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.
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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