The rhetoric of today's political world has caught the attention of many on Wall Street — perhaps no one more so than Blackstone's billionaire CEO Steve Schwarzman.
Unlike many of his banking peers, though, taxes aren't top of his mind. Instead, what has alarmed him for the better part of the last decade has been what he sees as a troubling rise of populism in the U.S. and around the world.
"[W]ith populism, no matter who you attack, your own circumstance doesn't really change, so you keep looking for new targets," Schwarzman tells CNBC. "My instinct was at some point different countries in the world were going to find China."
President Donald Trump spent much of his campaign targeting China. The animosity, which the Wall Street titan saw fueling the possibility of a U.S.-China war, led him to double down on his new immersive scholarship program, Schwarzman Scholars, which he funded with a $100 million donation.