Schwarzman Weighs In on Market Reforms

Private-equity billionaire says regs should be global, streamlined
By Clay Dillow,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 4, 2008 10:46 AM CST
Stephen Schwarzman, CEO of private-equity firm the Blackstone Group, argues for more streamlined, uniform global regulation of the financial system, governed by a set of guiding principles.   (The Blackstone Group)
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(Newser) – With the world in “the worst financial crisis in recent memory,” private-equity billionaire Stephen Schwarzman advocates seizing the opportunity to prevent a repeat. In an op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal, the Blackstone CEO, who pocketed $677 million from the firm’s IPO last year, calls for global accounting principles, more cooperation between regulatory regimes worldwide and, of all things, more transparency at financial firms.

“Regulators should have oversight over all financial institutions that participate in the markets,” Schwarzman says, adding “it makes no sense if you are worried about leverage in the system to exclude major categories of borrowers, such as hedge funds.” But Schwarzman hasn’t abandoned the deregulation that enabled his own sensational success. Rather than more complex rules that choke innovation, he says, we need a set of broad principles that jive internationally as well.