Monday, July 27, 2009

The Forecasts of Insider David Rubenstein

Carlyle Group co-founder David Rubinstein attended the Aspen Ideas Festival that was held in late-June/ early-July. Rubenstein participated on a panel, Navigating the Global Economy: CEOs Discuss.

A video of the 60- minute panel discussion is now available online. It is a must see video for all investors and anyone else interested in future trends in the world economy.

I've seen Rubenstein up close a number of times and spoken to him a few. He is a very, very smart guy. This video provides a very good sense of how he comes across in person.

His current views on the economy come very close to what mine were earlier this year. He expects higher interest rates, higher inflation, the dollar losing its reserve status, and he says that GDP will uptick later this year or early next, but that it will be misleading as far as a true picture of the economy.

These were pretty much my views, until Bernanke started to tighten money supply again. Now, I think we are headed for a double dip recession, with the second dip being very severe.

Rubenstein sees inflation climbing to the 5% range. If the Fed starts printing again, I think it could go to double digit rates. Curiously, he thinks oil could go as high as $200 per barrel. This is much higher than his overall inflation forecast, so he must see some major supply and demand factors beyond inflation impacting the price.

At points in the video you will wince. He defends the government stimulus package and sounds totally Keynesian. He also believes that the healthcare industry will be a good area to invest in, where I think it will be one of the worst. It leads me to believe that he has already cut his deal with his tennis partner and Obama sidekick, Larry Summers, as to what part of the healthcare monstrosity he will get contracts on, from where he will collect mucho bucks and supply "services" to the masses.

I laughed when this American oligarch bitched that it was difficult to invest in Russia because the Russian oligarchs have the edge in Russia.

Despite all this, there are tremendous insights and observations made by Rubenstein during the discussion.

The video is here.


  1. Funny, David Rubenstein mentioned hip replacements in his talk. Carlyle just purchased a French orthopedic implant maker. They plan to crack North America.

  2. Interesting that David mentioned the Middle East/North Africa as one of his top investment zones. His $500 MENA fund and courting of Libya's Muammar Ghadafi were clues.

    Carlyle's MENA Senior Adviser, Nader Sultan, landed a spot on Fluor's board of directors. Sultan fills a vacancy created by an Obama Argentinia ambassadorship appointment. Sultan also advises Carlyle's JV energy partner, Riverstone Holdings.

    What a small world!