Talking Points: Quotations from people in the news
- March 1, 2023: Vol. 10, Number 3

Talking Points: Quotations from people in the news


Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple: “We call it intelligence, but we don’t know how the brain really works. We pretend we do, but we don’t. I was at a company where the engineers did figure out how to make a brain. It takes nine months.”

Sonny Kalsi, co-CEO, BentallGreenOak: “It’s an awesome time to be a lender right now.”


Stephen Schwarzman, co-founder and CEO of Blackstone: “In my experience it takes about a year to a year-and-a-half to reprice assets.”


Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO of Uber: “We’re a technology company that operates on the streets in the cities with real people affecting lives, and that comes with a responsibility.”


Bill Ford, chairman and CEO of General Atlantic: “Entrepreneurship is way more distributed than it was 10 or 20 years ago. You’re seeing entrepreneurs not just in Silicon Valley but all over the United States and all over the world. Some of the most exciting entrepreneurs we’re dealing with are in Southeast Asia, Latin America and, of course, China.”


Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, on artificial intelligence: “I look at it and say, we need something that truly changes the productivity so we can have real economic growth. What is that input that’s going to cause that? The application of AI is probably the way we’re going to make it.”


Feng Wang, professor of sociology at the University of California, Irvine, on China’s shrinking population: “By the end of the century, the Chinese population is expected to shrink by 45 percent, according to the United Nations. And that is under the assumption that China maintains its current fertility rate of around 1.3 children per couple, which it may not. It is perhaps no coincidence then that 2022, as well as being a pivotal year for China in terms of demographics, also saw one of the worst economic performances the country has experienced since 1976.”


Seth Kaplan, professorial lecturer at Johns Hopkins University, who lived in China for seven years: “WeChat is the most popular communications platform in the world for Chinese speakers. It’s also a preferred vehicle for China’s Communist Party to steal data, censor, propagandize and spread disinformation in the U.S., where the app has an average of 19 million daily users.”


Paul Greer, portfolio manager for emerging market debt at Fidelity International: “It is hard to be as rosy about emerging markets as it was before COVID.”


Greg Johnson, executive chairman of Franklin Templeton Investments: “It’s easy to buy things. It takes 10 years to see if it’s a good fit.”


Jessica Kriegel, chief scientist of workplace culture at Culture Partners: “The Harvard Business Review did studies on how companies navigated through recessions, and the top 9 percent of companies who were thriving post recessions were companies who did not have layoffs. They didn’t do layoffs, and they reacted with a calm state of mind. Having a calm state of mind right now is an act of nonconformity. There are a lot of CEOs who are freaking out and rushing to layoffs, and there are other CEOs, frankly, who are taking advantage of the headlines.”


Savita Subramanian, head of U.S. equity and ESG strategy at BofA Securities: “I don’t think the lows are in for the S&P 500. We could swing down to 3,000. This is not our base case but … the market is pricing inflation of about 3 percent and we’re nowhere near that number, so that’s the swing factor that could make things worse.”


Darren Woods, CEO of Exxon, on the company’s record $55.7 billion profit ($6.3 million per hour): “We’ve invested more than any of our peers and when times were toughest, we were out there investing and investing at a level that exceeded anybody else in our industry. We’ve done the hard work, we’ve made the investments, we’ve had a keen focus on making sure that we had the production and products available for society when they were needed. When the call came, we answered it.”


Cathie Wood, founder and CEO of ARK Investment Management: “We’ve been working on artificial intelligence for a long time, and some of the things we’re seeing are just the beginning of the impact that artificial intelligence is going to have on every sector, every industry, every company. … Amazon is adding about a thousand robots a day and if you compare the number of robots Amazon has to the number of employees, it’s about one-third, and we believe by the year 2030 Amazon could have more robots than employees.”


Mike Wirth, CEO of Chevron: “You need financial strength in a commodity business that goes through cycles. … What we’re doing now is consistent with what we’ve always done. The numbers are bigger because we’re a better company, but the approach is actually very similar to what we’ve been doing before and during COVID.”


Rebecca Ruggeri, CFO of Starbucks: “We do actually have more customers coming into our stores. We’re up 10 percent versus prior year. We have a record number of customers coming into the stores. They’re not coming as frequently, but more customers are coming in and they’re spending more when they come in.”

Forgot your username or password?