Schwarzman Sees ‘Big V’ Economic Rebound in Next Few Months

Steve Schwarzman, chief executive officer of Blackstone Group Inc., said the economy is likely to benefit from a V-type recovery in the next few months.

The co-founder of the world’s biggest alternative asset management firm weighed in on markets in an interview Monday during the Bloomberg Invest Global virtual event.

“You’ll see a big V in terms of the economy going up for the next few months because it’s been closed,” he said.

Markets are benefiting from both liquidity and optimism that the coronavirus crisis can eventually be contained, Schwarzman said, but he cautioned on the economy, “It’ll take quite a while before we sync up and get back to 2019 levels.”

The spread of the pandemic seized up credit markets and put an end to Wall Street’s longest-ever bull market earlier this year. The damage pushed the Federal Reserve to flood the markets with trillions of dollars in stimulus, which, combined with the easing of lockdown restrictions and hopes for a fast economic recovery, have helped the S&P 500 index rally almost 40% since its March low.

Blackstone has been “aggressively” looking to put some of its $150 billion in dry powder to use, Schwarzman said in April. He also said that while all companies, including Blackstone, will be affected by the pandemic, the pain will be temporary, citing the U.S. government’s stimulus efforts. The New York-based firm saw asset values across most of its business segments plunge in the first quarter because of the economic fallout from the virus, but its long-term focus should put it in a position to hang on to companies as they regain strength.

China’s Outlook

China will continue to grow at double or triple the rate of developed countries, Schwarzman said at Monday’s event. It could internalize its markets and depend less on exports, he said.

Schwarzman has strong ties to China. He started a school in the country and has traveled there frequently — at times functioning as an intermediary between the Washington and Beijing governments. The billionaire has also previously advised President Donald Trump and was present in the White House when he announced the first part of the China-U.S. trade deal.

With assets of $538 billion as of March 31, Blackstone is the world’s largest alternative asset manager.

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