Davos: Schwarzman One-on-One


The 2011 World Economic Forum kicked off this morning in Davos, Switzerland. Chairmen and CEOs have been moderating and attending panel discussions regarding the new state of the economy and new opportunities in the world.

Steven Schwarzman, Chairman of Blackstone Group, sat down with Maria to discuss what he has been seeing so far.

Schwarzman reacted to President Obama’s State of the Union addresslast night . He felt that although the speech was a little disappointing on the deficit side, the affirmation of the American Dream was a very good thing. Overall, Schwarzman thought that there was a positive tone to the speech, and it was very business-focused, which “represents a huge shift and is more accommodative for building the country economically for trade.” We are starting to see a friendlier government-business relationship.

As for business, Schwarzman said that he is looking at commercial, rather than residential real estate.

He is putting his money in hotel business.

Schwarzman sees a big pick up in the US, and everywhere else in the world.

Travel and hotel business have picked up.

Schwarzman also commented on the Blackstone Group’s ownership of the Nielsen Company and gave his reaction to the company going public.

Davos 2011 - See Complete Coverage
Davos 2011 - See Complete Coverage

The Blackstone Group has been criticized for overpaying in the deal, but the company saw the opportunity to have the business improved.

Analysis has shown good growth, but also a lot good opportunity to reconfigure the business and make it more vibrant. He said that capital markets are unpredictable. But, he is confident in the company as it priced above top of the range. Typically, IPOs that have made it in the range have done really well. This type of success is good for the markets, generally. “It is a good day for our investors.”

Donna Burton, Kerima Greene and Crystal Lau contributed to this blog.

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