Talking Points: Quotations from people in the news
- June 1, 2022: Vol. 9, Number 6

Talking Points: Quotations from people in the news


Mike Novogratz, CEO of Galaxy Digital: “Listen, we are not going to get a soft landing. When inflation gets as high as it gets, you need to put the economy into recession to stop inflation.”

Bill Browder, CEO, Hermitage Capital, on sanctioning Russia: “There’s a whole bunch of places where more sanctions need to be imposed. The oligarchs are the trustees for Vladimir Putin, they’re the ones who hold his money, and so far we’ve already sanctioned 20 oligarchs. There’s about 118 of them, and we should at least be increasing that sanctions list.”

John Thornhill, founder of Sifted, on why Western countries should be wooing young, educated Russians who have fled their country: “Apart from the Indian-born executives who now run Google, Microsoft, IBM and Twitter, few nationalities have had such an outsized impact on the U.S. tech sector as Russians and Ukrainians. Sergey Brin, the co-founder of Google, and Yuri Milner, the influential tech investor, were both born in Moscow. Jan Koum, the co-founder of WhatsApp, and Max Levchin, one of the founders of PayPal, originally hail from Kyiv. A few more supercharged entrepreneurs may soon be pitching up in the U.S., Europe and Israel. Russia’s brutal war against Ukraine has … triggered a mass exodus of Russians.”

Tsedal Neeley, Harvard Business School professor, on Elon Musk: “From a leadership standpoint, leaders have to model certain types of behaviors, they need to bring predictability, they need to motivate people. Instead, what he’s provoking is uncertainty and anxiety.”

Exequiel (Zeke) Hernandez, management professor, Wharton School: “There could be some short-term disruption, but I don’t believe that globalization in the medium to long run is going to be completely obliterated, which I think is the spirit of a lot of these predictions.”

Michael Nathanson, analyst at MoffettNathanson: “We have witnessed a company go from a growth darling to growth purgatory in an instant.”

Erin Collins, a watchdog within the IRS, testifying before Congress “Paper is the IRS’s kryptonite. The agency is buried in it.”

Vaclav Smil, scientist and author of How the World Really Works, on efforts to curb climate change: “What’s the point of setting goals which cannot be achieved? People call it aspirational. I call it delusional. … I’m all for goals but for strict realism in setting them.”

Kevin O’Leary, businessman, entrepreneur and Shark Tank TV star: “Twitter has become very, very boring. … You can’t grow this business without innovating and letting everybody on it. You will get the lunatic fringe; we might as well admit that two-and-a-half percent will be crazy. That’s just the cost of freedom of speech.”

Brian Chesky, CEO of Airbnb, on his new policy allowing employees to work from anywhere in the world: “When I decided to live in Airbnbs, I became even more convinced that this is absolutely the future. It’s easy enough that 100 million or more people would easily fit the demographic. We're only as good as the people we have, and we want the best people in the world, and the reality is the best people aren’t going to live in San Francisco or Silicon Valley anymore; they're going to live everywhere.”

Nick Bunker, an economist at jobs site Indeed: “Despite concerns about an imminent recession, employers are still looking to hire at near historic rates and are desperately holding on to the workers they have. The labor market is still very much a jobseeker’s market. Something dramatic will have to happen for this to change anytime soon.”

Deirdre Bosa, CNBC reporter, commenting on Uber and Lyft: “Both of these companies are trading so far below their IPO prices from a few years ago, it feels like the market has decided they aren’t a good business. Their measure of profitability, adjusted EBITDA, has not really appreciated in the current environment.”

Scott Minerd, managing partner at Guggenheim Partners: “We have never brought inflation down by more than 2.5 percent without inducing a recession.”

Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway: “If you told me you owned all the Bitcoin in the world and you offered it to me for $25, I wouldn’t take it, because what would I do with it? I would have to sell it back to you one way or another. I mean, it isn’t going to do anything.”

Neel Kashkari, president of the Minneapolis Federal Reserve on inflation: “The supply of labor has not recovered as fast as I thought it would, and second … there’s still two-and-a-half trillion dollars of excess savings on household balance sheets, and it’s not being spent down yet. So, I keep asking our economists, how is all of this consumption being funded? It looks like it’s being funded from current income. That, to me, says [inflation’s] much more sustained, it’s not transitory.”

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