Carlyle Group CEO Sees ‘Incredible Opportunities’ Ahead

Carlyle Group
Carlyle Group

During the Future Investment Initiative in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, several prominent figures from Wall Street discussed risks and opportunities for investors and the global economy. Carlyle Group CEO Harvey Schwartz emphasized caution due to various challenges, including multiple wars, an economic slowdown, high inflation, and fiscal deficits. Despite these headwinds, Schwartz remained positive about alpha opportunities in the year ahead, especially as the market adjusts to a different interest rate regime. Central banks worldwide have implemented significant interest rate increases to combat inflation following massive economic stimulus during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Schwartz noted that the shift in interest rates creates credit risk, making borrowing more challenging for individuals and businesses. Additionally, he highlighted the importance of staying liquid in times of war to navigate uncertainty effectively. Geopolitical risks, particularly war, are challenging to price in the short term, and Schwartz emphasized the need to incorporate such factors into risk assessments.

While acknowledging near-term challenges, Schwartz expressed optimism about the longer term. He identified significant drivers of economic activity, including advances in health and longevity, technology, artificial intelligence, and the energy transition. These drivers, according to Schwartz, will require substantial capital, innovative thought leaders, and global cooperation.

Other Wall Street leaders at the event also discussed concerns about nuclear proliferation, war, fiscal deficits, wealth gaps, and societal divides. Despite the short-term challenges, Schwartz’s optimism stemmed from the potential for economic growth and innovation in areas such as health, technology, and energy transition. He found enthusiasm about the opportunity set, particularly after hearing from Yasir Al-Rumayyan, the Chief of the Saudi Public Investment Fund, during the event.

In summary, the discussions at the Future Investment Initiative highlighted both the short-term challenges and long-term opportunities in the global economy, with leaders like Schwartz urging caution while acknowledging potential alpha opportunities.