Summit Notebook

Exclusive outtakes from industry leaders

Nasdaq president to finance companies: come hither

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A fertile planting ground for tech, biotech and even some energy offerings, Nasdaq OMX has historically struggled to lure listings in some other areas, notably financial services.

Now, that could be about to change, Nasdaq OMX President Magnus Bocker said at the Reuters Exchanges and Trading Summit. As Nasdaq looks for ways to attract new listings and end a virtual drought in IPOs, it sees financial services firms as one of the most promising areas.

That Nasdaq would at least be hoping to narrow the gap in financial services listings with NYSE, the traditional ruler of the space, is not as out of left field as it might sound.

The exchange has already made some inroads and can point to some recent conquests like CME Group, which moved from a dual listing on Nasdaq and NYSE to a sole Nasdaq listing. Northern Trust, the fund administrator which has weathered the financial crisis with relative ease compared with some larger rivals, is another bright point.

from Shop Talk:

Food shortage + financial crisis = bleak outlook

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The global economic meltdown has the World Bank on high alert.
 
As the financial crisis deepens, the World Bank is issuing even bleaker warnings about rising poverty and hunger in the developing world.  Initially, it estimated that 46 million people in developing countries could be pushed into poverty.  Now, that level is up another 7 million.

FOOD-WORLDBANK/"We estimate that about 130 million people were pushed into poverty from the food crisis and if you add the financial crisis on top of that we are estimating that about 53 million more people could be pushed into poverty as a result of the financial crisis," World Bank Managing Director Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala told the Reuters Food and Agriculture Summit
 
NEPAL/Children and women are being hardest hit, she said.  The World Bank estimated that the current financial downturn may add between 200,000 and 400,000 additional infant deaths per year on average in the 2009 to 2015 period.  That means a total of 1.4 million to 2.8 million more infant deaths, if the financial strain continues. 
 
"The one big piece we need to look at in this financial crisis and its translation into the food crisis is that we're talking about human beings," said Okonjo-Iweala.  "Remember that 923 million people are malnourished the world over.  When you talk about the financial crisis becoming an unemployment crisis in the developed world, in the developing world for many poor people it's not an issue of unemployment, it's an issue of life and death."
 
(Reuters photos of Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Jan. 2009/Girls waiting for drinking water in Kathmandu, March 2009)

AUDIO – What’s going on with the economy? Ask a trucker.

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That was the advice from truck manufacturer Navistar International Corp’s CEO Dan Ustian at this week’s Reuters Manufacturing and Transportation Summit in Chicago.

Ustian said the current slowdown has been worse and deeper than expected — even though the trucking industry had a sense that things were starting to go south as far back as 2007.

AUDIO – Cash is king

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And for Boeing Co’s customers, saving cash is becoming increasingly important.

It’s long been one of the great mysteries of the defense game about whether companies that make a lot of the stuff used for defense and security, might be able to ratchet down their pricing when, economically at least, it was a rainy day.

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