Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The Milken Global Conference Gets More and More Cozy With Government Operatives Every Year

In the early days, the Milken Global Conference was mostly about venture capitalists, top CEOs of non-crony businesses and top-flight entrepreneurs, but each year the conference gets more and more littered with opportunistic politicians, crony businessmen and government revolving door operatives.

Check out these characters from this year's list of speakers:

Christopher  Ailman
Christopher Ailman 
Chief Investment Officer, California State Teachers' Retirement System (CalSTRS)

Madelyn  Antoncic
Madelyn Antoncic 
Vice President and Treasurer, World Bank
William  Bennett
William Bennett 
Former U.S. Secretary of Education; Advisory Board Member, Viridis Learning; and Senior Advisor, Project Lead the Way
Melissa  Berman
Melissa Berman 
President and CEO, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors
J.D.  Bindenagel
J.D. Bindenagel 
Senior Advisor, Strategy XXI Partners; Former U.S. Ambassador and Minister, U.S. Embassy, East Berlin
Tony  Blair
Tony Blair 
Former Prime Minister, Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Jerry  Brown
Jerry Brown 
Governor, State of California
Eric  Cantor
Eric Cantor 
U.S. Congressman and Majority Leader
Chris  Coons
Chris Coons 
U.S. Senator; Chairman, Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on African Affairs
Ted  Deutch
Ted Deutch 
U.S. Congressman; Ranking Member, House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa
Yulia  Eitan
Yulia Eitan 
Deputy Head, National Economic Council, Israeli Prime Minister's Office
Diana  Farrell
Diana Farrell 
Global Head, McKinsey Center for Government, and Director, McKinsey & Company; Former Deputy Director, National Economic Council
Jesse  Jackson Sr.
Jesse Jackson Sr. 
Founder and President, Rainbow PUSH Coalition
Mary  Landrieu
Mary Landrieu 
U.S. Senator; Chair, Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
Donald  Layton
Donald Layton 
CEO, Freddie Mac
Jane  Mendillo
Jane Mendillo 
President and CEO, Harvard Management Company
Janet  Napolitano
Janet Napolitano 
President, University of California; Former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Securit
Janusz   Onyszkiewicz
Janusz Onyszkiewicz 
Former Minister of Defense, Poland
Uche  Orji
Uche Orji 
Managing Director and CEO, Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority
Leon  Panetta
Leon Panetta 
Former U.S. Secretary of Defense; Founder, Panetta Institute for Public Policy
Hank  Paulson
Hank Paulson 
Chairman, The Paulson Institute; Former U.S. Treasury Secretary
Charles  Rivkin
Charles Rivkin 
Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs; Former U.S. Ambassador to France and Monaco
David  Rubenstein
David Rubenstein 
Co-Founder and Co-CEO, The Carlyle Group
Kevin  Vincent
Kevin Vincent 
Chief Counsel, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Maxine  Waters
Maxine Waters 
U.S. Congresswoma
Min  Zhu
Zhu Min 
Deputy Managing Director, International Monetary Fund


  1. Layer Cake

    The title refers to the social strata, especially in the British criminal underworld, as well as the numerous plot layers in the film.


    Duncan Hines variety.

  2. From Outside or Inside, the Deck Looks Stacked

    A telling anecdote involves a dinner that Ms. Warren had with Lawrence H. Summers, then the director of the National Economic Council and a top economic adviser to President Obama. The dinner took place in the spring of 2009, after the oversight panel had produced its third report, concluding that American taxpayers were at far greater risk to losses in TARP than the Treasury had let on.

    After dinner, “Larry leaned back in his chair and offered me some advice,” Ms. Warren writes. “I had a choice. I could be an insider or I could be an outsider. Outsiders can say whatever they want. But people on the inside don’t listen to them. Insiders, however, get lots of access and a chance to push their ideas. People — powerful people — listen to what they have to say. But insiders also understand one unbreakable rule: They don’t criticize other insiders.

    “I had been warned,” Ms. Warren concluded.

    A spokeswoman for Mr. Summers did not respond to a request for comment.


  3. Parasitic trash and criminals.
    And they know it.

  4. Is this really who people want to hear from? These sacks of crap that lord over us? We are on the path to hell if that's the case...sheesh.

  5. Wall Street’s Pension Gamble

    In the national debate over what to do about public pension shortfalls, here’s something you may not know: The texts of the agreements signed between those pension funds and financial firms are almost always secret. Yes, that’s right. Although they are public pensions that taxpayers contribute to and that public officials oversee, the exact terms of the financial deals being engineered in the public’s name and with public money are typically not available to you, the taxpayer.

    To understand why that should be cause for concern, ponder some possibilities as they relate to pension deals with hedge funds, private equity partnerships and other so-called “alternative investments.” For example, it is possible that the secret terms of such agreements could allow other private individuals in the same investments to negotiate preferential terms for themselves, meaning public employees’ pension money enriches those private investors. It is also possible that the secret terms of the agreements create the heads-Wall-Street-wins, tails-pensions-lose effect — the one whereby retirees’ money is subjected to huge risks, yet financial firms’ profits are guaranteed regardless of returns.
    North Carolina exemplifies the latter problem.


  6. Milken (and libertarians) do not need a weatherman to tell which way the win blows.

  7. Maxine Waters? Really? Lol