Talking Points: Quotations from people in the news
- February 1, 2022: Vol. 9, Number 2

Talking Points: Quotations from people in the news


Matthew Ball, venture capitalist, on the metaverse: “We’re in a world where people several times per day send out an image reflecting themselves. The next phase takes that visual representation and dimensionalizes it. You go into an environment and express yourself through an avatar.”

Nick Bilton, special correspondent for Vanity Fair magazine: “About a decade ago, on a tour of the MIT Media Lab, a professor there told me ‘the technological changes that would take place over the next century would be more rapid-fire than the technological changes that had taken place over the past 20,000 years.’ In other words, the speed with which technology will start to change society will one day be unlike anything we’ve ever seen before in history. I think we’re now starting to see this become a reality.”

Guillaume Cerutti, CEO of Christie’s auction house on the $7.1 billion in art sold during 2021, the highest in five years: “Our clients aren’t agnostic to the broader economic context, but they’re motivated by passion — and they know now that we can operate well in uncertainty. Higher inflation also helps us because it makes people want things like art that won’t lose value. It makes our market resilient.”

Larry Hu, chief China economist at Macquarie Group, in a recent research note pertaining to Sino-political-economic policies: “The emphasis on stability suggests that top leaders are increasingly concerned about the risk of instability. A year of regulatory tightening has hurt the business confidence. Now it’s time for policymakers to back down a bit. The peak of regulations is behind us. State control is important, but the party also doesn’t want to kill capitalism.”

Tim Ingle, group vice president for enterprise strategy at Toyota Motor North America, on the company’s plan to build a $1.3 billion battery plant in North Carolina: “It’s absolutely about being close to customers. It’s a big endeavor, but it’s the future.”

Beth Mace, chief economist at National Investment Center Seniors Housing & Care: “We looked at mortality rates associated with COVID-19 and found the mortality rate of someone who was in an independent living property was no different than if you were in the population at large. That was good. We also found the fatality rates associated with skilled nursing were the highest, which is not surprising given that the people who live in skilled nursing, by definition, are pretty ill, or they’re very old and frail. We know that COVID affected this population cohort significantly.”

D.J. Mauch, a partner in the family office of WeWork founder Adam Neumann, regarding its billion-dollar accumulation of multifamily properties: “Since the spring of 2020, we have been excited about multifamily apartment living in vibrant cities where a new generation of young people increasingly are choosing to live, the kind of cities that are redefining the future of living. We’re excited to play a role in that future.”

James Peyer, co-founder and CEO of Cambrian Biopharma, commenting on the growing field of anti-aging research and drugs: “The biotech space in general is going to continue to be a great spot for investment. A decade ago, we didn’t understand what was changing in ourselves to drive the diseases of aging, and because of the step-by-step progress that’s been made across academia, we now have a list of 13 different drivers of aging, and we’ve been able to create drugs targeting those drivers, those cellular changes.”

Jerome Powell, chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank: “We’re coming out of what we certainly hope will be a once-in-a-lifetime, and certainly historic, first global modern pandemic, which looked at the beginning like it might cause a global depression. We threw a lot of financial support at it, and people will judge in 25 years whether we overdid it or not.”

Raj Rajarantnam, founder of the Galleon Group, who was convicted in 2011 of 14 counts of securities fraud and conspiracy in one of the biggest insider trading cases in history: “As a large hedge-fund manager you get hundreds of calls a week with bits of information of varying degrees of reliability. You listen to them because you want to know what’s in the market. Nobody said, ‘hey, Raj, I just got this from somebody.’ I didn’t know 90 percent of the sources who may or may not have violated rules. Plus, a lot of people in this business bluff. They just say things. …  One hundred percent of my trades were based on the written analysis of my 35 analysts. We were a deep research firm. I spent $40 million a year on research.”

Theresa Wagler, chief financial officer of Steel Dynamics, on the trend toward onshoring of manufacturing: “We’re starting to see it in Mexico as well as in the U.S. Many companies now prefer security of supply over cost.”

Franklin Wallach, senior managing director of research at Colliers, on New York City’s year-end leasing surge: “The fourth quarter provided key indicators of the Manhattan office market’s resolve. Demand was the strongest in two years, sublet supply tightened for the third consecutive quarter and the asking rent average surpassed pre-pandemic levels in pockets of the market. However, opportunities for tenants still exist with nearly 40 million square feet of added supply since March 2020 hampering the recovery.”

Whitney Wolfe Herd, founder and CEO of the dating app Bumble: “We believe that we have permission to even be with you after you find love, and help you find friends, business connections, and even be part of that relationship as it goes forward because people want to wear the Bumble sweater, they’ll want to wear the Bumble hat. This is a brand that cares and that’s not going to go away.”

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