Blackstone’s Steve Schwarzman from today’s earnings conference call for the beleaguered private equity shop:
Our view is the economy will continue to deteriorate sharply this quarter and next quarter and be pretty weak second quarter and maybe sort of see stability fourth quarter, and then I think you will have a pretty, and a weak 2010 although I don’t think it will keep declining…I think 2011 will show some growth but still be well below the levels of 2006 and 2007. My own view is you may not get back to 2006 and 2007 a long time because we have sort of an emotional and psychic shift going on in America which is back to basics don’t live on leverage, live within your means, more humble life styles, less extravagant consumption, savings and all of that sort of stuff.
I believe that a lot of people in America are legitimately scared and have seen their life savings or what they perceived as their net worth largely either wiped out or cut in half. That’s going to forge fundamental behavioral differences and that will retard the growth.”