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The global economy seems to be slowing down, says the Co-Founder & Co-Executive Chairman of The Carlyle Group, but what does that mean? And where does private capital come in?

  • The thing that makes anybody worry is that we haven't had a recession.

    We're now in the second longest growth period since World War Two. Right now I think the US economy is again driving the world. US has greater growth than we have had in a long time, we have a very strong dollar, we have very low interest rates, we also have relatively low unemployment.

    At some point the global economy and the US economy will slow down so that’s the thing you have to worry about, but nobody knows exactly when it’s going to happen. The fact that China and Europe are slowing down are not good signs. But it’s too early to say for certain what that means.

    In 1997 there were in the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ 7,200 public companies. Today, there are 3,600 public companies— so there’s half as many companies. That's because people feel that being a public company can be onerous, it doesn't necessarily mean the only way you can get capital. In the old days, you went public to get capital. You don't need to do that anymore because there's so much private capital.

    I just think we need to let smaller investors and other investors get access to the private markets, not only the public markets. In the United States, it's often hard for the smaller investors to get access to the private markets for much of the good returns that are now coming. I think the rise of private capital is not temporary. Right now, there's more private capital than there's ever been, and that's because over the last 5, 10, 15, 20, and 25 years, private capital returns on average have exceeded every public market index.

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