Summit Notebook

Exclusive outtakes from industry leaders

AUDIO – The ‘new normal’ for the U.S. auto industry

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A few years ago, one of the guests at our annual Reuters Autos Summit — Tom Stallkamp from Ripplewood — pretty much stopped everyone dead in their tracks by predicting that auto sales in the United States was likely to fall to an obscenely low level of 14.5 million.

Those were the days.

Of course, Stallkamp was making that prediction at a time when U.S. car manufacturers were selling in the neighborhood of 16 to 17 million a year. If the number hits 14.5 million in 2010, people will be wild with enthusiasm as most now expect something in a range of 10 to 11 million.

That would be about flat to a little higher than sales this year.

On the first day of Reuters annual sojourn to Detroit for the Reuters Autos Summit, defining what the “new normal” is going to be for everything about the auto industry is much on everyone’s mind. What will happen with the big manufacturers, the dealerships, the suppliers.

It’s a lot to assess all at once.

Bob Carter, head of Toyota’s U.S. operations kicked things off for the summit by talking about what he sees for the coming year.

from Blogs Dashboard:

Count on it: in three generations your rich client will be poor

It turns out that advisers to ultra-rich aren’t always so flush themselves. So, what happens, if, say, you spend a day on your client’s fancy yacht, then go back to your own tiny dinghy?

It’s simpler, more elegant . . . or just smaller.

“It’s an awkward position you’re in when you’re dealing with high net worth individuals and families because even if you have a pretty nice lifestyle at home you go on a trip and visit three or four clients and you come home at the end of the day and say, ‘Wow, how do I suffer through this five bedroom house and four bathrooms, and woe is me,’” BNY Mellon Wealth Management Managing Director of Family Wealth Services Thomas Rogerson told the Reuters Global Wealth Management Summit in Boston.

Restructuring calls heat up

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After a cool few months, the phones are heating up again for restructuring advisors. 

Michael Kramer, head of restructuring at Perella Weinberg Partners, told the Reuters Restructuring Summit that the calls he gets from possible clients aren’t quite as panicked as early this year. 

from Funds Hub:

The morgue after Christmas

Around this Christmastide banks will begin to take a strict approach to companies running out of money, according to Simon Davies, managing director of The Blackstone Group.  

 

 

He said at the Reuters Restructuring Summit in London that by the end of the year banks will issue "in patient", "out patient" or "morgue" judgements as they go about the business to decide who gets much needed loans and who does not.

AUDIO – Real estate’s ugly confluence

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All week, we have been meeting real estate executives at Reuters Global Real Estate Summit who have discussed the many different areas of concern that have spread throughout the sector.

Some have spoken about deleveraging. Some have told us about the shrinking of values. Others have said it’s a confidence game — as in, there isn’t any.

AUDIO – A new emerging market for real estate

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Remember the good old days where — if you lived in the United States anyway — people would talk about “emerging markets”?

We’d nod our heads knowingly, wishing these poor folks the best as they tried to accumulate the swell things we had bought for ourselves. We knew that residents of Mumbai or Caracas or somewhere would never attain the great things we had in such abundance here in the good old USA (Hummers; his and hers monogrammed dishtowels; zero down, 110% mortgages on houses we couldn’t afford … that kind of stuff), but we still wished them well.

AUDIO – A record-setting blog!

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Everyone likes to set records. Think about those two giant twins who felt the need to ride motorcycles for their Guinness Book of World Records picture. What were those guys thinking?

Well, after many Reuters Summits, it seemed we set a record on Monday for the use of the word “crap” in one session.

AUDIO – Pulte Homes and the Cycle

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It’s not a motorcycle or a unicycle – we’re talking the overall real estate business cycle.

While the bulk of the focus at this year’s Reuters Real Estate Summit is on the commercial real estate side of the business, Richard Dugas, chief executive of Pulte Homes, spoke to us about how things look on the residential side of the aisle.

Lamenting the good ol’ days

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    The sprouting of privately-held alternative trading venues has seriously mucked up the trading landscapes in the United States and elsewhere, or so says Thomas Caldwell, chairman and chief executive of Caldwell Financial.
    Caldwell, founder of a major exchange investment firm, sees a world that has quickly evolved into one of nimble, electronic players coupled with more and more trading venues with the proliferation of alternative trading systems, or ATSs.
    (They’re also called electronic communications networks (ECNs) in the United States and multilateral trading facilities (MTFs) in Europe).
    These new venues, which can include the ominously-named dark pools, or alternative venues, where they can secretly match buy and sell orders, leads to, among other things, “deeply flawed” pricing for market participants, in Caldwell’s view.
    The idea of bank-backed stock trading venues is also suspect, says Caldwell.
    “Publicly-owned exchanges, open and visible trading, an auction market environment,” he said during the Reuters Exchanges and Trading Summit in New York.
    “These are centerpieces if you really want an economy to grow and you want to encourage entrepreneurs with access to capital. The more we get into gamesmanship and side products and all this other stuff it depletes from this.”
    (Posted by Jennifer Kwan)

How to gum up an exchange merger: salt water

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It’s a puzzle M&A bankers and corporate executives have been trying to solve for years: how far from your home market can an acquisition take place and ultimately stumble over cultural differences? It’s a question that looms large as quintessentially Italian automaker Fiat prepares to swallow up Chrysler – inventor of the K-car and the minivan – and which reportedly haunts St Louis-based employees of Anheuser Busch in the aftermath of their company’s takeover by the penny pinching Belgians and Brazilians at InBev.

Gary Katz, CEO of Deutsche Boerse unit International Securities Exchange, insisted during his appearance at the Reuters Exchanges and Trading Summit that all has been sweetness and light since the Germans assumed control of the upstart American options exchange and that there has been “nearly zero turnover” since the takeover.

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