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Carlyle’s David Rubenstein says geopolitical ‘black swan’ only worry for markets in next two years

A first of one of the largest U.S. private equity companies said a geopolitical surprise is the but thing for markets to worry about in the next two years.

“The only fixation we have to worry about I think in 2018 and 2019 is some unanticipated geopolitical actuality, the so-called black swan,” David Rubenstein, co-CEO of The Carlyle Collection, said Tuesday at CNBC’s Net/Net dinner in Washington, D.C. He pointed to a possible North Korea guided missile launch or an event similar to the Sept. 11 attacks.

“But right now, blunt of those kind of things, I think the economy’s in reasonably good adapt and probably going to be spurred on a little by the tax bill,” he said. Rubenstein conveyed the tax bill should have “very favorable consequences for the economy” and he doesn’t see any contrary surprises from inflation or the labor market.

Carlyle had $174 billion of assets covered by management at the end of the third quarter, according to the company.

“You have to be cautious when you’re buying affairs because prices are high,” Rubenstein said. But “right now, the environment is charming good for private equity.”

He noted that Carlyle owns almost 200 companies, 100 in the U.S. and 100 overseas. “Those in the U.S. will aid from a lower corporate tax rate and will benefit from the motiving of the [economy].”

In late October, the private equity company said Rubenstein and co-CEO William Conway disposition step down effective January. In their place, Glenn Youngkin and Kewsong Lee pass on become the company’s co-chief executives.

“They’re very well proficient,” Rubenstein said Tuesday. “Carlyle’s in stronger shape than it’s yet been.”

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