Imagine the Blackstone Headquarters, 345 Park Avenue, New York. Just call this building, and its tenets, part of the Manhattan Corporate elite’s architectural hyperbole.
Lets focus on Mr. Gray’s private office, not that cavernous, even intimidating conference room, where each seat has its own microphone. Just a bit of Corporate overkill to impress prospective client.
Mr. Gray is holding court, and the topic for discussion with his most trusted aids, the head of Marketing being the most important, when crafting an essay bound for the pages of The Financial Times .
Mr. Gray has proposed a number of topics, that he jotted on a legal pad, and had an assistant type. Do Wall Street Titan’s still have Sectaries? Is it now Administrative Assistants?
Item 1 : Don’t handcuff private capital in this crisis
Item 2: Blackstone and other PE firms can give companies a fighting chance of survival
Item 3: It’s easy to get discouraged by the headlines.
Item 4: A record 26m Americans have filed for unemployment in the last month alone.
Item 5: This mix of rapid dislocation and extreme uncertainty causes markets to seize up and stems the flow of capital to businesses.
Item 6: Even the most deserving companies may not have access to capital when they need it most for survival, job preservation and growth.
Item 7: Into the vacuum, well before the “all-clear” sign has been called on this downturn, must flow private capital.
Capitalist apologetics wedded to cliche. No longer does the Capitalist Hero produce anything other that profit! Financial Capital is now the engine of growth. The final paragraph of Mr. Gray’s rhetorical/political intervention- the economic collapse of 2008 taught a stunningly valuable lesson about Capital in the 21st Century: civic virtue and anything resembling benevolence are absent qualities of Capitalism and its practitioners!
Some critics are already using the current crisis to renew their calls to ban or severely restrict private equity investment, and overseas investment more broadly. This would be deeply damaging to the economy in normal times. It is especially so during a crisis. We need all hands on deck — including a big push from private capital — to restart job growth and make our economy better able to withstand future shocks.