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.
"[King of Capital] ranks as one of the most even-handed treatments of the industry." (Bloomberg Brief: Merger)
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Can't make it through
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.
- Mike Martin
Great Story Ruined by Monotone Reading
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.