Talking Points: Quotations from people in the news
- April 1, 2023: Vol. 10, Number 4

Talking Points: Quotations from people in the news


Mike Wirth, CEO of Chevron: “Both oil and gas took four decades to go from 1 percent of global energy supply to 10 percent. We’ve seen $4.5 trillion invested in wind and solar over just the last decade, and it’s moved from 1 percent of global energy supply to 3 percent.”


Gene Seroka, executive director of the Port of Los Angeles: “Cargo is moving away from the West Coast. Back in 2002, 80 percent of the trans-Pacific trade moved through West Coast ports; today that’s 56 percent. There are three things importers and exporters tell me every day: you’re too expensive, you’ve got unique labor issues, and you’re over-regulated. … the price difference is how much it costs to lift the container on and off a ship at the port — we’re more than double our competitors on the East and Gulf coasts.”


Brian Cornell, CEO of Target on store theft by consumers: “For the industry, it’s close to $100 billion issue. … It’s material for us; it’s hundreds of millions of dollars.”


Kathryn Wylde, CEO of the Partnership for New York City, on Manhattan office building vacancy: “The property owners and landlords are very worried. There’s a 20 percent commercial vacancy rate in midtown Manhattan, which is the highest in memory. There is concern about what do we do with old buildings. I have infinite confidence in the Manhattan real estate industry to figure that out.”


Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, senior associate dean for leadership studies at Yale, on Russian oil: “Nobody wants Russian oil. It’s still around $55 right now and Russia is losing money on it. It costs Russia $45 or $46 a barrel to extract it from the earth; it only costs the Saudis $22. Then they have to spend another $10 to get it to India or China, so they’re losing money on it.”


June Yoon, columnist, Financial Times: “For hydrogen-powered commercial vehicles — buses and trucks — growth has been much stronger than expected. Hyundai’s Xcient trucks have expanded market share rapidly since last year, on the roads in Germany, Switzerland, New Zealand and South Korea. Deliveries arrive in the U.S. and Israel this year. In China, hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle sales, led by buses, nearly tripled last year.”


Peter Kraus, CEO of Aperture: “The market continues to underestimate the strength of the Fed’s conviction to fight inflation, and inflation doesn’t come down that quickly. If we go back and look at time periods of inflation, it takes not months but years for inflation to actually resolve itself. So, it’s really unlikely the Fed is going to reduce interest rates within the next 18 months, and I don’t think the markets fully digested that.”


Ryan Lin, director of Bayfront Law, commenting on the migration of wealthy Chinese families to Singapore: “They don’t feel safe managing their wealth in China or Hong Kong. Singapore becomes a very natural alternative for them to park their money.”


Glenn Youngkin, governor of Virginia on doing business with China: “If businesses want access to the Chinese domestic market, they’re going to play by Chinese rules and we, in fact, have to establish what our rules are. There are strategic sectors that must be managed in a way that bad actors aren’t allowed to invade the supply chain. We know those. It’s not shoes, it’s semiconductors.”


David Solomon, CEO of Goldman Sachs, on the firm’s financial travails: “I look to our clients and listen to the feedback from our clients about the way we serve them, and it continues to be excellent. Our market share across our core businesses continues to be excellent, and they’ve actually grown. In our banking and markets business, we’ve increased our market shares by 350 basis points over the last few years. We haven’t executed perfectly on everything, but when I look across the spectrum of work we’ve done to grow the firm and improve the way we serve our clients to strengthen our business, we’ve made a lot of progress.”


John Schoettler, vice president of global real estate at Amazon, about plans to pause the company’s office construction: “Our second headquarters has always been a multiyear project, and we remain committed to Arlington, Virginia.”


John Kim, a real estate stock analyst at BMO Capital Markets, on the amount of surplus office space leased by tech companies that’s available for sublease, which has more than doubled in the past couple of years: “The one thing to hang your hat on for a lot of office owners was tech demand. We didn’t realize it would be this bad this fast.”


Clément Delangue, head of the AI company Hugging Face: “The cloud computing providers have gone all in on AI over the last few months. They are realizing that in a few years, most of the spending will be on AI, so it is important for them to make big bets.”


Torbjörn Törnqvist, CEO of Gunvor, on U.S. liquified natural gas sales to European countries: “They now have enough capacity to import the gas that is now lost probably forever from Russia — or a very long time at least.”


Nick Dell’Osso, CEO of Chesapeake Energy: “The economics of the U.S. natural gas market are going to be influenced more and more by international markets as more gas is delivered internationally.”

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