WHEN: Today, Thursday, April 16th
WHERE: CNBC's "Squawk Box"
Following are excerpts from the unofficial transcript of FIRST ON CNBC interviews on CNBC's "Squawk Box" (M-F, 6AM-9AM ET) today. For a roundup of all the interviews, go to squawkbox.cnbc.com.
All references must be sourced to CNBC.
Larry Fink, BlackRock Chairman & CEO
FINK ON GLOBAL REACH
Worldwide we're seeing clients asking what should we be doing, how should we be looking about it. They're looking to reallocate money into different areas. Our insurance companies in Europe cannot reinvest in Germany or Switzerland now they have to be looking for other ways of making some return. We're seeing broad based interest. I think it's a statement of BlackRock's position with being in 34 countries worldwide. It's a global phenomenon that lower interest rates is creating huge pain.
FINK ON OIL
Well I think long run stability of oil is going to be between 60 and 80 dollars. I believe if oil continues to creep higher we're going to see greater production.
FINK ON U.S. VERSUS EUROPE
Here I am very constructive on Europe. I think Europe is going to be the surprise of the year. Europe is going to have higher GDP in the first quarter than the U.S. That's a huge change from what I said and everyone else said four months ago. This is why I think the dollar is probably a little too expensive now because I do believe we're going to see a very weak first quarter. You could say it's weather, you could say it's capital expenditures, but probably the biggest surprise of the U.S. is the consumer saving.
FINK ON BUYBACKS
Some companies there may be a more productive use of the money instead of buying back stock if you can reinvest it back into the company and earn a better return than the stock buyback or giving me a dividend and I have to reinvest it at zero because short rates are where they are. That's better for the stock market.
FINK ON CEO LONG TERM STRATEGY
Probably the greatest theme that we asked in the letter is focus on your long term strategy. Tell us about what are your long term plans. Part of a long term strategy is obviously how are you reinvesting in your company and I do believe if companies articulate a long term strategy how they're going to reinvest it in their company, their plans for inorganic mergers – is there any contemplation of that? - and what is their capital plan related to stock repurchases and dividends. If they discuss these three main components of how one grows and builds a company, I actually believe you're going to have less threats for activists.
FINK ON INTEREST RATES
It's a global phenomenon that lower interest rates is creating huge pain. This is something that's misunderstood and not talked about enough. Everyone appreciates low interest rates how it really accelerates the equity market, which it's certainly doing, but it's creating quite a bit of havoc with a lot of our clients.
FINK ON MOVING INTO EQUITIES
The chair of the ECB Mario Draghi said yesterday he's going to carry on his program. That program has another year plus going, a year, year and a half going. That tells me we're going to have lower negative rates in Europe for some time. And if you think rates are going to stay that low longer, you're going to see more and more people moving into equities and to more alternatives.
Steve Schwarzman, Blackstone Chairman & CEO
SCHWARZMAN ON BLACKSTONE
The firm is growing. In the latest quarter, we raised $30 billion. That's more money in one quarter than any alternative firm has raised in the year. We've raised $77 billion for new investments in one year. It's really very profound.
SCHWARZMAN ON GE
The only way you can really get something of this scale done was dealing with us because we have the largest pools by far for opportunistic real estate. And more than that, this was a combination of both mortgage debt as well as equities; it was spread all over the world. So to assess it, you needed the capabilities of being able to operate the U.S., Europe, Asia. So the complexity of this made it very difficult.
SCHWARZMAN ON INVESTMENTS
What we worry about is making sure that every investment can't lose money. Alright? So we're really more like playing basketball than doing investments. But we don't have a 24 second clock. So if you're in the long only equity business, you are invested. We only invest periodically. We only buy companies, buy real estate, make credit investments when it looks like a great, conservative, easy shot.
SCHWARZMAN ON TAX REFORM
There are a lot of smart people trying to make tax reform work. They can't seem to do it. It's because the numbers don't work. And what you have to do is get rid of all preferences and just go to like a single rate. You take care of your poor people and their society. They have to be protected with a safety net and then you can either have one very low rate. Maybe you put in another one so that wealthier people pay more. But if you do that, societies that have done that around the world, countries that have done that do really well.
SCHWARZMAN ON CEOS
CEOs are not born, they're made. They're made with experience and your judgment gets better and better. You learn how to do things. Average CEO in the United States is in place something like three and a half, four years. To me, this is astonishing and nonsensical. You can't really build a plan in that period of time. There are no long term decisions that person can really put in place that they can even see what happens.
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