Friday, June 16, 2006

Eating Salad at Delmonico's

I'm wrapping up a fun but exhausting week. It began with lunch at Delmonico's, which is one of the oldest restaurants in the U.S. It is located within a short walk of the New York Stock Exchange. I was meeting with two real estate investors. One immigrated to this country not too long ago, but has already made a respectable fortune through sale and leaseback transactions. These guys are somewhat bearish on residential real estate, but still bullish on commercial real estate. Interestingly, they are also interested in opportunities abroad. I'm a little embarrassed to say that I ate nothing but a salad at one of America's most famous steak houses.

Then I was off to Wayland, MA to play golf with a venture capitalist, a private banker for U.S. Trust, and an attorney who specializes in estate plans. I also met Luis Tiant, the former great Red Sox pitcher famous for contorting his body into knots before releasing the ball.

Toward the end of the week I interviewed Harvey Pitt for my MoneyMasters video program. This will go live on July 29. Chairman Pitt was very forthcoming on a number of key issues currently occupying the SEC. He expressed opinions on backdating options, expensing options, hedge funds, mutual funds, etc. He pointed out that even though a number of corporate executives have gone to jail, no one has been convicted for violating any of the Sarbanes-Oxley provisions. He also spoke none too kindly about the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB). It's a fascinating interview and I strongly encourage you to watch it on the 29th.

I was also interviewed myself for the The Leon Charney Report, which airs in the New York City area. We talked at length about the economy and markets. My interview airs this Sunday, but you can also watch it soon after on Leon's website.

Finally, my MoneyMasters interview with hedge fund manager Renee Haugerud is currently available for viewing. Renee manages about $675 million in a commodities-based global macro fund. She said she thinks we're in for a period of inverse stagflation, a new theory she explains at length in the video.