Blackstone Group chairman Steve Schwarzman’s campaign against the evils of fair value accounting continued at a lunch hosted by Credit Suisse today.
He condemned fair value accounting as a “pro-cyclical” concept that “makes no sense”.
“All that matters [in private equity deals] is when you buy and when you sell – at least that was all that mattered before someone came up with fair value accounting,” he said.
He even claimed that Robert Rubin, former US secretary of the treasury and more recently chairman of Citigroup, had turned against fair value accounting, despite being a long-term advocate. Rubin had faxed him apparently (Schwarzman admitted to being a “technical Neanderthal” who doesn’t use a Blackberry) to declare his change of heart.
Warming to his theme and to illustrate his point, he says Blackstone analysed earlier deals to see how they would have fared in the last downturn (2001–2003) if Blackstone had been forced to use fair value accounting.