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Conde Nast Portfolio’s Breakfast Panel

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This morning, Conde Nast Portfolio magazine hosted a swank Panel/Breakfast at the 21 Club. The topic: The Market’s Future: What’s Next for the Economy. Speakers: John Cassidy, Contributing Editor, Matt Cooper, Washington Editor, Jesse Eisinger, Senior Writer. Editor in Chief, Joanne Lipman moderated.

Attendees included: Mort Zuckerman, Peggy Siegal, Rick Lazio, Felicia Taylor, Richard Edelman, Harold Burstein, Bob Scully, Jonathan Dahl, Jonathan Wald . Noticeably absent Jon Fine, of Business Week (wink: my husband).

I twittered the event. For my transcript, click continue. Follow me on Twitter at www.twitter.com/laureltouby…


Lipman: How deep will this go, where will bottom be, where is unemployment going?

Cassidy: very hard to be optimistic. at moment can’t see a bottom.

Eisinger: we never got a “bottom” after Nasdaq/tech bubble. good news: panic has subsided. But worried abt viability of financial instittion about 2 hours ago from mobile web

Lipman: “Should there be a Big 3 bailout?”

Eisinger: “yes. we should think of this as a stimulus program and pour a lot of $$ down that rathole”

Cooper: “basically it’s a xanax economy. we need to give everyone some kind of sedative…” about 3 hours ago from mobile web

Cassidy: “bailout is unavoidable. but bail out the car buyers, not the companies…main reason for bail out, car co’s spend a lot on ads in about 3 hours ago from mobile web

Lipman: “Question: Unemployment. where will it be in a year?”

Cassidy: 10% Cooper: it could get to 10% Eisinger: “it will get worse than we think”

Lipman: What steps can Obama take to create jobs?

Cooper: “Economic stimulus package to help infrastructure and create jobs,” says Cooper. “He’ll probably hold off on increases in taxes, particularly capital gains taxes.”

Eisinger: “[re: infrastructure] Obama will have to build a lot more trains to carry the increase in hobos.”

Cassidy: “a lot of this is psychological..cut taxes, increase spending, and put a floor on financial markets..things might pick up..we’re in what’s called a coordination crisis…this is the biggest test of Keynesian economics in 30 years. The upside of the crisis is that the dollar has done well… Chinese aren’t going to say we’re not buying dollars anytime soon.”

Lipman: “How much are the media complicit in spreading panic?” media culpa!!

Eisinger: It’s not our fault. Phew! “The panic is rational. We warned people about the housing bubble. Everyone ignored it. However, the media did a bad job of warning about weakness in financial markets. The media were overwhelmed by the complexity.”

Cassidy: “the media are part of the herd…most of the problems were caused by Greenspan. The media can’t be relied upon to police these things. we’re just part of the process.”

Lipman: What about Bernanke? How has he performed?

Cassidy: “Bernanke is a bit of a fall guy. Greenspan’s great market call was getting out at the top…Now, the Fed is like a pawn broker. take your junk to them and they give you cash.”

Lipman: What will be a sign stocks are cheap?

Eisinger quips: “stocks now are attractive… [everyone chuckles]. The problem is that earnings are collapsing as well. When we do come out of this, there will be less income inequality…” he predicts.

That’s all I got down. Then, we went to questions. It was fun! I’ll be twittering more things, so follow me. www.twitter.com/laureltouby
I’ll also be at Michael’s today. Stop by my table (I’ll be with Kristine Welker, fyi) and say hi!!

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