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Saturday, April 04, 2009

Free Passes

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It looks like I'll be at the same conference as Paul Kedrosky:

The excellent Milken Global Conference coming up on April 27-29, 2009, has fifteen free passes available. But there is a catch: You need to be recently unemployed, having lost your job within the last eighteen months. (It also helps logistically if you're in California, as the conference is at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles.) The Milken people will on April 10th draw the fifteen "winners" from a pool of folks who qualify,

It's a great gesture from the folks at the Milken Institute, as the conference (which I'm attending again this year) is usually chock-a-block with smart people and highly thought-provoking.

Here is the offer.

I'll add, from the email asking us to note this:

Global Conference is a tremendous opportunity for exposure to the latest trends and the ultimate networking opportunity. There are about 3K top level attendees from finance, government, business, entrepreneurs, philanthropy, non-profit and academic - from all 50 states and about 60 countries from around the world.

This is a particularly good opportunity for anyone who could benefit from the networking opportunities, one that, given the costly registration fee ($4,000), wouldn't be available otherwise.

As for the conference, I was there last year, and I am anxious to see how (and if) attitudes have changed. Last year, the sense I had from the sessions I attended was that there was begrudging acceptance that some sort of financial regulation was coming, and perhaps even needed, but we had to be careful about regulatory overreach as we got back to business as usual. You could feel the resistance to change in the air. It was a matter of getting through the crisis, and then reestablishing financial markets much as they were before (with some limitations coming from the new regulations, but as few as possible).

Will attitudes be different this time? I suspect not, partly because of the conservative slant of the attendees (e.g. Karl Rove, Steve Forbes, Rupert Murdoch, Sam Zell, and Bill Bennett, and economists like Gary Becker and Myron Scholes), and also because of who they are - people who do not want their activities to be hindered by rules. But I'm still interested to see if there is any sense that things must and will change, for their own mutual protection if nothing else, because if they are resigned to the need for change, that's a sign regulatory changes will be easier to bring about. And I'll be interested to assess attitudes more generally, e.g. about recovery from the crisis, though once again I expect lots of bullishness, and lots of "get the government out of the way and let us fix this thing" sort of attitude, but we'll see. I'm going on a press pass and I plan to ask questions whenever I can, so I'll let you know about that, and whatever else I find out.

    Posted by on Saturday, April 4, 2009 at 12:06 PM in Economics, Financial System | Permalink  TrackBack (0)  Comments (4)

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