September 1, 2009
SPECIAL SAN FRANCISCO MONEY SHOW ISSUE
1) I attended the Woodstock of investment conferences last week, the San Francisco Money Show, as a correspondent for financial blog aggregator and research provider www.seekingalpha.com. The cavernous Marriot convention center was absolutely bubbling with new ideas, where you couldn't walk five feet without tripping over a great idea, and where information overload was the problem of the day. The show is one facet of a marketing empire assembled by Charles and Kim Githler over the last three decades, which includes traders, forex, and options expos, newsletters, cruises, video broadcasts, and an exponentially growing website. There really is no corner of the financial markets that were not well represented my market makers, analysts, technology providers, and investors– lots of them. With the soaring level of US government debt scaring the daylights out of everyone, the precious metals dealers were there in force, led by the pros at Millennium Metal (see www.millenniummetals.net ).Â I was pleasantly surprised by the diversity of major corporate sponsors there to promote their own shares, like Darden Restaurants, Proctor and Gamble, Roche, Deutche Telecom, and Nidec, several of which are great investments. New to the venue was a 'green' section well represented by wind, solar, and geothermal energy provides. I took the opportunity to talk with companies about everything from the latest drilling costs, long term food prices, and the true cost of geothermal, to the clever play in gold coins. After I make my fortune, there was even a booth extolling the virtues of retiring on the beach in Costa Rica. It was also a great opportunity to chat with the end investors who ultimately drive all these markets. All in all, it was a weekend well invested. For a calendar of future events, go to www.MoneyShow.com.
2) I sat down with Forbes magazine publisher and former Republican presidential candidate, Steve Forbes, whose father, Malcolm, I knew from my journalism days in the seventies. He was there formally to promote his new book, Power Ambition Glory, but I couldn't help but sense his loftier goals. The crash was a failure of government. It was caused by the Fed, which pursued a weak dollar policy, kept interest rates too low for too long, and printed too much money. Our central bank should pursue a strong dollar policy which will bring a revival of the credit markets. We have the most hard left president and congress in history, and they are on the cusp of getting what they want. Lifting the rules on upticks and naked shorting threw gasoline on the fire. The rating agencies are a cartel we should get rid of. Let the free markets work. The market turn in March came with the modification of mark to market rules which never should have been in force. George Bush betrayed the party by abandoning its principals. Steve has always championed the libertarian wing of his party, and has been the leading proponent of the flat income tax. Did I just hear the first speech of the 2012 presidential election?
QUOTE OF THE DAY
'Blaming greed for the Wall Street crash is like blaming gravity for an airplane crash,' said Steve Forbes, publisher of Forbes magazine.