Keith Banks is the president of U.S. Trust, the private wealth management arm of Bank of America. He stopped by the Reuters studio in Aspen to chat with Chrystia about the resurgent risk appetite among the world’s super-wealthy investors, his tripartite outlook for the global economy and the alternative asset classes that are currently in vogue. Here is a transcript of some of the highlights of their discussion:
“Jobs! Jobs! Jobs! What can we do?” was the title of a panel Chrystia moderated at the New York Forum last week with members of President Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. The Council has been tasked with jump-starting the U.S. labor market and recommending changes to the nation’s education and training initiatives, and each of the panelists touched on a different aspect of the Council’s findings.
Is it morning in America? Or is now a time for blood, sweat, toil and tears? As the United States warms up for the presidential elections, the choice between those two narratives will be the most important decision each party makes and may determine who wins in 2012.
BUDAPEST – Sometimes the conventional wisdom is right. The Arab Spring really is the most important political event since the 1989 revolutions in Eastern Europe. So it makes sense to find out what the East Europeans make of the uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa and to ask what they think it will take to transform the promise of these rebellions into a lasting political transformation.
Are hedge funds malign financial firms that are exploiting and encouraging volatility? Or are they contrarian investors that lean against asset bubbles and make markets more stable? Chrystia interviewed Roger Martin of the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management and Sebastian Mallaby of the Council on Foreign Relations about the role of hedge funds in the economy, George Soros’s “gloriously schizophrenic personality,” and the lessons financial regulators can learn from the NFL commissioner:
The political theater in the United States this week has been all about the “debt ceiling”: Congress voting not to increase it; President Barack Obama and the House Republicans meeting to discuss it; and the Treasury warning that failure to raise it will bring economic apocalypse for the United States and the world.
In 1984 Marc Koska read a newspaper article that changed his life. The article predicted that the HIV contagion that had surfaced a few years earlier would morph into an all-out pandemic across the developed world via the unsanitary practice of reusing syringes. He spent the next three years traveling and designing a cost-effective syringe that would lock up if someone attempted to reuse it. Fast forward to the present, and 13 manufacturers around the world are making a couple of million of Koska’s K1 syringes every day. Yet, as he told Chrystia at Google’s 2011 European Zeitgeist conference in May, doctors and nurses in developing countries continue to reuse unsterilized syringes: