The annual Milken Institute Global Conference is perhaps the largest assembly of the world’s greatest financial minds. Heavy hitters from across the business, investing, and economic landscapes descend upon Beverly Hills for three days and set the agenda for the rest of the year.
Business Insider was there, and, in the process, got the scoop on the themes that will define 2019.
If the core thesis of Milken 2019 had to be distilled into an easily-digestible phrase, it would be “challenging convention.” That’s what many of the panelists and experts interviewed by Business Insider attempted to do throughout.
They took issue with three main misconceptions they see polluting market outlooks across Wall Street: (1) a recession is imminent, (2) the Fed’s next move will be an interest-rate cut, and (3) inflation is gone forever. Pundits of all types pushed back against these prevailing narratives in an attempt to set the record straight.
Panelists throughout the week were also asked to identify their biggest market fears, and their lack of overall consensus was troubling.
Here are some of the other main stories we published based on our findings:
The CEO of SoftBank Investment Advisers, who runs the world’s biggest venture fund, offers an inside look at how he picks which companies to lavish with billions of capital
Rajeev Misra runs the $US100 billion SoftBank Vision Fund, which contains roughly 80 portfolio companies at a given time. Once the firm has invested in a company, it’s treated like royalty and given ample capital – as long as it keeps growing.
In front of a packed auditorium at Milken, Misra discussed SoftBank’s process for deciding which companies are worthy of investment. Key attributes include a strong platform, and an ability to work in tandem with the Vision Fund’s other existing investments.
The investment chief at $US265 billion juggernaut Guggenheim made the crowd at Milken gasp with a bold stock-market forecast
It takes a lot to shock the audience at Milken, but Guggenheimer global CIO Scott Minerd did just that on the conference’s opening day. He forecasted minimal annual returns for stocks over the next decade – a forecast that drew gasps from those in attendance.
One element of Minerd’s largely bearish outlook is the fact that both stock and bond prices are “inflated,” and therefore far less likely to generate strong returns as along as current conditions persist.
The global elite at Milken have zeroed in on an overlooked signal they say will determine the future of the global economy
Every macro panel at Milken seemed to end up discussing the same overlooked economic signal: productivity. International Monetary Fund chairwoman Christine Lagarde kicked off the proceedings by mentioning it as an indicator to watch, and her take was quickly confirmed by others on her panel.
Business Insider rounded up commentary across multiple panels in order to provide context around why the global elite are so keenly focused on productivity.
Here’s the rest of our Milken coverage so far. Check back for more throughout the next week or two.
- A Wall Street investment chair warns that the private-equity industry is relying on the same ‘pillars of value destruction’ that caused major problems in the dot-com era
- A $US369 billion investor lays out how the private-equity boom is supercharging a major risk in the stock market
- ‘Small earthquakes can lead to large tsunamis’: A Wall Street chief risk officer breaks down why European turmoil is what keeps her up at night
- IMF chief Christine Lagarde outlines her 2 major worries around the global economy – and explains why they’re sowing the seeds of a new crisis
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