Bloomberg Brings Together The Big Shots

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Bloomberg Media’s “New Economy Forum” kicked off on Monday.

The four-day event, a veritable who’s who of global business leaders and political juggernauts, is being held virtually for the first time (a letdown for attendees more accustomed to mountain town locales). 

What They’re Saying

Stephen Schwarzman: The co-founder and CEO of private equity titan Blackstone sounded off on the U.S. education system. 

Schwarzman lamented that only 5% of children in public schools are learning computer science.  He suggested that teachers should be exempt from income tax to “mark them apart from other types of employment as a valued class.” 

  • He’s a good person for teachers to have in their corner – there is no one more capable of securing preferential tax treatment.

King Abdullah II: The longtime King of Jordan expressed concern that wealthier nations will monopolize supplies of the coronavirus vaccines.

King Abdullah urged countries to work together and build on a WHO initiative which recently raised more than $2 billion to fund vaccine programs for developing nations.  He said all vaccines must be treated as a “global public good.”

Lawrence Summers: The former Treasury secretary and President of Harvard University said the lack of global economic coordination during the pandemic could have dire consequences.   

Citing a weak response from the International Monetary Fund, Summers said, “there has been no boldness at the global level comparable to the boldness at the national level, and that could get us in real trouble down the road.”

Henry Kissinger: The 97-year-old diplomat warned the incoming administration must quickly restore diplomatic ties with China or risk an escalation of tension that could morph into military conflict.

“Unless there is some basis for some cooperative action, the world will slide into a catastrophe comparable to World War I.”  He went on, “America and China are now drifting increasingly toward confrontation, and they’re conducting their diplomacy in a confrontational way.”

The Takeaway

For Bloomberg Media, the event is part of their push into live events.  Last year, the New Economy Forum generated $30 million in revenue for the media giant.