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Why On Earth Would Blackstone Go Public?

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One word: money.
The deal that has heads shaking across Wall Street is most probably motivated by the simplest, and oldest, explanation of them all. There is a very strong feeling that the private equity industry is hitting a pivotal moment in its history--whether it's a top or a dawn of a new era depends on who you ask--and a lot the the people at Blackstone are no doubt doing what they've been trained to do: looking for the exit.
Not that people are clamoring to get out of Blackstone. But while the most senior people at the firm may not need any money, some of the more junior partners have to be asking: how do I cash in on our success?
They've seen it happen at Fortress. They saw it happen at Goldman. And there's definitely the feeling that there is an appetite in the capital markets for the offering. And, no doubt, the fee-hungry investment bankers at Goldman Sachs are not exactly doing their best to discourage this desire.