Terry Duffy, the chairman of CME Group, which owns the world’s largest derivatives exchange, says he realizes the Merc can be an easy scapegoat at a time when food prices are soaring. When politicians start to talk about the evils of “speculators”, criticism of the main venue where they make their bets on wheat and other crops can’t be far behind.
Massachussets State Pension Fund Executive Director Michael Travaglini says the Bay State’s pension fund, one of the nation’s largest, won’t be following the lead of New Jersey’s anytime soon — at least not in terms of direct investments in banks. He thinks that New Jersey — like some prominent sovereign wealth funds — viewed its recent investments in Citigroup and Merrill Lynch “almost as a necessity” to help prop up the financial system.
But even if he understands their motives, Travaglini isn’t sure rescuing troubled investment banks from Merrill Lynch to Bear Stearns is the right thing to do.
“If there’s always a net, whether it’s the Fed, whether it’s New Jersey, whether it’s Abu Dhabi, to me there’s a risk that there’s nothing learned,” he said. “I don’t want people to repeat the same mistakes. I think reasonably people could argue this whole subprime mess is a mistake that has been repeated two or three times throughout history.”
To Travaglini, the danger of lessons not getting learned reminds him of his own kids and why they must learn the consequences of mistakes.
“Why would they avoid getting in the same predicament if they had known they were going to get taken off the hook,” he said, speaking at the New York segment of the Reuters Hedge Funds and Private Equity Summit.
2008 is shaping up to be a challenging year for hedge funds and private equity but there are opportunities if you know where to look.
As Mexico’s oil production gradually declines from peaks in 2004, future governments may need to come up with new ways to tax more products, like food or medicine, to keep healthy coffers, Deputy Finance Minister Jose Antonio Meade told the Reuters Latin America Investment Summit.
Revenues from state oil firm Pemex currently bring government revenue to 20 percent of gross domestic product.
Different companies are using different methods to deal with the withering U.S. economy and still draw in customers.
Well, he seemed pretty calm, actually!
Michael Mendes, chief executive of Diamond Foods, maker of Emerald Nuts, said at the Reuters Food Summit on Monday that demand for the company’s many different nut products remain strong and gave an optimistic outlook on the future.
It’s been some time since Starbucks was considered cool.
There was a time, to be sure, when the coffee retailer’s cool, new shops were actually cool and new. It was Seattle — and all things Northwest — were hot. Coffee was being consumed by the gallon. Nirvana and Pearl Jam were just building their angst-ridden, flannel-clad fan bases.