Thursday, June 25, 2009

“World’s Wealthy Lose Faith in Fund Managers”

I find it slightly ironic that the day we launch our report “Women in Fund Management : A Road Map to Achieving Critical Mass and Why it Matters”, the much anticipated Merrill and Capgeminis’ annual World Wealth Report was published saying that "almost half of the world’s 6.8 million wealthiest investors have lost confidence in their fund manager.” As reported by the New York Times "the report will trigger alarm bells in the city and other Financial Centers.” I suggest that the leadership of these financial firms call in talented women to be their rescuers.

As we clearly argue in this 40 page report the time is now for us to move boldly forward to implement action steps that will lead to a critical mass of women in fund management and in the financial services industry more generally.

As I have said many times before, this report could not be more timely!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Shattering the Ceiling, For Good

Tomorrow is the launch of "Women in Fund Management: A Road Map for Achieving Critical Mass - and Why it Matters." We have had over 300 rsvps to the event at Bloomberg and I am beyond excited. This is a project I have been working on for a very long time and one I am deeply passionate about. I feel so blessed to have had a career on Wall Street as a trader and I remain deeply committed to encouraging more women to enter this field.

Please click here to read my oped published at the HuffingtonPost. ( Shattering the Ceilings, For Good) Please post your comments and be part of the conversation. Many thanks to all my friends who supported this work!

Monday, June 22, 2009

"The Meaning of Enough"

I have been thinking about this a lot lately. What is enough? When is it enough? I have been thinking about this in so many different contexts. In working on this paper for the National Council For Research on Women I commented that women often leave their careers because either they have had 'enough' with the battles and challenges associated with being a woman ( and often working mother) at work, or because they have made 'enough' money to live comfortably and want to spend time with their family and serving their community. Next, I am reading John Bogle's book "ENOUGH. True Measure of Money, Business and Life" where he writes about the "gross excesses that have overwhelmed our financial system, precipitating the crisis we now face." Next I have been thinking about it in a personal context as we prepare for a possible move and I am purging through all the 'stuff' we have accumulated and I am asking why did we purchase so much? I keep telling myself 'enough with the stuff.' And just this morning I read this piece in Naked Capitalism by Leo Kolivakis, a founder of Blackstone, about why he is giving away $1 billion dollars. He suggests that we ask ourselves 'do you know the meaning of enough?" Some people, most people, will never have opportunity to ask themselves this question. Why? Because they live on less then a dollar a day. For those of us who have so so so much more, asking ourselves this question is truly important. I suggest, as does Leo, that it is in knowing the meaning of enough that we will be able to generously give and serve others. Thank you for setting a great example Mr. Kolivakis and I hope you are sharing this message with all the current partners of Blackstone and more broadly, as they are some of the richest men in the world and truly have the power and resources to be change agents. Then again.... so do we all.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Securitization Process

This morning's BASELINE SCENERIO linked to a very good piece from JP Morgan on how securitization works. ( click here ) I am adding this to my 'investing 101" category on this BLOG. I am working on converting this BLOG into a web-site where I hope to provide access to some of my favorite articles and reference pieces on a whole variety of topics. Stay tuned.....

Friday, June 19, 2009

"Women in Fund Management: A Road Map for Achieving Critical Mass - and Why It Matters" plus The Historic Overhaul of Finance Rules

I have been working in partnership with the National Council For Research on Women for some time on this soon to be released paper called "Women In Fund Management: A Road Map for Achieving Critical Mass and Why It Matters." On June 24th it will be released and you are invited to attend the launch event. For more information click here. We hope to publish a number of opeds in the coming days related to this work so please stay tuned.

More generally this has been a big week for financial news. The Obama administration has announced broad changes to financial services industry the likes of which we have not seen since the 1930s. Though I have not yet had the opportunity to digest the 100 page report from first glance it seems ???????? No doubt changes are needed but whether the administration has had the time or the appropriate expertise to truly get this right is questionable. I will look forward to reading and sharing more. Here is the headline piece from the Wall Street Journal .

a new add - READ more here from BASELINE SCENERIO ( if you are not on their mailing list, you should be)

"Findings from the Layoff Lab" - guest link

My dear friend Deborah Siegel just wrote an insightful piece - a fathers day assessment of recession era dads for"The Big Money" on SLATE. Check it out by clicking here. Bottom like is that while tragic for many the gender shake-up on the domestic front can also have some positive effects. Great insights Deb!

For more great writing from Deb and her posse check out GIRLWPEN.COM .

Sunday, June 14, 2009

A Poem - Walk With Me

I wrote the poem below some time ago, 2002 to be exact. I don't remember what was going on in my life when I wrote it, but I keep on pulling it out when I am struggling to make decisions and when I am struggling to understand exactly what God wants me to do with my life. There are so many forks in the road. So many. Sometimes too many. Should it be a coincidence that one of my fav songs has always been Galileo by the Indigo Girls? (click here for the amazing words) I hope you like it. Had to share....

Walk With Me

I am walking outside alone
And I begin to shake
I stop a sec and look around
Am I dreaming or awake?

The air it seems way too cool
For this time of year
I begin to get a sense
That the cool is my own fear

I keep walking straight ahead
Knowing not which was too turn
Thinking of all I have left behind
And all that I have learned.

I see something ahead of me
A bench is on the road
As if put there just for me
To help relieve my load.

I sit down to rest and think
As I can no longer stand
Suddenly I’m scared and turn
For there is someone holding my hand.

Do not be afraid he says
I’m here to show you the way
I wake up, get out of bed
And get down on my knees to pray.

Friday, June 12, 2009

"Get Ready for Inflation and Higher Interest Rates"

This OPED by Arthur Laffer on Wednesday caught my attention. He raises a number of issues that are of concern to me - a high budget deficit, huge government involvement without a clear exit strategy, massive unfunded liabilities and more.... What is truly educational in this piece is the walk through of what may likely occur as a function of the radically increased monetary base. He says "it's difficult to estimate the magnitude of the inflationary and interest rate consequences of the Fed's actions because, frankly, we haven't ever seen anything like this in the US." I agree......

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Barron's - Mortgage Troubles - T2 Partners

Alan Abelson calls for "No Bottom in Housing" and I have to agree. He sites the latest research from T2 Partners, a group that has shown great insight throughout the crisis. The numbers highlighted from this report are shocking, including their estimates of how underwater mortgages are in various catagories. They think we are only two crests through the deliquency wave with the following three yet to occur - jumbo primes, 2nd liens and home equity lines of credit ( still mostly on bank books), and loans outside housing. (commerical real estate). Take a deep breath and read the piece......

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

My Washington Trip! - Tiffany Circle

Train to Washinton. Learnvest. Learn Earn Invest. Angel $. Women. Financial education. 25 yr old. House. Park City. Move? Residential real estate. No buyers. Change. Good? Arrive Washington. Check in. Red Cross Tiffany Circle Summit 2009. French Embassy. The Honorabole Pierre Vimont. Bonjour. Charming. 350 women. Concert. Kennedy Center. Amy Grant. Vince Gill. Michael McDonald. Melinda Doolittle. Darius Rucker. (Hooty and the Blowfish). Allison Kraus. Announcement. Wounded solidiers. Serving our country. Disabled. Heros. Sleep. Am. David Sanderson. Survivor Flight 1549. Survival = Teamwork + Leadership + Faith in God. “God’s hands were on the plane that day. “You never know when and if, one day, you have to cash in everything you have learned in life.” Humble. Grateful. Red Cross International Program. Measles. Today. 540 children will die. Answer? Vaccinations. National Women’s Memorial. Arlington Cemetery. Brigadier General Wilma Vaught. Most highly decorated woman in US History. Cool. Women serve. Supreme Court of the United States. Justice Anthony Kennedy. “Law and freedom are linked together. The law should be a hope to be embraced. Not something to be feared.” History. Red Cross. Chairman Bonnie McElveen Hunter. Ceo Gail McGovern. Amazing women. Amazing. Try to imagine the world without the Red Cross? No… don’t. We need them. Blood. Disaster relief – big, small and everything in between. Measles. Preparedness. Disease Prevention. Maternal health. Bed nets. Volunteerism. Trust. A Lovemark. Serving the needs of our country’s military personal and their families. Restoring family links. Tiffany Circle. 500 women. 350 showed up. Collective giving. Collective action. The Womens Funding Movement. Train. Home.
(photo - Jacki and Kayrita with Justice Kennedy)

Monday, June 8, 2009

Baseline Scenerio - The Global Crisis

Gotta love those 4 am internal alarm clocks. I know it is a girl thing. Once I have had 'enough' sleep and I wake up for whatever reason the "to do list' starts going in my head. I try to push it out but if that does not work within 10 minutes I just get up and get to work. It was one of those mornings.....

One of the emails I look forward to reading every morning is from BASELINE SCENERIO. I have blogged on them before and suggest you subscribe. Consider reading this entry - Global Crisis and Reform: A Long Journey.

About Baseline: The Baseline Scenario is dedicated to explaining some of the key issues in the global economy and developing concrete policy proposals.

Off to Washington............

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Summer is here and Bill Gross - "Staying Rich in the New Normal"

I hope you all, everywhere, had a lovely weekend. This was the first for me that truly felt like summer had arrived. I spent a couple of days out on Long Island where I shopped at the outlet mall ( great prices and no lines), walked on the beach, played with the kids, and enjoyed the company of great friends. Tomorrow it is off to Washington DC for a womens conference associated with the American Red Cross.

One must share piece is the latest from Bill Gross. Like usual I agree with what Bill has to say in that we are in a new world. It is not going to be business as usual and we are not going to just ease our way out of this recession. Sadly we are in DEEP and it is going to take a while to dig ourselves out. For the latest thinking of this investment guru click here. Have a great couple of days....

Friday, June 5, 2009

The Next Shoe to Drop - Commerical Real Estate

There are more and more articles appearing on the problems in the commercial real estate market. Yesterday in this journal this piece highlights some of the issues that are of concern. “The sector’s woes are considered a major threat to economic recovery. There is some $3.5 trillion in commercial real-estate debt outstanding – more than the amount for auto loans, credit cards and student loans combined. And the default rate is rising sharply."

I believe that defaults and losses on commercial real estate is the next shoe to drop alongside the continued troubles in residential real estate and other consumer related debt. The banks have had a window to raise capital and are working hard to earn themselves through these problems. The government has done a good job buying them time by holding interest rates down through their quantitative easing programs but there are cracks in the bathtub. The dollar has weakened, as it should, and long dates treasury yields are moving up sharply. This of course drives higher rates on mortgages which is a negative for the housing recovery.

This might well be the time to take advantage of the big bounce we have had in equities on hope that the recession is now over, as some are starting to call. Sorry, I don’t believe it. I believe this will be a long, drawn out recovery so keep your seat belts fastened.

Monday, June 1, 2009

GM Set to File for Chapter 11 Protection

I really did not want to move my last blog entry out of prime position but this is a story. How could I not write about GM going under especially when it has been the subject of BLOG entries for some time. Check out what I wrote on August 3rd of 2008 and again on Nov. 11th. Yes my husband called this outcome YEARS ago and he if you read the August 3rd entry, he is still calling for GOLD to go to 1200.

Take a look at these articles today for more details: here and here. ( from FT and WSJ)