Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Wall Street's "raging bull" calls for tough reform of outdated global financial system

This is the best proposal I've seen for reforming a 21st century financial system that's regulated by 20th century rules. It comes from Stephen Schwarzman, the high-living founder and CEO of the global private equity firm Blackstone Group. When Schwarzman emphasizes the need for transparency and more and centralized regulation in today's often-opaque system of financial instruments, he knows whereof he speaks. Blackstone, among other things, manages hedge funds, the secretive, little-regulated entities in which the very rich invest ("speculate" might be a better description). Highly leveraged hedge funds are part of the global financial web that's been snapping strand by strand. I notice that Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Christopher Cox makes a similar case for transparency and centralized regulation in an op-ed article in the Washington Post. But the call for reform means more coming from the Wall Street player who happily describes himself as the "raging bull" of private equity -- Stephen Schwarzman.

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