Friday, January 29, 2010
I friend and collegue Roxanne Mankin Cason wrote this piece for Women's Enews about the need to have gender issues front and center.
Here is another piece worth reading from the NY Times on the lack of women in positions of power on Wall Street. A question they asked is 'why don't women resurface when they leave?' but the bigger question is why are there so few women who make it in to top positions? We wrote a paper on that exact topic that I have blogged on many times, but if you have not yet taken a look here it is again. ( Women in Fund Management: A Roadmap to Critical Mass and Why It Matters.)
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
It was a good speech. President Obama came a across as a real person who could relate to the real problems that America is facing. Loved the way he talked about our security. It was not a tough guy talk but a more thoughtful approach. Good speech.
Sunday, January 24, 2010
Friday, January 22, 2010
So what do I think? I don’t think they powers that be truly understand how Wall Street works, in particular as it relates to what is “proprietary trading.” It is one thing to say that firms can do it in the context of facilitating customer business but as someone who traded for 10 years, what is customer business is not easy to determine. Let me give you an example from my own experience.
I was a trader of mortgage backed bonds. I carried positions to enable customer activities and oppositely ran short positions to hedge my book. I would accumulate positions in bonds I thought were good value based on research and my own opinions so when customers agreed and wanted to buy them I could offer them competitively. It was very important to ‘do the business’ but it was also important to ‘make money.’ Proprietary trading is what enables you to do both. YES, there is a downside to prop trading and the government should not ‘bail out’ risk takers, but this rule shoots the baby out with the bathwater. Without ‘prop trading’ I do not see how Wall Street firms can do their business.
As for the ownership of private equity and hedge funds I think this issue is complicated as well and not as simple as just now sorry, you cannot do it. Again, financial reform is needed, but thoughtful reform.
What I take biggest issue with frankly is the language and the tone the administration is using. You can be strong without being aggressive and confrontational. Wall Street played by the rules by and large and yes the rules were messed up but blame the regulators for that one. President Obama daring Wall Street to challenge what they are doing is just not appropriate in my book and clearly populist.
Lastly if you really want to get annoyed and ponder what happens if the government takes financial institutions continue to follow what is happening with Fannie and Freddie.
Here is the latest from the Wall Street Journal. (Fannie, Freddie Losses May Hit US)
"New Bank Rules Sink Stocks" - WSJ Jan 22
"Obama Hammers the Banks" - FT Jan 22
"Obama Declares War on Wall Street" - OPED FT Jan 22
Thursday, January 21, 2010
(click here to link to my blog from facebook)
"The institution of marriage has undergone significant changes in recent decades as women have outpaced men in education and earnings growth. These unequal gains have been accompanied by gender role reversals in both the spousal characteristics and the economic benefits of marriage." The study is full of stats and bottom line there are huge business and social implications.
Another great piece was published today by Nicki Gilmour at the Glass Hammer. Nicki makes a compelling case for the "Critical Mass Principle," which advocates for a minimum of 30% women on corporate boards and in senior leadership positions. Thanks Nicki for the mention and for highlighting our "Women in Fund Management' paper.
Nicki also mentions Linda Tarr Whelan who just wrote a great book called "Women Lead the Way." I spent a few hours with Linda this week and she truly 'gets it.' The book is a great read and articulates the reasoning behind, why women, why now. Please buy a copy and give a copy to any man ( or woman ) in power who clearly doesn't. You can also give them a copy of the PEW report. If you need even more evidence wait about a week until I have my web-site up! It will be loaded with it.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Monday, January 18, 2010
Sunday, January 17, 2010
This will have to do - The Hearings. I have a lot of mixed feelings about what is going on. I do think that the largest financial institutions contributed greatly to the financial crisis and should be held accountable. The ‘masters of the universe’ are not often but in the hot seat, and I hope that the experience will lead to greater humility both personally and organizationally. As for the levy what strikes me as unfair is that this is a tax on the banking system and not the shadow banking system, which also played a big role in the crisis. Further what about Fannie and Freddie? Why isn’t anyone talking about them right now??? Why no appearances before a commission? Oh, perhaps because Barney Frank cannot appear before himself. The losses there will be in the hundreds of billions and where is that inquiry? The public deserves to know the details of how ‘making home ownership affordable for Americans’ contributed greatly to this crisis as well. I think the President’s attacks, the language he chooses, is just not right. (see article below) Many have written that he has been all talk and no action as it relates to reigning in Wall Street. I personally would like to see respectful talk and appropriate action. It is clear that bonuses will shrink as a result of the outrage, but there are consequences. You can bet the NYC and NY State budgets are taking a direct blow, not to mention real estate, retail… well I could go on. Generally speaking those who make a lot of money spend a lot of money and redistributing those dollars to federal government coffers while nice in theory, has economic consequences. I still love my 'virtue fund' idea but i guess that piece did not get to GS or Washington. Darn. And what about those folks making out like bandits in the shadow banking system? Many took advantage of cheap government funding in one form or another to buy assets and have made huge returns. Sure they will pay taxes, increasing taxes, but no one is telling them what to pay their employees. I am not saying they should, I am just saying it is not exactly fair. That seems to be the theme of my entries this week… Life is not fair.
Friday, January 15, 2010
From Tiffany this morning............
"Mikey ( her financee) called yesterday mid afternoon and I can’t tell you how good it was to hear his voice. He was at the UN base in Port-au-Prince getting ready to participate in a logistics meeting that was about to take place. He explained that the UN has almost been paralyzed by the significant loss of their team. Many are suffering from severe shock. So many organizations have lost their staff. Many of our friends, and fellow ex-pats did not make it. The institutional knowledge that was lost in literally seconds from the death of seasoned dedicated staff and professionals is irreplaceable.
Mikey has set up a Trauma Center at Villa Creole in Petionville where hundreds of people are coming for care. Thankfully another team of doctors/nurses arrived there last night and they are receiving more medical support, although they are very low on supplies. They are working on people literally on the pavement outside the hotel during the day and doing suturing and triage care by a headlamp at night.
E-mail from Mikey as of this morning at 7am
"We have lost many friends. I am working with agencies who are left and trying to prep the people coming. We will need box carts with strong wheels. I need large trash cans and bags cleaners, work gloves, good class 2 mask, construction masks. if we can, 2x4 wood, 3/4 plywood, 2in and 4in nails. we ill need to build up a doorm and office. tools saws nails. etc. ask Bart zino he can make a list fast. chairs, food - non-parashable MRE type food snack ete my team don't have much. Un is trying to set up camps for NGO support but it is weeks off.
I am ok and working as fast as I can still running trauma center at night. we have about 150. maybe 100 new. losing many to internal injuries that we cannot operate on. "
Tiffany will be travelling to Haiti this weekend with a planeload of supplies donated by GE. Please keep her and the people of Haiti in your prayers.
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Sunday, January 10, 2010
Monday, January 4, 2010
Sunday, January 3, 2010
Friday, January 1, 2010
I subscribe to RGE Monitor, an exceptional global economic information resource created by Nouriel Roubini. Listed below are the top 10 issue areas that they see for 2010. It is a great list. I am meeting with one of RGE's top economists in person next week so I will be sure to report back! From an economic perspective we are certainly facing some challenging issues this year and front and center will be how the global central banks start to step back from their massive intervention. ( there are no links in the list below)
Rising Fiscal Pressures
Stimulus Spending Adds to Public Debt Risks
Will the Rising U.S. Debt Hurt Future Growth?
Sovereign Risk in the Eurozone: Are More Downgrades to Come?
Shaky Baltic Governments: Sharp Budget Cuts Boost Political Risk
Global Monetary Policy
How Will Global Central Banks Remove Accommodation?
The Exit From Global Monetary Easing: Disorderly?
Health of Global Financial Markets
How Healthy are European Banks?: Expected Writedowns Increase
U.S Bank Lending Continues to Fall Amid Permanently Tighter Lending Standards and Reawakening Demand
Regional Banks' Exposure to Commercial Real Estate Loans: More Downgrades and Failures to Come
Recovery From Housing Busts
U.S. Home Prices: Are Recent Gains Sustainable?
Could Canada Face Its Own Subprime Crisis?
Is Exchange Consolidation a Sign that Dubai's Role as a Financial Hub Is Being Diminished?
Is Appetite for Regulatory Reforms Waning?
Capital Flows to Emerging and Frontier Markets
Will Asian Policymakers Change Their Approach to Capital Inflows?
Will Global Central Banks Keep Up Their pace of Reserve Accumulation?
Will Frontier Markets Have More Access to Capital in 2010?
Energy Supply Issues
Are We Insulated From Energy Supply Shocks?
Should Europe Brace for Another Natural Gas Crisis in 2010?
Will the Stalemate at Copenhagen Stall Alternatives?
Will An Increase in Hydrocarbon Prices Choke Off Any Recovery?
The U.S. Dollar
Has the U.S. Dollar Replaced the Yen as the Top Carry Trade Funding Currency or Could the Yen Carry Trade resume?
How Strong Is Central Bank Interest in Gold?
Will Chinese Policies Be Inflationary or Deflationary for the Global Economy?
The Global Auto Industry Post Cash for Clunkers
The Recovery of Global Trade Flows Will a Jobless Recovery Stifle Growth?
Will Domestic Protest Shift Responses to Iran's Nuclear Program?
Will North Korea Return to the Six-Party Talks?
How Much Should We Be Worried about Cybersecurity Threats?