Talking Points: Quotations from people in the news
- September 1, 2023: Vol. 10, Number 8

Talking Points: Quotations from people in the news


Will Silverman, managing director at Eastdil Secured, a real estate investment bank: “In New York, buildings are selling for less than the value of the land they sit on. We are seeing prices lower than they have been in 20 years in absolute dollar terms.


Patrick Dwyer, a managing director at NewEdge Wealth Management: “Walk into any private bank in the world and ask if they have Blackstone products and they will. Banks are comfortable with the brand. All of the other shops are playing catch-up.”


Eric Schmidt, former Google CEO and chairman, commenting on fears that AI could take over humanity: “That’s a movie. The real scenario goes something like: At some point, years away, these things will have human-like capabilities and they'll be able to communicate with each other. That’s called ‘super intelligence.’”


Michael Webber, energy expert and professor at the University of Texas at Austin: “Texas is, by rhetoric, anti-renewables. But frankly, renewables are bailing us out. They’re rocking. That really spares us a lot of heartache and a lot of money.”


Kirsten Gillibrand, U.S. Senator from New York, commenting on the bill she is co-sponsoring to ban stock trades by members of Congress: “A lot of members have access to a great deal of non-public information, and the facts show that members of Congress have a 17 percent higher rate of return than the S&P 500 in their stock trading. … In the last Congress there were 3,700 trades that could have violated the prohibitions on trading on non-public information. … We need to actually ban it. We tried the light touch, it didn’t work.”


Bill Ford, executive chairman of Ford Motor Co.: “When I look back at when the Japanese came to America, we weren’t ready. Then the Koreans came, and we really weren’t ready. Well guess what? It is going to happen again, and we are going to be ready this time because we’re acutely aware of what not being ready will do to us.”


Shen Meng, director of Chanson & Co., a Beijing-based investment bank: “There’s little incentive for people to buy homes other than for living in them. Their faith that home prices will only go up has been shaken.”


Tao Wang, chief China economist and head of Asia economics at UBS Investment Research: “China’s high domestic savings and state-owned banking system limit the risk of a liquidity-driven debt crisis, so in theory the central government could borrow more to fund a generous fiscal stimulus. However, the country faces huge fiscal challenges, including rising pension and healthcare costs to support its rapidly aging population.”


Kiran Raichura, property economist at Capital Economics, who is predicting office building prices will crash by 35 percent over the next two years and won’t recover for decades: “The reduction in office demand due to remote work will cause a hit to NOIs on a par with, or worse than, that experienced by malls over the last six years.”


Paul Ryan, former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives: “If we want to beat China and outcompete, unleash our entrepreneurs and our innovators to get faster economic growth. But if you want to run capitalism through government like China does, I don’t think we’re going to win that bidding war.”


Tony Xu, co-founder and CEO of DoorDash: “We never set out to just build a restaurant delivery service. In fact, today we have over 100,000 merchants on the platform that sell groceries, retail items, food items, liquor, flowers and pretty much everything inside your city.”


Walter Isaacson, Elon Musk biographer and Tulane professor, on concerns that Musk is spreading himself to thin: “The rocket ships keep going up, they keep getting to orbit, and Tesla just set a record on quarterly sales.”


Danny Meyer, founder of Shake Shack: “Inflation has done what politicians could never do, it has brought people back to the labor force.”


Ben McKenzie, actor, author and commentator, on his misgivings about cryptocurrency: “Forty to 50 million Americans invested in cryptocurrency, and most of them have lost money. The cryptocurrency market closely resembles a Ponzi scheme or multi-level marketing scheme, and studies have shown that in MLMs, 99 percent of people lose and the 1 percent benefits. In crypto, that would be the exchange owners, the VC firms and the people that issue the coins.”


Ynon Kreiz, CEO of Mattel, on the hit movie Barbie: “From the very beginning this was never about just making a movie, this was about creating a cultural phenomenon. We could not be more proud about the way the movie is playing out.”

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