SCHWARZMAN: ‘Very few Americans’ are proud of the US political system

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Schwarzman isn’t any happier with the state of politics than Dimon.
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Brendan McDermid/Reuters

He didn’t use the same explosive words, but Blackstone Group CEO Steve Schwarzman empathizes with JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon’s frustration with the political gridlock on Capitol Hill.

During an interview with CNBC Tuesday Schwarzman slammed the state of US politics, echoing Dimon’s profanity-laden outburst from last week, albeit in a more restrained tone.

“At this point there are very few Americans that are very proud about the functioning of the US political system,” said Schwarzman, who is in Washington, DC, for a summit with Chinese business leaders. “I don’t know who the great booster is in terms of getting things done.”

Schwarzman said he caught up with Dimon at the summit about his comments during JPMorgan’s quarterly earnings call last Friday, in which Dimon bemoaned to analysts that other countries’ were investing in education and infrastructure and solving tax policy while the US languished.

At one point, Dimon went so far as to say it was “almost an embarrassment being an American citizen traveling around the world and listening to this stupid s— we have to deal with.”

“It’s amazing to me that every single one of these countries understands that practical policies that promote business and growth are good for the citizens of these countries for jobs and wages and that somehow, this great American free-enterprise system, we no longer get it,” Dimon said.

Schwarzman, the billionaire Blackstone founder who now also advises President Donald Trump, told CNBC that he’d use different words, but he didn’t disagree with the criticism.

“I say things differently than Jamie might in terms of language choice, but I haven’t found anybody who thinks we’re batting 100 out of 100 in terms of how things are being handled,” Schwarzman said.