‘No end in sight’: Blackstone CEO doesn't think the US can handle another term under President Biden — or what he calls 'four more years' of debt misery. But is it really that bad?


‘No end in sight’: Blackstone CEO doesn't think the US can handle another term under President Biden — or what he calls 'four more years' of debt misery. But is it really that bad?

‘No end in sight’: Blackstone CEO doesn’t think the US can handle another term under President Biden — or what he calls ‘four more years’ of debt misery. But is it really that bad?

Blackstone boss Stephen Schwarzman has his doubts about the future of the U.S. economy if President Joe Biden wins re-election in November.

“We’ve now got $2 trillion deficits with no end in sight. We’ve got our debt-to-GDP [ratio] going up. We’ve got open borders with 8 million people coming over,” the billionaire businessman — and Republican mega donor — told Bloomberg, when asked about what he thinks would happen to the economy over a second Biden term.

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“I don’t know that the country, frankly, is prepared for four more years of that.”

Is the U.S. economy really as bad as those headline figures suggest?

Drowning in debt

On the surface, things don’t look good. U.S. national debt soared to $34.1 trillion by Jan. 31, according to the real-time U.S. Debt Clock.

That total is more than the combined GDP of the top five global economies after the U.S. — China ($17.9 trillion), Japan ($4.2 trillion), Germany ($4.0 trillion), India ($3.4 trillion) and the United Kingdom ($3.0 trillion) — according to World Bank data.

On the same day, the U.S. federal budget deficit — the difference between government spending and revenue — was at $1.75 trillion. And the U.S. debt-to-GDP ratio — the ratio between a country’s government debt and its GDP — is currently at 122%, according to the World Economics GDP Database.

“It would be good if we could get our financial house in order,” Schwarzman stated — but he doesn’t think the U.S. is headed for a “big financial problem.”

“Usually financial crises come when you don’t expect them and they come quickly,” the 76-year-old private equity boss pointed out.

The current problems in the U.S. have been building for years and they seem to be on a slow and steady path to recovery — unless, of course, another macro event throws things off course.

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‘Optimistic for 2024’

Despite seemingly dissing so-called Bidenomics and raising alarm bells over what could happen to the U.S. economy, Schwarzman also claimed to be “optimistic” for 2024.

He told Bloomberg the economy has slowed — “that’s normal with high interest rates” — but he expects rates to come down in the second half of the year.

“We will get the [rate] cuts,” he said, with absolute certainty.

Why is Schwarzman so confident? Because Blackstone — the world’s largest alternative asset manager, with $1 trillion in assets under management — is currently measuring U.S. inflation at around 2%, which happens to be the Fed’s inflation target.

This is far better than the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics inflation data, for December 2023, which came in at 3.4% — with the shelter index remaining an outlier at 6.2%.

“They’re looking at 6% in rents and residential real estate [inflation] and we’re the largest owner of residential real estate and we think it’s 0-1%,” said Schwarzman.

“Let’s bet on us [Blackstone] on this one because we’re the people actually doing it. And if you correct the index for that difference between what’s really going on [in residential real estate] and [what] they’re saying is 6.2%, you get around 2%.”

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This article provides information only and should not be construed as advice. It is provided without warranty of any kind.



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