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

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  1,477 Ratings  ·  66 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-
...more
ebook, 400 pages
Published October 5th 2010 by Crown Business (first published January 1st 2010)
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Tulay
Aug 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Must be read.

How rich people and companies they form can gamble with global economy. Always with the help of financial institutions and banks. While adding millions to their bank accounts, little people not only lose their jobs, their retirement savings. How they manipulate each other and tax laws. Always finding a way to get around the laws to keep them straight.
ruskin
Jan 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Perhaps the best PE book written.
Michael Losurdo
Jan 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jwack
Feb 12, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I knew little about the subject. It's a compelling book to read for someone like that and who has an interest in finance. The narrative though is very prosaic and not laid out very well. Paragraphs are not logical extensions. There is lack of continuity. Information can be communicated better in a tabular format with some charts in some cases; here the author just seems to go on and on. Puke-out-as-it-comes kind of writing style. I learnt a lot though. My biggest takeaway is the scale of it all ...more
Erwin
Feb 15, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
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Prateek Gupta
Jul 20, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a decent book on the history of Blackstone which succintly outlines the contribution of key players over the course of the firm's growth and discusses the make-or-break moments as Blackstone became a leading global PE player. Jury is still out on whether PE players are a net benefit to the economy with their focus on improving businesses to generate high returns or short term opportunists leveraging companies to the hilt & saddling them with inserviceable debt when the cycle eventual ...more
Byron
Nov 23, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Alex Trimm
Jan 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This seemed like a fair appraisal of the history of Blackstone. It doesn't paint Schwarzman as a god, more as a very focused and hard-working young man who did a good job of gathering people around him that knew what they were doing. It also did a fair job assessing the private equity industry as a whole, bucking the general shallow perception of private equity as greedy investors looking to destroy a company for personal gain.

The last chapter seemed was the most intriguing to me. The author tri
...more
Tyler Storm
Jun 04, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Lan
Aug 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kelly
Feb 05, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A history of Blackstone that focused on the deals and their outcomes and not so much on Schwarzman, Petersen, et. al. I liked that aspect of it and how it included the broader macroeconomic and PE industry contexts.
Dmytro
Jan 27, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: finance-novel
This book provides an overview of the private equity industry.

I think you can take a lot of value out of this book by reading the very last chapter which summarizes the current state of the industry and provides predictions about what will happen in the future.
Gmendra Lau
Nov 19, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
OKAY HISTORY OF BLACKSTONE.
Lunch time fastfood.
YUMMMMM
Ed Zhu
Apr 25, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very readable book. I enjoyed the balanced context about the evolution of the PE industry, deal sourcing and structuring, and investment outcomes.
Steve Bachman
Feb 10, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting history of Blackstone...a little preachy in the defense of private equity.
Paulo Boghosian
Nov 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent, easy reading, rich, and interesting if you like business and finance
Julian Bu
Sep 01, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
risk taker, manager, market timer, salesman
Felipe Farah
Feb 28, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
livro muito superficial, faltou emoção ao contar a história, mas deu um panorama interessante sobre a fundação do Blackstone
Zubair Habib
Mar 14, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great read, well presented.

The numbers got a bit laborius toward the end, but the real estate chapter picks up toward the end, which is a fascinating read too.
Yanxy
Dec 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great summary of the history of the current players in private equity. entertaining and informative read!
An
Sep 23, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business
Informative but seemed too defensive of private equity. Also was heavily promoting Blackstone, especially at the expense of other PE firms.
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.
Wendy Yu
Chapter 4: He worked the phones, and on Thursday, October 15, 1987, Blackstone wrapped up the fund at around $635 million, with some mop-up legal work on Friday. The following Monday the U.S. stock markets nose-dived 23 percent. Black Monday // "We got in just under the wire," Schwarzman says. "It was probably the luckiest moment" in Blackstone's history

Chapter 5: USX wanted to sell more than 50 percent of the transport business to an outside party so that under accounting rules it could take th
...more
JackTheBooks
Aug 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: physical
Phenomenal PE book focused more on the history of PE in general rather than solely on Blackstone. Very entertaining, well-written, in depth analysis on the industry and how it became what it is today. Would highly recommend for anyone interested in high finance.
Jamal Abisourour
Sep 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A smooth recount of the rise of Blackstone and the main drivers behind its impressive brand. Good read for private equity practitioners.
Blog on Books
Jan 12, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Bogdan Iordache
Jan 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Robert
Oct 30, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Gabriel Pinkus
Very informative!
Kunal
Feb 13, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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“Hey, it’s been a great run. I loved it. This is my favorite place in the whole wide world. But this is something I want to do and I’m going to say yes to it,’ ” 0 likes
“As Reagan’s first budget director, Stockman, a former two-term congressman from Michigan, was the point man for the supply-side economics the new administration was pushing— the theory that taxes should be lowered to stimulate economic activity, which would in turn produce more tax revenue to compensate for the lower rates.

With his wonky whiz-kid persona, computer-like mental powers, and combative style, he browbeat Democratic congressmen and senators who challenged his views. But he soon incurred the wrath of political conservatives when he confessed to Atlantic reporter William Greider that supply-side economics was really window dressing for reducing the rates on high incomes. Among other acts of apostasy, he called doctrinaire supply-siders “naive.” The 1981 article created a sensation and prompted Reagan to ask him over lunch, “You have hurt me. Why?” Stockman famously described the meeting as a “trip to the woodshed.” Though the president himself forgave him, Stockman’s loose lips undercut his power at the White House, and in 1985 he left government to become an investment banker at Salomon Brothers.”
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