King of Capital is a book by David Carey and John Morris that tells the story of the private equity firm Blackstone and its founders, Stephen Schwarzman and Pete Peterson. The book provides a detailed and nuanced look at the history and practices of Blackstone, and explores the personalities and business strategies of its founders.
The book begins by providing a historical overview of the private equity industry, tracing its roots to the 1960s and 1970s when a small group of investors began to specialize in buying and selling companies. The authors explore how the industry has evolved over time, and how firms like Blackstone have come to dominate this field.
One of the key themes of the book is the power and influence of Blackstone and its founders. Carey and Morris provide insights into the personalities and business strategies of Schwarzman and Peterson, and explore how these individuals have built massive fortunes and amassed significant political power through their investments in a wide range of companies.
Another important theme of the book is the impact of private equity on the broader economy. The authors explore how firms like Blackstone have transformed entire industries through their investments, often leading to significant job losses and other negative consequences for workers and communities. They also examine the role of private equity in the 2008 financial crisis and the controversial practices that have led to criticism and calls for greater regulation of the industry.
Despite the criticisms of the private equity industry, Carey and Morris acknowledge the role that these firms play in the economy and the value that they can bring to companies and investors. They provide examples of successful investments and argue that private equity can be a powerful tool for driving innovation and growth in a wide range of industries.
One of the strengths of the book is its detailed and nuanced analysis of Blackstone and its founders. Carey and Morris provide insights into the personalities, motivations, and business strategies of Schwarzman and Peterson, and explore the impact of their investments on the broader economy. The book is well-researched and provides a wealth of information and data on the private equity industry.
However, one potential weakness of the book is that it may be too focused on the most successful and influential players in the private equity industry. While the book provides valuable insights into the strategies and practices of Schwarzman and Peterson, it may not provide as much insight into the experiences of smaller private equity firms and investors who are still making their way in this industry.
Overall, King of Capital is a valuable resource for anyone looking to gain insights into the private equity industry and the powerful individuals who dominate this field. The book provides a detailed and nuanced look at the history, practices, and impact of private equity, and the role that this industry plays in the broader economy. While the book may be too focused on Blackstone and its founders, it is still an excellent resource for anyone looking to understand the forces shaping the global economy and the role of private equity in driving these changes.