Summit Notebook

Exclusive outtakes from industry leaders

Retailers facing an inflationary world

card1.jpgThe costs of raw materials and of just getting things from manufacturer to store shelves continue to rise and Wesley Card, chief executive of Jones Apparel Group said on Monday that those costs will likely continue to be an issue for companies like his and will also be passed on to shoppers — especially looking ahead to 2009.

Card, kicking off the annual Reuters Consumer and Retail Summit, said on Monday that those costs are especially seen in the production of footwear and accessories.

Rising costs in a retail atmosphere that is being hampered by a weak U.S. economy and record-setting oil prices are expected to be one of the highlights of this year’s summit, which includes guests from across the retail world.

The summit continues through Thursday in New York and London.

Video – Investors look to gold and diamonds

Investors are looking at precious metals and diamonds while the super rich are snapping up key pieces of jewellery.

The London Jewellery Week is the first of its kind in the British capital, and celebrates design and innovation. The current economic slowdown is prompting people to tighten their belts. But affluent investors are still going for expensive jewellery, along with gold and diamonds, to diversify their assets.

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.

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

How to spend your tax rebate

We asked CEOs at the Reuters Global Technology, Media and Telecoms Summit this week to pick out some stocks they would consider good investment plays.

With the caveat that they couldn’t cite their own company, many executives stuck to consumer favorites like Apple or Google , or delved into alternative energy. Some circled back to prior employers, while others dodged the question, saying if they were into stock-picking, they wouldn’t be CEOs.

Q&A with WPP’s Sir Martin Sorrell

Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO of WPP Group Plc, was interviewed as part of the Reuters Global Technology, Media and Telecoms Summit held this week around the globe. He talked to Reuters reporter Kate Holton in London, with groups of reporters calling in from Paris and New York to ask questions. Here are extended excerpts from a longer interview:  

SOFTER 2009; REBOUND IN 2010

Reuters: How is the U.S. advertising market holding up in light of the credit crunch and housing crisis?

No paper towels at AU Optronics restrooms

hb-chen.jpgNo luck if you are an employee of AU Optronics and have been yelled at by your boss. There are no paper towels in the restrooms to wipe your tears!

In a drive to become more environmentally friendly, the world’s third largest LCD maker has stopped providing paper.

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