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Pete Peterson’s ‘American Dream’

Call it words of wisdom or a roadmap to success. But any way you spin it, Pete Peterson has outlined what has made him one of the most recognizable names on Wall Street in his new book, ‘'The Education of An American Dreamer: How a Son of Greek Immigrants Learned His Way From a Nebraska Diner to Washington, Wall Street, and Beyond'.

Blackstone Group

His claim to fame lies with his past positions, such as the former head of Lehman Brothers or the co-founder of Blackstone Group.

Few people have seen the changes on Wall Street like Peterson has through the years. When Pete spoke to Maria on the "Closing Bell" he told her the recent fallout is "the most serious, long-term crisis he’s ever seen."

When asked about restoring confidence in the U.S. market, Pete told Maria there’s "nothing that builds confidence in markets than taking on social security and medicare."

Outside of social security and medicare, Peterson has become a vocal critic of wasteful and unsustainable spending and borrowing. Last year, he helped sponsor the documentary 'I.O.U.S.A.'

As for career advice, Peterson had some tips for "Closing Bell’ viewers. Peterson told Maria "individuals cannot be intellectually lazy." That they need to choose battles carefully, be true to one's own moral compass, and to balance one's business and personal life.

How’s that for advice?

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Questions? Comments? Write to investoragenda@cnbc.com

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