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King of Capital: The Remarkable Rise, Fall, and Rise Again of Steve Schwarzman and Blackstone

3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  680 ratings  ·  28 reviews
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-t
ebook, 400 pages
Published October 5th 2010 by Crown Business (first published January 1st 2010)
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Michael Losurdo
The reading can get laborious at times, but it is very well-written and detail-oriented. It is NOT focused on Steve Schwarzman as much as I thought. I was expecting a little bit more of a biography of him as well as Blackstone. However, it's really about the the origination and growth of Blackstone. For anyone interested in private equity, this is a must-read because it gives a fantastic overview and history of the industry. Also, if you want to build the next Blackstone (*cough* like me *cough* ...more
More interesting to read this as the story about founding a new enterprise. Lots of cold calls and unsuccessful meetings at the beginning - just like any other venture, followed by 20 years of hard work. After two decades of working hard, you get "discovered" by the media, and you are an "overnight success" (20 years in the making).

In that way, basically the same as WalMart, McDonalds, or any other non-VC funded entrepreneurial venture.

Interesting history. Interesting analysis.

The weakest part o
The King of Capital chronicles the business career of one man and his company in the context of a variety of developments in the financial world over the past 30 years. For me as a novice to this topic, this book was mostly informative. Occasionally, I found myself unable to process the nuances of different financial trends, but generally it was good to come to gain a basic understanding of the pros and cons of private equity and leveraged buyouts, and to recognize what is going on at the high m ...more
This is an incredible book about the formation of the Blackstone Group and how Steve Schwarzman rose from an investment banker at Shearson to the CEO of one of the world's largest private equity firms. This is a great book for one not only interested in learning about the Blackstone Group in general, but also about the formation of private equity and how it changed over time. The insight and perspectives that the book offered about the private equity industry is very interesting. Looking at all ...more
Great summary of the history of the current players in private equity. entertaining and informative read!
Lan Le
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I am also of mixed opinions about this book. There were some very interesting stories about the founding of blackstone, the early years and some of their investments they made over the past 20 years, but the author goes out of his way to make conclusions about how amazing Blackstone and Private Equity funds are, and how they have virtually saved the Corporate world from themselves. To be clear, I have no real issues with Private Equity, or how they run their funds, I just dislike the author tryi ...more
Blog on Books
The story of Blackstone is the story of the private equity business as a whole, at least in the telling of it from business writers David Carey and John Morris. Private equity, for those who might not be familiar, is a process whereby investment groups search for corporations that are somehow in trouble or, at a minimum, in need of greater efficiencies, invest in them thus taking them ‘private,’ only to reorganize them into entities that can be put back on the market (or sold to another firm) at ...more
This was an interesting history of the PE industry in general, and Schwartzman/Blackstone in particular. It's not easy to find accurate and fair descriptions of LBOs/PE in the mainstream press, so this book was valuable on that point. It would be interesting if the author had explored some of the views espoused by those less than enamored with the industry (e.g. Warren Buffet) who aren't simply rhetorical straw men (buyouts destroy jobs!), but that is a minor point. The author also did a fairly ...more
I have mixed feelings about this book. Some of the content was very interesting. I liked learning about the ideas behind conglomerates, private equity and venture capitalists. I actually found the details behind all of Blackstones deals interesting. What irritated and annoyed me was the author's inability to maintain chronological order. I listened to this as an audiobook, and the constant jumps between the time the deal was done to unrelated events decades later confursed me constantly. Anyway ...more
Tyler Storm
Pretty good and thorough history of Blackstone

Wish the author went into more detail about their investments. He just kinda gives it a cursory mention and some global details here and there. Really wish I could learn how the firm did a turnaround of their various investments. They invested in cyclical companies at the right time or turnaround companies that were undervalued. The author gives some mention but I really want to find out what exactly they did.

Overall, its the best of the bunch and gi
Very well researched. At times reads like a text book. Insightful.
Brian Zheng
The book details how Steve Schwarzman built the Blackstone franchise over the year and how the PE industry evolved from 1985 till now. It has very detailed description for some Blackstone deals.. Schwarzman did excellent job at market timing and this contributes greatly to the firm's success, two examples are that he closed the first fund right before 1987 market crash and made the IPO of Blackstone before the market crash in 2007.
Good summary of the birth and evolution of the private equity industry (it's as much about the industry as it as about Schwarzman and Blackstone). I found it especially interesting that many of the PE firms' deals turn out to be big busts, but the few spectacular outcomes more than make up for the mistakes and have driven the industry's strong returns over time. Fairly easy, novel-like read.
Bill Clarkin
It was ok. No really inside grittiness of the deal or the goings-on in Private Equity. Very few great stories of the life in Private Equity. The birthday party at the beginning was the best.
A really interesting profile of Blackstone, the buyout firm, in all its incarnations from startup to LBO machine to financial conglomerate to crash survivor. What Barbarians at the Gate did for a specific deal, this does for a firm.
Bharath Kumar
The book is a good one to read if you want to get more insight into private equity, leveraged buyouts and corporate world in general. As for the title I would rename it to just "Blackstone and Private equity". The book is less about Mr. Schwarzman and more about Blackstone private equity dealings and it becomes more prominent during the end of the book. Overall a good book
Ed Zhu
A very readable book. I enjoyed the balanced context about the evolution of the PE industry, deal sourcing and structuring, and investment outcomes.
Super fun read. Very interesting look into the history of private equity, with decent profiling of the larger-than-life personalities involved. The level of detail and context was nowhere near the depth of Barbarians at the Gate though.
Great history of PE - relevant, current, focused on Blackstone but also discusses competitors when relevant. Felt a little long winded and disorganized, and I wouldn't read it again.

A detailed book on the history of Blackstone and the private equity industry. Not the most entertaining read, but great nonetheless.
Liked the book. It details their deal flow and describes how they built the company into the powerhouse it is today.
Good history of Blackstone and the Private Equity world (at least in the US).
Steve Trevino
Fairly interesting...just a bit long and too many details.
Gmendra Lau
Lunch time fastfood.
Brentley Campbell
Great walk through of some of the history of private equity
Good but a bit tedious at times.
EDWARD H MILLS JR marked it as to-read
Aug 29, 2015
Anandh Sundar
Anandh Sundar marked it as to-read
Aug 28, 2015
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