17trumpceos2-master768Steve Schwarzman, who chaired President Trump’s Strategic and Policy Forum, formed to advise the White House on on economic issues, watched as the corporate chieftains on the panel bailed out this week over the President’s comments on the violence at a white-supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. One by one other CEOs were resigning. The New York Times reported:

As the group disintegrated, Stephen A. Schwarzman, the chief executive of the Blackstone Group, was kept in the loop. Mr. Schwarzman was one of Mr. Trump’s closest business confidants and the chairman of the policy forum, but he was also outraged by the president’s remarks.

On Tuesday evening, he called Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and a White House adviser, to inform him that the policy forum was falling apart. At the same time, Mr. Schwarzman began drafting a statement about disbanding the group. 

That was preempted when the White House announced the end of the forum.

Another crucial player in the splintering of the panel, according to The Times, was ex-Blackstone partner Larry Fink, CEO of BlackRock:

On Wednesday morning, Laurence D. Fink, chief executive of BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, called Ms. Nooyi, Ms. Rometty, Ms. Barra and Douglas McMillon, the chief executive of Walmart.

Mr. Fink decided to step down after seeing the president’s remarks on Tuesday, and now encouraged other executives to join him.

Fink left Blackstone to form Blackrock in 1994 after a dispute over ownership and profits, as chronicled in chapter 10 of King of Capital.

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