Summit Notebook

Exclusive outtakes from industry leaders

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.

So, here we are in 2009 and at this year’s Reuters Global Real Estate Summit we find that the new emerging market is … well, it’s right down the block.

According to our guest Tom Shapiro, president of GoldenTree InSite Partners private equity investment firm, the new emerging market in the real estate world is the United States.

AUDIO – ‘Off to the Outlets’ — A new real estate mantra

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When it comes to shopping for bargains these days, retailers are expanding their window of possibilities the same way as increasingly price-conscious consumers.

While the concept of outlet malls and shopping centers was once considered a last-ditch way to unload excess inventory, Steven Tanger, chief executive at Tanger Outlet Centers, says the model is changing…and fast!

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.

NYSE if Grasso were in charge? Bankrupt, says Liquidnet CEO

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The emergence of off exchange stock trading in the United States in the past 10 years has eaten away at the market share of the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq by breaking their duopoly.

But those two U.S.-based exchanges have had strong management to help them weather the storm, Liquidnet CEO Seth Merrin said at the Reuters Global Exchanges and Trading Summit.

AUDIO – Wait a minute, we have to pay for all this stuff?

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Unfortunately, we do.

All the infrastructure projects in the world sound great! They look awesome on paper, they’ll make people’s lives better and they’ll let us go visit our friends and families in about half the time it used to take.

It’ll be a dream world!!

Well, unfortunately, we are going to have to pay for all these projects at some point and all of the guests at this year’s Reuters Infrastructure Summit acknowledge that the paying is the hardest part.

AUDIO – Everything has a cost

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There’s no such thing as a free lunch.

Or bridge. Or turnpike.

Every project we’re talking about at Reuters first-ever Reuters Infrastructure Summit has an enormous cost — sometimes in the hundreds of billions of dollars. And governments are looking for ways to pay for it all.

Enter public-private partnerships (or P3s as we cool, infrastructure types like to say these days). In these deals, governments will lease or sell an asset to a group of investors for a certain big up-front fee and then they will pay the government a certain per-year fee for the right.

AUDIO – Finding a model; then build, baby, build!

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Infrastructure spending. Public-private partnerships. Government buildouts.

This week, all of these kinds of phrases are much on the mind of our guests at the first ever Reuters Infrastructure Summit held in New York, San Francisco and Washington.

While infrastructure means different things to almost all of our guests (schools, roads, bridges, etc) — one of our first guests, Petra Todorovich, talked at length about the need for high speed rails.

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