Yesterday was the conference, and I have to say it was truly a fascinating day. The guest speakers were fantastic, and we got to  hear from people at length you ordinarily did not:

-Congressman Alan Grayson discussed why he was an odd duck in Congress, and why the average elected representative has no idea what is going on in finance and business.

-Nassim Taleb, author of Fooled by Randomness and The Black Swan, discussed the concept of risk, the problems with human nature, and why regulation so often fails. He was not only fascinating and informative, but damned funny.  Its too bad that you only get the chance to hear him speak at length like this so rarely.

-Josh Rosner dazzled the audience with an impressive and granular analysis of the ongoing credit crisis, and why the banks are still going to have problems going for. His mastery of the subject and command of details blew people away, and I overheard a respected analyst and a journalist both say “Who is this guy? He is amazing? How is it that I have never heard of him before?” The short answer is his clients pay him big bucks for exclusive access. You will be seeing more of Josh in the public eye going forward.

-Daniel Gross (Newsweek, NYT, Slate) Jesse Eisinger (Portfolio, WSJ), Randall Forsyth (Barron’s) and Tom Keene, (Bloomberg Radio) were our Media Panel discussion on “How Did the Media Do? Did they miss the story until it was too late?” As I noted while moderating the group, I cheated — I loaded the panel with the guys who got this right, and had called out the problems before the rest of the Press even had a hint of it.  They were terrific and informative.

-Doug Kass: I frequently complain that on TV, you only get a small flavor of Kass. I know him well, and our conversations are medlessly fascinating to me. This was much more like the latter than the former — Doug spoke uninterrupted, without having to shout or have people cut him off, for about 2 hours. His presentation was about a half hour, but then he took questions for 90 minutes. It was a treat.

The secrets to a great conference are this: 1) Only bring in people who are a) incredibly bright, knowledgeable experts; b) excellent communicators; and c) have tremendous track records of making money for their clients, partners or readers.

The 2nd secret? No Powerpoint allowed. This was huge, and a few people commented on it postiively afterwards.

~~~

The video of the conference will eventually find its way on line, and I will post when its ready.

~~~

Related Media:
Short-term Relief for Banks, But More Bad News to Come, Rosner Says
Yahoo Tech Ticker

http://finance.yahoo.com/tech-ticker/article/258367/Short-term-Relief-for-Banks-But-More-Bad-News-to-Come-Rosner-Says

Cost of Fed Expansion of Balance Sheet Is 30K Per American
Yahoo Tech Ticker

http://finance.yahoo.com/tech-ticker/article/258173/Cost-of-Fed-Expansion-of-Balance-Sheet-Is-30K-Per-American-Congressman-Grayson-Says

The Congressman From YouTube
Reuters Wed Jun 3, 2009 11:36am EDT

http://www.reuters.com/article/bigMoney/idUS124567474520090603

Big Picture Conference Media Panel Notes
Tyler Durden
Zero Hedge JUNE 3, 2009

http://zerohedge.blogspot.com/2009/06/big-picture-conference-media-panel.html

Rep. Alan Grayson at Ritholtz-Palooza
Eddy Elfenbein
Crossing Wall Street

http://www.crossingwallstreet.com/archives/2009/06/rep_alan_grayso.html

Category: Economy, Financial Press

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

26 Responses to “TBP Conference Recap”

  1. cvienne says:

    I clicked on the link to listen to what Rosner had to say…

    http://finance.yahoo.com/tech-ticker/article/258367/Short-term-Relief-for-Banks-But-More-Bad-News-to-Come-Rosner-Says

    What’s truly amazing to me is reading the COMMENT boxes from the “Yahoos”…

    If anyone ever wondered how and why America got itself into the mess its in, all they’d need do is listen to people put on display their thorough lack of comprehension of things.

  2. AlexInNC says:

    Video would be very much appreciated for those of us who could not make it.

  3. cvienne says:

    There is a video of Rosner doing his best to explain in plain terms the problems that still confront the banking industry…coupled with inane comments by a bunch of dolts as if they were dissing a Miley Cyrus outfit…

  4. call me ahab says:

    BR-

    how can I get a DVD or tape- did you record it- you ought to offer it up for sale- $19.99 or so- or whatever price point works-

    would really like to see it

  5. call me ahab says:

    tape? that’s funny- betamax maybe- sheesh- am I livin’ in the past

  6. Moss says:

    Third secret: Independent

  7. jason in charlotte says:

    Sounds like a good event. Is Tyler Durden no longer cloaked in anonymity?

  8. Bruce in Tn says:

    Barry,

    Did the conference have anything of note about wage deflation? To me, this is still news that is not well covered…

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601068&sid=a6QVHBABRW7g&refer=economy

    “Even after the increases, output and exports remain down by more than 30 percent from a year earlier, and the recession is spreading to consumers as companies cut jobs and paychecks. The unemployment rate climbed to a five-year high in April, when wages fell for an 11th month. ”

    Story about Japan’s wages falling for 11 months with severe cutbacks by Japanese companies…

    AND

    http://money.cnn.com/2009/06/04/news/economy/green_jobs/index.htm?postversion=2009060405

    The new ‘good’ job: 12 bucks an hour

    …Just wondering what your views are on wages in the next 24-36 months…I think I have a pretty good idea, but I come here to learn…

    ~~~

    BR: That was a theme both Nassim Taleb and Doug Kass hit upon . . .

  9. Chief Tomahawk says:

    GOOD for Doug Kass!

    Although, I’m surprised by this: “The 2nd secret? No Powerpoint allowed. This was huge, and a few people commented on it postiively afterwards.” No visuals (charts, graphs, outlines, etc.) to orient the audience?!? I hope the attendees have good memories!

    Looking forward to the video!

  10. “… and why the average elected representative has no idea what is going on in finance and business.” Would love to hear why Grayson thinks this is.

  11. NJlou says:

    “…Daniel Gross (Newsweek, NYT, Slate) Jesse Eisinger (Portfolio, WSJ), Randall Forsyth (Barron’s) and Tom Keene, (Bloomberg Radio) were our Media Panel discussion on “How Did the Media Do? Did they miss the story until it was too late?” As I noted while moderating the group, I cheated — I loaded the panel with the guys who got this right, and had called out the problems before the rest of the Press even had a hint of it. They were terrific and informative.”

    What are those journalists named above subject matter experts in? LOL

    They are part of the same crowd of journalists with no quantitative abilities. They get their credibility from ‘talking’ to the real experts and then regurgitating it to the functional illiterates.

    It is the reason the NYT ( a complete waste of trees even on recycled paper and so irrelevant ) will be history a year from now, and intelligent Americans now get their news and information from the Internet and blogs.

    The first question I ask myself when I read, see or hear these people is, what are they subject matters expert in? If I can’t determine it instantly, I turn off my T.V. or skip the article I am reading.

    Americans are sick of the propaganda and bias in the mainstream media.

    ~~~

    BR: Your own bias is showing. Not everyone in the entire media got it wrong. Not everyone is clueless. Not everyone is ignorant. Not everyone missed the warning signs.

    As an investor, it helps to be aware of your own prejudices and bigotry. We all rely upon other sources of information, but you seem to be unable to discern subtleties.

    Until you learn that, sir, you best be careful with your own money ~!

  12. pmorrisonfl says:

    @Chief Tomahawk
    > No Powerpoint allowed. -> No visuals (charts, graphs, outlines, etc.) to orient the audience?!?

    I wasn’t there, but I’d wager someone had something visual, somehow. Even Edward Tufte, who wrote an anti-Powerpoint manifesto has recommendations for how to use it properly (“as a slide projector”). The idea is to avoid lulling your audience to sleep, something endless bullet points will do.

  13. Mr. C. Cheese says:

    Food, how was the food?
    Nuting about Jamie D. hoarding oil off the coast of Malta?

  14. AmenRa says:

    So, which questions made the cut? Did anyone talk about why the market is not reflecting the facts?

    Also, congratulations on your event.

  15. dedalus says:

    Barry, thanks for a very informative day. The schedule was a full 8 hours of consistently interesting speakers, beginning with Rep. Grayson (he seems like one of a handful of congressmen who are financially literate) all the way through Doug Kass’s sharp and funny insights. The Q&A from the audience was focused and stimulating. The sandwiches were good too. I look forward to seeing the conference again when you post the video.

  16. “… and why the average elected representative has no idea what is going on in finance and business.” Would love to hear why Grayson thinks this is.

    Do you ever watch Congressional hearings on the C-Span channels? It is apparent right away. Most of them only know what the lobbyists tell them. Most either don’t care, or don’t want to be bothered.

  17. super_trooper says:

    “The 2nd secret? No Powerpoint allowed. ”
    Care to expand. What was gained and what would have been lost ?

  18. pmorrisonfl says:

    @supertrooper > Care to expand. What was gained and what would have been lost ?

    Blurb below lifted from http://www.edwardtufte.com/tufte/powerpoint

    In corporate and government bureaucracies, the standard method for making a presentation is to talk about a list of points organized onto slides projected up on the wall. For many years, overhead projectors lit up transparencies, and slide projectors showed high-resolution 35mm slides. Now “slideware” computer programs for presentations are nearly everywhere. Early in the 21st century, several hundred million copies of Microsoft PowerPoint were turning out trillions of slides each year.

    Alas, slideware often reduces the analytical quality of presentations. In particular, the popular PowerPoint templates (ready-made designs) usually weaken verbal and spatial reasoning, and almost always corrupt statistical analysis. What is the problem with PowerPoint? And how can we improve our presentations?

    The associated 32-page pamphlet is great, going in to great detail on the perils of Powerpoint.

  19. plantseeds says:

    “Alan Grayson discussed why he was an odd duck in Congress, and why the average elected representative has no idea what is going on in finance and business.”

    looking forward to hearing this one and the others although I live in RI so I don’t need Alan Grayson to tell me why “my” reps and senators have no idea what is going on…..finanace and business included.

  20. bogwad_seigneur (the smelly one) says:

    I, for one, can’t wait to see the video…do please put it on the site at the earliest possible opportunity. Glad it was such a success for you Barry.

  21. Doug says:

    Invite me a gain next year

    It was “all killer no filler”

  22. cvienne says:

    @apld

    Perhaps you should share your INFINITE WISDOM on the markets with the bloggers on this site (many of whom are skeptical that price VALUATIONS in equities are worth risking)…

    So WHEN DO WE SHORT?

    - 3 months from now?
    - 3 years from now?
    - at 1,200?
    - at 1,300?

    What is it in your crystal ball that allows you to make such a call?

    Perhaps you’ll be correct in the end…Have we arrived at a point that it is simply ‘gambling’ to be involved with these things?

  23. Onlooker from Troy says:

    @ cvienne

    Spammer/troll

    I suspect the infamous ned who’s all over the blogosphere with his crap. I won’t click on the link though.

    Don’t bite.

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