WHEN: Today, Wednesday, January 21st
WHERE: CNBC's "Squawk Box"
Following are excerpts from the unofficial transcript of CNBC interviews on CNBC's "Squawk Box" this morning live from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. For a roundup of all the interviews on CNBC's "Squawk Box" today, go to squawkbox.cnbc.com.
All references must be sourced to CNBC.
Steve Schwarzman, Blackstone Chairman & CEO
SCHWARZMAN ON SOCIETY DIVIDED
I think society has gotten a bit more used to being divided. I happen to think this is a very, very bad idea. And you run a company what you want is to unify your people and move them in a direction. Almost every organization works that way. I think we have a lot of work to do, this is in the United States and some other countries, to bring our people together. And that's the way you get the most out of a society.
SCHWARZMAN ON CONSISTENCY
I think there's a consistency in terms of what the administration has been trying to do on a tax policy basis. I've been told by political people that there's no chance of this happening.
SCHWARZMAN ON ECB
The consensus is that the ECB will be doing some kind of stimulus and that should weaken the euro a little more. And as to the Swiss franc, there's nothing but blood on the street and on the walls.
SCHWARZMAN ON BIG BANKS
I don't worry particularly about the safety and soundness issue with large banks. Large banks actually perform quite an important function, whether it's for funds transferred globally, for advancing significant credit. Large banks exist everywhere in the world and there's a reason for that.
SCHWARZMAN ON HOUSING
The housing market is coming back as you can see. It has been – it was depressed down roughly 40%. It's coming back. There's been more multifamily than there has by historic standards in terms of new builds. That should change over time. We're expecting another year of significant increase, probably around 8% in value.
SCHWARZMAN ON EDUCATION
I think the issues that are meant to be addressed are very important. The middle class has to increase its wealth. And we have to get better jobs. And it's going to have to be done, among other ways, through education.
SCHWARZMAN ON KNOWLEDGE ECONOMY
We're going to have to provide the intellectual capital for the people, not just in the United States, because this is a global issue, to enter the knowledge economy. If we don't do that then we're going to have long term problems.
SCHWARZMAN ON CALPERS
There were too many private equity firms, of a variety of different performance, and so what institutions are doing sensibly is to go for the ones that provide the best performance, give them much more money. Also it helps them have fewer staff to lower their cost. So it makes complete sense and it's a major trend, it will continue. Firms like Blackstone should be the major beneficiaries of this type of trend.
Randall Stephenson, AT&T Chairman & CEO
STEPHENSON ON PRESIDENT PROVISIONS
The president has said he'd like to go to a title two utility type regulation of our industry to protect net neutrality. And so a couple of the Congressman have said well why don't we put in place those provisions that the President is aspiring towards and give the FCC the authority to enforce those provisions. But there still seems to be an interest in just going down the path of full regulation of the internet by the FCC. So it's going to be interesting over the next few weeks to see what plays out.
STEPHENSON ON FCC AUTHORITY
It's what we've been working towards is finding a way of giving the FCC the authority to impose the no blocking, no priority access and so forth. But there does seem to be a desire to give the FCC broad ability to regulate the internet.
STEPHENSON ON NET NEUTRALITY
Net neutrality is all about broadband so buying DirecTV doesn't change the broadband market in any way shape or form. We're buying a company that is purely a stand-alone TV business. If the FCC were to rule on net neutrality in the next couple of weeks, what it probably does is takes it off the table for Comcast-Time Warner would be my guess. It's been dealt with there, right? So it doesn't have to be dealt with in the context of a transaction.
STEPHENSON ON NEW TECHNOLOGY
We're trying today to obsolete our old technology, our old fix-line technology. We want to take it out of service and replace it with either wireless or internet protocol technology. We're working with the FCC to do that. We think we might be able to get that done by the year 2020.
STEPHENSON ON LANDLINE TELEPHONES
If you look at our customer base today the young demographic tends not to have a landline. They've grown up with just mobile only. I still use a landline at the house for security reasons. Alright. And I also – the landline is the basis for home monitoring. 30 or 40% still take a landline telephone so just different people have different uses for it.
Larry Fink, BlackRock Chairman & CEO
FINK ON EQUITY MARKET
I'm quite surprised how the narrative is turning everything into negative. So the mood is really bad as Joe suggested. But even our interpretations are now moving more to the negative. I think this is just the cycles we go through. We go through really big bouts of negativity. And then you get some stability going. All of the actions I see will lead to a higher equity market by year end.
FINK ON EUROPE RATES
In Europe we're going to have negative interest rates, whether it's in Switzerland or we have even negative rates now in Germany, and with the ECB probably buying hundreds of billions of dollars of bonds it's going to lead to probably more negative rates in Europe.
FINK ON TECHNOLOGY
I think what we are miscalculating is how technology is changing our world more rapidly than we understand. And that's the deflationary pressure we're seeing. We spent way too much timing talking about what the 2007-8 financial crisis has done. And we've been using that as a means for all these issues for the last five years. Could it be a trend that's even more overwhelming, called technology and how it's transforming.
FINK ON DELFATION
We are shocked about what technology has done to the oil sector, which is obviously deflationary, and I would call that good deflation. But there are other things that we are going to be seeing maybe it's in automobiles, maybe it's something else, where we are seeing technology transforming how we live, transforming how we have to allocate our savings and our capital. And so we are living in this right now, watching it, and right now it feels really deflationary or disinflationary at the very least.
FINK ON EURO
If the Swiss economy is not that disrupted by this increase, which in my view it's going to be disrupted, but if it's not and I'm wrong, then Germany can look at itself and say I want out.
FINK ON CAPITAL GAINS
I believe the narrative should be, we should change it to capital gains tax to beginning a policy in which long-term begins on the 3rd or maybe in the 5th anniversary. And everything else is ordinary income.
FINK ON NEXT U.S. PRESIDENT
I actually believe the candidate who will become the next President of the United States is going to be the one who is most centrist.
FINK ON REDISTRIBUTION
Lower energy prices is probably the largest redistribution of wealth that we've seen in our lifetimes. And it's hard to interpret this. So unquestionably those who had huge investments in companies that were fracking and watching their stock down 30, 40 percent, so you're seeing some huge erosion in capital with wealthy people. But it's hard to document that person who drives 50 miles a day to work in Los Angeles, and they're going to be saving 20 to 30 dollars a week on oil. And that's going to translate into a 1200 dollar savings.
Mark Bertolini, Aetna Chairman & CEO
BERTOLINI ON RAISING WAGES
Becky Quick: You made huge news last week when you decided that you were going to raise the wages of your lowest paid workers to $16 an hour. This is happening at a time when everyone is talking about the minimum wage and what goes on. You weren't told to do this so why are you doing it?
Bertolini: As a company, we're looking at how we upgraded our workforce and invested in our workforce as we move to a consumer world and so we call it an infrastructure investment in the quality of our employees, in their healthy lifestyle, which is something that we should be about as a company.
BERTOLINI ON POTENTIAL RISK
We've sort of destroyed business after business in this country by looking at spreadsheets with numbers we call truth. Instead, let's look at all the potential benefits we can derive, hard and soft, as a result of this investment, put some numbers on them and stand back and say is this a risk we as an enlightened employer are willing to take?
Larry Summers, Former Treasury Secretary
SUMMERS ON EURO FAILING
I don't think the euro has lived up to the hopes, come close to living up to the hopes to those who inaugurated it. I think they failed to heed the economic advice that monetary union needed to be associated with much greater cooperation with fiscal policy, much greater cooperation in financial regulation, much greater cooperation in standing behind banks, much greater efforts to promote mobility. That was what they were told. And they let the politics trump the economics. And they're paying the price for that right now.
SUMMERS ON INFRASTRUCTURE
Nobody's talking about some massive increase in transfer payments or entitlements. We do have to work at putting people to work, infrastructure is one good way to do that. Removing barriers to private investments is another, that's why I thought that freeing up the ban on oil exports is so important.
SUMMERS ON WORKERS
It doesn't work to have workers be a disposable commodity pitted against each other. That goes to a range of employment practices, and it goes to basic benefits. Why should the United States, still the world's richest company, be the only one where you can't get time off to take care of a very sick relative? Or you can't get time off to take care of a new child?
SUMMERS ON GROWTH
It's not enough to drive growth, we've also got to make sure that the way we have that growth is equally distributed.
SUMMERS ON EUROPE
Europe's problems are heavily macroeconomic. Europe is haunted by the spectre of deflation. Europe has not yet found a way to make the monetary union work. Europe has an extraordinarily brittle economic and financial structure. And until that's addressed in some quite fundamental ways, of which the quantitative easing we'll see tomorrow is just one element, until that's addressed Europe's going to have a very hard problem.
Tony Fernandes, AirAsia Group CEO
FERNANDES ON VICTIMS FAMILIES
It's very difficult because they've lost loved ones. We obviously lost some of our family members, our crew, but it's not blood relatives. But I think all I could do was provide comfort, provide assurance that we'd be there throughout, we'll never forget them. And I gave them all my mobile phone number so whatever they needed, we were there for them. But it's a small thing in relation to what happened.
FERNANDES ON BEING THE BOSS
Fernandes: I think transparency. I think people want to know and they've got to hear it from the man in charge.
Andrew Ross Sorkin: Does anybody tell you that you've got to stop this, we don't want you doing this?
Fernandes: Well I think it would be very difficult to control me so no one did. But I just think, I'm the boss and I've got to lead from the front and people got to know what's happening and I got to set an example to my staff.
FERNANDES ON SAFETY
I think safety is a marathon. It goes on every day. Any airline that says they're safe, that's when complacency comes in. For us, we followed the best. We followed the approved training methods of Airbus and for 13 years we carried 250 million people, we grew to 180 aircraft, we never had an incident.
FERNANDES ON TRACKING
When Malaysia Airlines happened, I'd gone out in the public and said in this day and age there should be a system where the information is sent live to the cloud. It seems amazing that doesn't happen. I think that's going to happen soon and unfortunately tragedies, such as what happened last year, pushed this thing along.
FERNANDES ON BOOKINGS
I think we've had tremendous support from the world. But really support from your pocket, that shows you what the real support is and our passengers have come out very strongly. Our bookings are up actually yesterday which is quite remarkable for the amount of coverage we've been getting in the negative form. So that's a good sign.
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