My guest today is David Rubenstein, co-founder of The Carlyle Group - one of the largest private equity firms in the world. David has worked in the White House, built a $300 billion investment institution, become a prominent philanthropist, published books, and even hosts his own TV show. It was a thrill to sit down with him and cover the whole spectrum of his experience as a father, investor, historian, and titan of American business. Please enjoy this great conversation with David Rubenstein.
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[00:03:02] - [First question] - What his perspective on the world today is compared to the last forty years
[00:05:35] - The long term implications of the Ukraine war on a global scale
[00:07:54] - Concerns and thoughts on the US’s role in a radically different world
[00:10:07] - How inflation and reduced globalization impacts business behavior in the US
[00:12:58] - Why he chooses to learn by listening to people who are incredibly versed in their respective fields and what started it
[00:14:11] - His method when interviewing people and how it’s changed over time
[00:15:03] - How his interest in leadership as a topic began; How to Lead
[00:17:55] - The time he was the most personally in awe of a leader
[00:19:05] - The most basic ingredients for strong leadership
[00:21:34] - Learning from Oprah and developing his own interviewing style
[00:24:25] - His leadership style while running Carlyle and key variables that drove Carlyle’s success
[00:28:41] - The ways that were most effective in terms of investment for Carlyle’s brand
[00:29:50] - How should a new investor think about the relationship between government and business
[00:31:25] - Best ways for a business to interact with the government and common traits of those who do it well
[00:32:17] - What he’s learned about leadership that he thinks is the most portable for other people
[00:34:04] - His interest in masters of leadership and what he has learned from them
[00:35:08] - How Carlyle retained their talent and building relationships with LP investors
[00:37:20] - Lessons from working in media with what worked and what didn’t; How to Invest
[00:38:55] - How he approached writing How to Invest
[00:41:13] - The importance of intuition when evaluating backers and why geniuses aren’t always chosen
[00:43:04] - Big aspects of American history and why he finds it so interesting; The American Story
[00:44:17] - Key drivers of American outcomes and biggest areas for improvement
[00:47:00] - Lessons he learned going from humble beginnings to amassing wealth and how he’s teaching his children about it
[00:49:20] - The state of private equity and what are its best and highest functions today
[00:51:03] - Experience and impressions on the emerging cryptosphere
[00:52:25] - What makes for a good chairman and why he is always drawn to that role
[00:53:42] - The most interesting system outside of the US that he’s observed
[00:55:33] - What he has learned about being a giving pledge signer and philanthropy
[00:57:02] - His interest in Monticello and the Magna Carta
[00:59:13] - View on how speeches from leaders have changed over the years; Citizenship in a Republic
[01:01:24] - What subject he would write his next book on
[01:03:58] - Thoughts on the line between giving your life for your country versus your state
[01:05:17] - The American Experiment
[01:06:10] - Looking back on his career at a time where he felt the most alive
[01:08:07] - The kindest thing anyone has ever done for him