The global energy crisis is severe enough that it could fuel social unrest, said the CEO of asset management company Blackstone on Monday.
Stephen Schwarzman was speaking at the Future Investment Initiative conference in Saudi Arabia.
Schwarzman, who is also co-founder of the investment firm, said: "We're going to end up with a real shortage of energy. And when you have a shortage, it's just going to cost more and it's probably going to cost a lot more," as reported by Bloomberg and CNN.
When that happens, "you're going to get very unhappy people around the world," particularly in the emerging markets, he continued.
Benchmark US crude oil futures are up 75% year-to-date, around $85 a barrel – and they could gain more, pushing up energy prices and everything else downstream.
Larry Fink, the CEO of BlackRock, the world's largest asset manager, also spoke at the conference. He told the audience there was a reasonable chance oil prices would reach $100 a barrel, Bloomberg reported.
"Inflation, we are in a new regime," he said. "There are many structural reasons for that. Short-term policy related to environmentalism, in terms of restricting the supply of hydrocarbons, has created energy inflation, and we are going to be living with that for some time."
"We're not focusing on long-term solutions. We're not trying to change the world on a granular basis," Fink continued. "We have these visions we could go from a brown world, and we could wake up tomorrow there'd be a green world, and that is not going to happen."