March 4, 2020 / 3:11 PM / 25 days ago

Blackstone CEO says 'unclear' if Fed rate cut can restore confidence

FILE PHOTO - Stephen Schwarzman, Co-Founder, Chairman and CEO of Blackstone, speaks during the Bloomberg Global Business Forum in New York City, New York, U.S., September 25, 2019. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

MUMBAI (Reuters) - Private equity firm Blackstone Group (BX.N) Chief Executive Stephen Schwarzman said on Wednesday that it “remained unclear” if an interest rate cut by the U.S. Federal Reserve would restore confidence in the face of the coronavirus outbreak.

On Tuesday, the Fed cut interest rates by a half percentage point in a bid to shield the world’s largest economy from the impact of the coronavirus, although the emergency move failed to comfort U.S. financial markets roiled by worries about a deeper slowdown.

Speaking in Mumbai, Schwarzman said that it was too early to gauge whether the Fed’s action was effective since the impact on the markets had been negligible so far.

“It’s unclear whether that response will re-establish confidence because the confidence is really about the disease and not about the financial markets per se,” he told reporters.

Reporting by Abhirup Roy, Writing by Devjyot Ghoshal, editing by Nick Macfie

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