Category Archives: milken 2008

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

Posted in development, economics, education, milken 2008 | Comments Off

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

Posted in Media, milken 2008 | Comments Off

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

Posted in economics, Media, milken 2008 | Comments Off

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

Posted in bonds and loans, insurance, milken 2008 | Comments Off

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

Posted in Media, milken 2008 | Comments Off

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

Posted in milken 2008, water | Comments Off

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

Posted in milken 2008, private equity | Comments Off

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

Posted in economics, milken 2008, Politics | Comments Off

Apple Datapoint of the Day

This is entirely anecdotal, but there’s no doubt what the single most popular laptop is at the Milken Global Conference: the MacBook Air. The conference skews decidedly Republican, with a lot of very senior executives: we’re talking the conservative rich … Continue reading

Posted in milken 2008, technology | Comments Off

Blogonomics: The Econobloggers Panel

Can be found here. If you’re having trouble with the sound, it kicks in properly around the 8 minute mark. And yes, Yves Smith really is a woman.

Posted in blogonomics, milken 2008 | Comments Off

How Important is it to Jail Insider Traders?

An interesting discussion about regulators with teeth cropped up during John Gapper’s panel on financial centers. Gapper noted that the SEC was much better at jailing white-collar criminals than any of London’s financial regulators, to which Guy Saxton, the CEO … Continue reading

Posted in law, milken 2008 | Comments Off

Cities: The Least Bad Part of US Real Estate

As a general rule, if you get the opportunity to hear Sam Zell speak, you should take it. He was on the real estate panel today, and he didn’t disappoint. The moderator was Lew Feldman, a real-estate lawyer, who started … Continue reading

Posted in housing, milken 2008 | Comments Off

The State of Credit

The Milken Global Conference kicked off this morning with a panel moderated by Mike Milken on the only possible subject: credit. It was a high-level panel, with some high-level discourse: one of the most sophisticated conversations I’ve ever tried to … Continue reading

Posted in bonds and loans, milken 2008 | Comments Off

The Problems of Congestion Pricing in LA

Tim Rutten objects to congestion pricing on LA freeways, and I, like Mark Thoma, am sympathetic. Since I was such a strong advocate of congestion pricing in New York City, however, it’s worth teasing out the main reason why something … Continue reading

Posted in milken 2008 | Comments Off