Summit Notebook

Exclusive outtakes from industry leaders

Audio – Kuwait Finance House sees silver lining in downturn

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lim-boh-soon.jpg Lim Boh Soon, chief executive officer of Kuwait Finance House in Singapore said at the Reuters Wealth Management Summit that he sees the period of downturn in the global economy lasting 18-24 months.

However, he thinks the market sell-off over the past two weeks has thrown up good value and said the Middle Eastern bank will look to raise up to $600 million for three Asia-focused funds next year.  Kuwait Finance House is the Gulf third-largest lender.

What do you make of Lim’s assessment on the global economy? Do you think it is a good idea to start buying into the market?

Click here and hear to listen on Lim’s assessment of the global economy.

 

AUDIO – Gazprom: “We are mutually dependent”

GazpromA quarter of the gas that heats European homes and powers European industry is piped in thousands of kilometres from the Russian tundra. By 2015, Russia’s share of European gas supplies will rise to at least one third. That powerful lever of influence over Europe’s economy raises the stakes in its confrontation with Russia over its invasion of Georgia.

But Alexander Medvedev, deputy chief executive of Russia’s state gas export monopoly Gazprom, opened the Reuters Russia Investment Summit on Monday with a reminder that even the mighty Gazprom is not invulnerable to Europe and the West, relying as it does on foreign revenue and capital.

Feldstein: NYC housing market “priced in euros and pesos”

feldstein.jpg  Asked if weakness in the New York real estate market – which has been fairly resilient so far – could signal a bottom for the battered U.S. housing market, the head of the influential National Bureau of Economic Research said : 

 ”No, no no! The New York real estate market is priced in euros and pesos,” Martin Feldstein said,  referring to overseas investors snapping up property in the Big Apple which for them works out as a relative bargain because of the weak dollar.

If you know a trader, buy him a drink

askari.jpg ”You know, I’ve lost more money in smaller positions and made more money in smaller positions in the last year than I have in 12 because of the spikes. Volatility has been unbelievable,” Firas Askari, head of foreign exchange trading at BMO Capital Markets, said at the Reuters Investment Outlook Summit.

With that in mind, ”If you know a trader, buy him a drink!” he said. 

Abby Joseph Cohen sees no black hole in U.S. economy

Abby Joseph Cohen“I think it’s fair to say it will not be as deep a recession, if
 it is a recession, as many people had feared not that long ago.
 There certainly is not a black hole developing in the U.S. economy,” Cohen told the Reuters Investment Outlook Summit in New York.

To hear what Cohen, one of Wall Street’s most influential strategists, had to say about the economy,  please click here.

How did Abby rate her former boss?

abby.jpgAsked to give a letter grade for the performance of U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson during the credit crisis, Goldman Sachs’ senior investment strategist Abby Joseph Cohen laughed. “I spent several years where he provided a performance review to other people,” she told the Reuters Investment Outlook Summit, about the former Goldman CEO. To find out how Paulson fared in Abby’s eyes, please click here  

   

Henry Kaufman “dismayed” by McCain’s economic flippancy

Republican presidential candidate John McCain didn’t leave the best impression on Dr. Doom.

“I was a little bit dismayed when Senator McCain said flippantly that he does not know too much about economics but carries Alan Greenspan’s book under his arm. That does not encourage me,” Henry Kaufman, president of financial consulting firm Henry Kaufman & Company told the Reuters Investment Outlook Summit.

Is a triple-A a triple-A a triple-A?

   Credit ratings agencies have been under fire from investors for giving the highest ratings for what turned out to be risky assets.
    But Standard & Poor’s President Deven Sharma told the Reuters Investment Outlook Summit investors just didn’t really understand what a triple-A rating meant.
    “It’s a question a lot of people ask: Is a triple-A a triple-A a triple-A?” Sharma said. “We reflected on it and recognised one of the things we didn’t explain to investors as much as we should have done is what comparability of ratings really  means.”
    To listen to what he had to say, please click here

Survival, yes, but what about the money?

Veteran Wall Street banking analyst Richard Bove sees Lehman Brothers surviving – but he doesn’t think they’ll be making a lot of money.
   There’s just not a lot of business there at the moment for brokers like Lehman, he told the Reuters Investment Outlook Summit in New York.
    To listen to a clip of what Bove had to say, please click here

If the surf’s down, they drown

Veteran bank analyst Dick Bove gives his views on the fortunes of the banking sector, including the risk of double-digit inflation on the horizon, that bank earnings are going to double over the next couple of years, and that Lehman will survive.

He also discusses how bank managements can’t seem to fight the trend.

 ”If the surf’s up they make a lot of money, if the surf’s down, they drown,” he said.

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