November 16, 2012
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  • Some of the brightest minds in business and politics gathered this week for CME Group's annual Global Financial Leadership Conference. Political gurus and business mavens discussed issues such as the 2012 presidential election, responsible capitalism, the "fiscal cliff" and the role innovation will play in solving the world's economic and societal challenges. A few of the highlights included:

    • Karl Rove and James Carville dissecting the 2012 and 2016 election cycles.
    • Condoleezza Rice and Madeleine Albright analyzing U.S.-China relations.
    • Sir Richard Branson and Jimmy Wales discussing innovation and strategic management.

    Please scroll down to enjoy a recap from SmartBrief of all the highlights from the Global Financial Leadership Conference.

Day One -- Nov. 12 
  • Encourage growth to ease world tension, Rice says
    Source: OpenMarkets
    Geopolitical decisions are driven largely by rapid change in developing countries and aftershocks from the global economic downturn and the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said. The best way to address growing tension in the world is to ease it by facilitating economic growth, Rice said. She also urged the U.S. to take a proactive role in establishing trade agreements. (11/12) , Naples Daily News (Fla.) (11/12) , RealClearPolitics (11/13)

  • Rice urges leaders to ignore the headlines:   Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has some sage words of advice for politicians and business leaders as they navigate the uncertainty that afflicts the global political and economic landscape: "Today's headlines and history's judgment are rarely the same." Numerous business leaders have written letters and otherwise made public their wishes that lawmakers in Washington would come together to solve mounting fiscal concerns. But in a world where business leaders often face the pressure of the immediacy in the form of shareholders and stock prices, many would do well to apply Rice's advice to their own corporate governance. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Leadership (11/13)
  • Market experts talk HFT and swaps "futurization"
    Source: OpenMarkets
    High-frequency trading and the "futurization" of swaps were discussed by a panel during CME Group's Global Financial Leadership Conference. Market experts, including representatives from GETCO, Credit Suisse and BlackRock, discussed what is and isn't high-frequency trading, how the strategy can be improved and whether it threatens market stability. They also discussed futures' role as the market evolves and proposals for a financial-transaction tax. (11/12) , SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Finance (11/13)

  • Rice, Albright call for economic engagement with China
    Source: RealClearPolitics
    Former Secretaries of State Condoleezza Rice and Madeleine Albright said the U.S. should reach out to China through constructive economic and currency policies. Rice said, "We need to lead with our economic foot, not our military foot." Albright said, "We don't need to go to war with China. And I'm glad we don't declare them a currency manipulator." RealClearPolitics (11/13)

Navigating Derivatives Reform
In a Tabb Group survey sponsored by State Street, as of May 2012, not one buy-side firm stated that it was fully ready in any of the five aspects of readiness for OTC derivatives reform: registration, capital/business structure, trading technology, selection of clearing brokers and electronic platforms, and reporting. Regulation is now a reality. Learn more here.
Day Two -- Nov. 13 

  • Rajan points to hopes, possible perils in global economy
    Source: OpenMarkets
    Unevenly growing emerging economies are a question mark when it comes to expectations that they can now step forward to lead a global recovery, says Raghuram Rajan, former economic adviser to India's prime minister. Rajan added that France may soon pose a new danger in the struggling eurozone, and he noted China's progression toward a more domestically driven economy as its labor costs rise. (11/13)

  • Lipsky upbeat on U.S. economy
    Source: Fox Business
    "It seems most likely" that Washington will find a way to avoid the "fiscal cliff," said John Lipsky, former acting managing director of the International Monetary Fund. Given the alternative and the likelihood of ensuing recession, Lipsky said, politicians will be motivated to respond. As for the U.S. economy, a number of signs are pointing up, and the "immediate outlook ... is a bright one indeed," Lipsky said. Fox Business (11/13)

  • Wales says Wikipedia helps those looking for neutrality
    Source: OpenMarkets
    Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales says his nonprofit site's future is bright as "hundreds of millions of people come online." Wales explained that in a world where so many people view the media as biased in one way or another, those looking for neutrality often go immediately to the site when big news breaks. Wales added that journalists can also use Wikipedia to "get oriented" on certain subjects. (11/14) , Fox Business (11/13)

  • Experts say infrastructure for higher U.S. oil production will come
    Source: OpenMarkets
    Along with the prediction from the IEA that the U.S. will be the world's leading oil producer in 2017 come questions about the corresponding infrastructure. The infrastructure will come and the oil value will pay for it, according to industry experts. "The market is starting to respond. ... And there are lots of opportunities to build new infrastructure. That includes pipeline, trucking, shipping and rail," said James Burkhard, managing director of global oil at IHS CERA. (11/15)

  • Branson says worst is over in global economy
    Source: OpenMarkets
    Sir Richard Branson says the worst of the recent economic downturn is probably over and it may be a prime time to launch new enterprises. Pointing to particular worries in the near term, Branson also says he's encouraged that the two parties in Washington are having "sensible" discussions over resolving issues that will allow lawmakers to avoid the so-called "fiscal cliff." (11/14) , Fox Business (11/13)

  • Branson urges business leaders to practice responsible capitalism:   Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson is known for taking on challenges big and small, but the mega-marketer says leaders from firms of all sizes can help solve some of the most striking problems facing society. "Responsible capitalism is trying to think of ways in which you can invest proceeds from your company into ventures that benefit the environment," Branson says. He suggests a divide-and-conquer approach, whereby smaller companies could tackle local problems while slightly bigger companies target national issues and larger corporations battle international challenges. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Finance (11/14)
  • Gero says gold buyers on the sidelines amid concerns
    Source: Fox Business
    RBC Capital Markets' vice president of global futures, George Gero, says gold prices are falling because people are being cautious in the face of fiscal concerns, new regulations and taxation. In addition, the jewelry industry is concerned about slower sales in India and the effects of Hurricane Sandy, he says. "It's keeping buyers on the sidelines for now," he says. Fox Business (11/13)

SmartQuotes from the Global Financial Leadership Conference 
Today's headlines and history's judgment are rarely the same."
--Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice

How can it be that we have so much information and so little knowledge?"
--Political strategist James Carville

I do remember however all those Democrats ... who said Bush did not have a mandate by winning 51% to 48%. He did. Obama has a mandate."
--Political strategist Karl Rove

You want to run the kind of company where when your employees are asked in the pub who they work for, they can answer with great pride."
--Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson

The news media has decided that the way to arrive at neutrality is to put two opposing voices together and let them yell at each other."
--Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales

The specifics of the unwinding of the Fed's assets will have a lot of novel aspects."
--Former IMF Deputy Managing Director John Lipsky

Large technology changes lead to uncertainty. It happens across all industries."
--GETCO Chief Executive Officer Daniel Coleman

Price discovery is only one aspect of transparency. Depth of book can be just as important."
--Richard Prager, global head of trading and capital markets, BlackRock

A transaction tax would be a step back in the evolution of the markets."
--Edgar Perez, author of "The Speed Traders"

More Resources 

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