Monthly Archives: April 2008

Brazil Finally Gets its Investment-Grade Credit Rating

File under "about time too": Brazil has finally been upgraded to an investment-grade credit rating by S&P. The stock market hit a new record high in celebration, and the bonds tightened in even further: The yield to the 2015 call … Continue reading

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The US Economy Reaches a Fork in the Road

There’s been a lot of good stuff written on the GDP report, much of it on the slightly boring question of whether it means we’re in a recession. To me, the answer’s pretty simple: you have to be clear about … Continue reading

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Why Some Countries Find it So Hard to Get Rich

Nobel laureates are always a big draw at the Milken Conference, so it wasn’t much of a surprise that the room was full when Michael Spence moderated a panel on the relationship between growth and development featuring Myron Scholes. It … Continue reading

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Quote of the Day: Frictionlessness

Eric Feng of Hulu, on the digital innovation panel: Media is an impulse business. It’s foolish to expect that the user is going to climb mountains and cross hurdles to get to that content. This is very broadly applicable. Clearly … Continue reading

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What the Internet Doesn’t Transform

The PR panel in some ways encapsulated the weird nexus between corporate America and internet-era technology which has characterized a large part of the Milken Conference. Monday it was newspapers, Tuesday it was music, Wednesday it was PR: in each … Continue reading

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The State of Catastrophe Bonds

The panel on catastrophe bonds coincided with the release of a Milken Institute report on the topic. Catastrophe bonds make a huge amount of sense, in theory. The cost of Hurricane Katrina was over $65 billion in insured losses alone. … Continue reading

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The State of the Music Industry

The music panel featured Andy Lack, the chairman of Sony BMG, who somehow contrived to be reasonably upbeat about the recorded-music industry. It was his misfortune to be sat next to Quincy Jones, who lost no time in bursting his … Continue reading

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The Unintended Consequences of Water Pricing

I didn’t manage to catch all that much of the water panel, but I was struck by Israel’s Booky Oren, who said that 38 of the US states are coping with drought, but that if US agriculture used 50% reused … Continue reading

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The State of Private Equity

Apollo’s Leon Black (#6 on the latest private equity league table) kicked off an interesting discussion on the private equity panel this morning, when he said that the backlog of leveraged loans held by banks has come down from over … Continue reading

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Political Hacks: The Backlash

Macroeconomic discussions at the Milken Conference tend to feature a great deal of party-political Republican talking points. The lunch panel on Monday was moderated by Steve Forbes, the breakfast panel on Tuesday was moderated by Paul Gigot. And with people … Continue reading

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