recent historical events on this business (dot com bust, 9/11, 2007-2008, etc.) was a pleasing constant as it moved along. And yes, that lurid birthday party did turn out to be material, as it attracted lots of political heat in the run-up to Blackstone's IPO that generated a lot of distraction. The narrator is clear enough and even enough in tempo but moves slowly like some sleepy old guy driving constantly 10 miles below the speed limit. A quick switch to fast speed on my device made it move along nicely. I plan to study more in this area, which is the best endorsement I can give. But if you are looking for entertainment, "business lite," this probably isn't your pick.
The authors tell a good story, but they chose the wrong narrator.
The narrator makes you sleep, has no rhythm and ruins the story.
This was a very well done explanation of private equity, which the author clearly saw as a positive form of business. Unlike some of the other reviewers, I had no problem with the narrator. My one criticism is that about 2/3 of the way through the book the author forgot he was writing about Steve Schwartzman. Instead of giving insights into Swartzman as he had done up until that point, he focused exclusively on a long, long list of deals made by Blackstone and other private equity firms.
This was exactly what I was hoping: a solid and well researched history of the company and industry with enough details to make it informative but without an excess of unexplained jargon.
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