Hedge fund manager Daniel Loeb, who runs Third Point LLC, was on a panel this morning with His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
The panel, hosted by American Enterprise Institute (AEI), was called “Moral free enterprise: Economic perspectives in business and politics.”
Each panelist spent a few minutes discussing an issue that mattered to them. Afterwards, the Dalai Lama would weigh in with his thoughts.
Loeb said that our financial markets “make the world a better place.”
“I think there’s a common view that financial markets are good in the sense…that if someone has a new idea and there’s a venture capitalist they can invest in the idea. And that man or woman can create a business around that. There will be innovation and growth and new things will come. You’ll get iPhones out of that type of system. You’ll get medical advances. Everything from FedEx to you name it are businesses that have been started from this type of system. And that’s key.”
Loeb said that more needs to be done to include folks from less privileged backgrounds.
“It’s a great system. There’s no other system that can create this sort of prosperity. It isn’t perfect, though. Folks are left behind.”
Loeb, whose philanthropic work has focused on charter schools in New York City, sees education as one outlet helping people get involved in the system that allows people to flourish.
“My focus has been ‘how do we get a broad base of less privileged people, kids and families who have been written off by the system?…I’ll tell you one thing — It’s a myth that poor people can’t achieve at the same level as rich white kids.”
“It is possible. We need to work hard on educating kids…We need a great safety net. We need to bring as many people into this system, so they can all flourish with us,” Loeb said.
The Dalai Lama told Loeb he gave a wonderful presentation.
“[After listening] yesterday and also today, I developed more respect about capitalism,” he said as the audience clapped and laughed.
“Otherwise, my impression — Only take the money, then exploitation,” he said continuing to laugh.