Summit Notebook

Exclusive outtakes from industry leaders

Ritholtz: I zig when everybody zags

INVESTMENT-SUMMIT/RITHOLTZ

The U.S. economy is experiencing an ongoing but slow recovery, says Barry Ritholtz, director of equity research at Fusion IQ. But that’s not stopping him from enjoying discounted prices in a low-inflation environment, at least when it comes to his personal spending habits. The world is on sale if you’ve got the money to spend, he told the Reuters Investment Outlook summit in New York when asked, for example, if he might spend less while on a vacation or forego a purchase or two.

“I am an enormous counter-cyclical spender. At the top of the bull market I don’t want to buy anything. I am a seller into a bull market. We have been buying a ton of stuff over the past year. We got two new cars long before the May…. so we picked up two new cars. We’re doing work on the house. We’re adding a kitchen. I got my wife a very lovely birthday gift. She got me a very lovely birthday gift. We’ve been buying artwork. We’ve buying jewelry. I love to buy stuff when it is on sale. I hate to buy top dollar for it.

“So, we just were in the Cayman Islands on vacation some time ago. We were in Aruba back in December. I’m heading to Vancouver in July and probably take a week or two in the Hamptons. I’m thrilled to spend money in this environment.

“I got an e-mail from a client in the heart of ’08 saying the advise and commentaries have been great but you’re just so relentlessly negative in ’08, you’ve got to say something that makes me not want to commit suicide.

More or less fun in a recession? It’s a tough call

Photo

EA_Jens_Uwe_Intat_SVP_Reuters_Summit_Paris_2010_17_May_30pctStill unsure whether economic recession is good or bad for video-games sales, more than a year in? If so, you’re in good company — neither does the world’s biggest games publisher. Electronic Arts’ head of European publishing says the company still hasn’t figured out whether people cut spending on big items like housing and cars first, or whether those kinds of decisions are just too hard.

“We really wonder, hmm, in economically difficult times would people in order to have SOME fun actually play more games or less games, and then, would they spend more or less?  It’s really, it’s impossible to say,” Jens-Uwe Intat told the Reuters Global Technology Summit in Paris.

AUDIO – More money, more money, more money…

Photo

The U.S. government is spending a LOT of money these days.

We generally don’t go for the all-CAPS version of words, but in this case, it seemed appropriate. Every day we’re seeing new multibillion-dollar programs being rolled out of Washington, D.C. for everything from bank bailouts to auto companies programs.

But, according to Wick Moorman, chief executive of Norfolk Southern Corp, much more infrastructure spending still needs to be done for the nation’s railroads.

AUDIO – Deal making is back! (Um, maybe…)

Photo

There might not be the enthusiasm of a couple of years ago, but some deals in the defense sector might actually get done, according to Thomas Captain, head of Deloitte‘s aerospace and defense group.

Speaking at the annual Reuters Aerospace and Defense Summit in Washington, Captain said there were three possibbilities for deals that he sees in the near future.

  •