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Video: America has more opportunities today than 60 years ago, says Ken Langone
<p>"America owns the world for the next, at least, 25 years," says Ken Langone, co-founder of Home Depot, on Wall Street Week. There are more opportunities for young people today than there were 60 years ago, Langone says. Langone, a proud Republican, says he supports New Jersey Governor Chris Christie for president in 2016, but will back whomever gets the Republican nomination. The Republicans "need to have definition," he says, saying many candidates such as Sen. Mark Rubio are inexperienced and running for the wrong reasons.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>
UBS hires Annie Leibovitz for new ad campaign
<p>Though she is better-known for snapping photos of celebrities and musicians for Vanity Fair and Rolling Stone, Annie Leibovitz now works for Europe’s fifth largest bank, UBS, writes Finbuzz.</p> <p>The Swiss bank commissioned the photographer for the new ad campaign “Can I truly make a difference”, where Leibovitz holds photo sessions with budding entrepreneurs who all deliver speeches on their individual impact on the world, making sure to mention UBS’s mantra, “Together, we can find an answer.”</p> <p>In the 1980s, Leibovitz worked on an ad campaign for American Express which featured portraits of celebrities who were clients of the bank.</p> <p>UBS has also enlisted Leibovitz for a separate project called “Women,” a photography collection that is a sequel to the portrait book she created in 2000.</p> <p>The exhibition tour will debut in London in January 2016 before going to Tokyo, San Francisco, Hong Kong, Singapore, Mexico City, Istanbul, Frankfurt, New York, and Zurich. The photos will then become part of the bank’s corporate art collection, which already includes over 35,000 works.<br /> Photo: UBS</p>
Bernie Sanders pulls ahead of Hillary Clinton by 9 points in New Hampshire race, says new poll
<p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Here's a shocker for Labor Day Weekend,  Bernie Sanders is pulling ahead of Hillary Clinton for the Democratic race for the presidential nomination.</p> <p>It's all of a piece in this very topsy-turvy race in which fringe candidates are muscling in on the party-blessed candidates.</p> <p>According to the NBC/Marist poll, the Vermont senator would win 41% of votes in a New Hampshire race. Clinton garners 32% and Vice President Joe Biden would get 16% -- and he's not even running. Yet.</p> <p>In July, Clinton commanded a 10-point lead, according to the poll.</p> <p>In first-up Iowa, Clinton's lead has more than halved from 24 points to 11 points. In the caucuses, the former Secretary of State would win 38% of votes vs 27 points for Sanders. Biden claims 20%.</p> <p>And, in keeping with the theme of we-don't-care-what-the party-bosses want, Donald Trump is ahead in Iowa by 7 points and 16 points in New Hampshire. The Republican field is much more crowded than the Democratic. Seventeen candidates are vying to become the GOP nominee. Ben Carson is nipping at Trump's heels and the presumptive party choice, Jeb Bush, is trailing badly at 6%.<br /> Photo: Marc Nozell</p>
Why investment bankers are switching suits for startups: the story of Vasco Serpa
<p>After spending 17 years as a banker at Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, and Banco Espirito Santo, Vasco Serpa turned to startups, investing in five lifestyle and leisure companies. One of these projects is ABoatTime.com, which is the equivalent of Airbnb for hiring a boat, Finbuzz reports.</p> <p>During his transition from banking to entrepreneurship, Serpa took a “sabbatical year” and spent much of this time on the water. Serpa sees himself as one of the leading trendmakers of banking veterans leaving the industry to invest in startups.</p> <p>A young sailor with an Olympic dream</p> <p>“I am from Portugal, but in the early stages of my life I lived in Mozambique and Venezuela,” said Vasco, 43, who looks a bit like Hemingway: bearded and tanned with a wide smile sitting relaxed with his white shirt open. The only thing missing was a captain’s hat.</p> <p>“My father was a merchant navy captain, so I grew up in the environment of sailing and sea.”</p> <p>At age 10 he went back to Portugal and started sailing in the local club in Cascais, becoming part of the national team at 15. Then he went to the junior world championship and later his boat, the “Laser” was selected as an Olympic category one. He started sailing the world with the pre-Olympic national team. Meanwhile he got into the top economic school in Portugal, Universidade Nova de Lisboa. “I can’t say that I had an urge to become a banker, but economics was what I ended up choosing. I guess at that time my mind was more into sailing…” Vasco said with a smirk.</p> <p>While finishing university he faced a choice: either participate in the 1996 olympics or take an investment banking job his uni professor offered him. He chose the Olympics.</p> <p>“Eventually I placed 7th out of 54, so I was very happy but when I got a call from a friend just after the Games, asking me if I wanted to finally come to a job interview, I decided it was time to see how far the flow of finance would take me”.</p> <p>The Investment Banker</p> <p>Vasco got the job and started as a broker at the Portuguese-based bank Banco Espirito Santo (BES). Soon after he became a fixed income trader.</p> <p>“The Industry was booming,” explained Vasco, “we were in the stage that lead to the Monetary Union in Europe. Portugal, which was closed from 1974 to 1980, and had already had an IMF intervention that ended in 1985, was now an EU member and was growing strong, it also became part of the MSCI index, which meant we joined first world’s markets. My bank was doing great, lots of young people came to the industry and their careers were flying. It was a moment of growth.”</p> <p>But Vasco was still not fully satisfied and wanted to get his Olympic medal. So late in 1998 he took off and started to sail professionally again in order to prepare for the 2000 Olympic trials. After he “only” ranked second in Portugal and was not selected to join the Olympic team, he finally decided to fully commit to his banking career, eventually becoming head of corporate derivatives sales in 2003 at BES.</p> <p>In 2005 Merrill Lynch in Madrid brought him onto the fixed income sales team that covered Institutional clients in Iberia.</p> <p>“The perception then was that the world economy was in perfect shape in many extents,” Vasco said. “But you sensed that the leverage in the economy was running a bit high. There was plenty of liquidity in the system, competition to lend was high, credit spreads were at minimum and lending criteria too loose. Yo</p>
Serena Williams gets no respect when it comes to endorsement. Here's why.
<p>Serena Williams stands on the cusp of winning all four major tennis tournaments in one year, a feat that has been seen just five times, the last time in 1988. Despite her prowess on the court, Williams makes much less money than other tennis stars.</p> <p>On Forbes's list of highest paid athletes Williams ranks 47th, reports The Atlantic. Of the seven tennis players on the Forbes list, Williams is last for endorsement deals with just $13 million annually. Williams is poised to win her 22nd Grand Slam title this year, and has dominated American sports, let alone women's tennis. Roger Federer, the male tennis counterpart to Williams, will earn almost $58 million in endorsements this year. Even Maria Sharapova, no where near able to touch Williams' skill, will make $10 million more than Williams. So what gives?</p> <p>For starters Williams isn't male. Despite what one could assume, Federer falls short of Williams' 21 Grand Slams, holding only 17. Federer has spent 302 weeks ranked number one. Williams has been number one for 250 weeks, but she's on the road to surpass Federer soon. And as for win-loss rations, Federer has about 4.4 wins per loss. Williams has 6. It's not like Federer or his male counterparts are bringing more viewers than Williams either. The women's finals in the U.S. Open have surpassed the men's for the last two years. This year, the women's final of the U.S. Open sold out before the men's.</p> <p>Sorry "experts," men really aren't more marketable for athletics either, even though marketers love targeting young men. Women control $29 trillion buying power in across the globe, and make 64% of household purchasing decisions. Sketchers and Nike have both picked up on it, steering their marketing to women.</p> <p>Williams' other problem, apparently, is that she's black and muscular. Thin, blonde Sharapova makes more than Williams, although she's not as strong of a player. Williams has been attacked before for looking too "manly," and not fitting the stereotypical feminine sexy that Sharapova does.</p> <p>At least Williams' doesn't let her under-appreciated value keep her down. She recently launched the "Greatness Collection" with Nike, and is ready to slay anyone standing between her and another Grand Slam.<br /> Photo: Marianne Bevis</p>
Internet entrepreneur sells LA home
<p>Internet entrepreneur Jason Calacanis is leaving Los Angeles for San Francisco, and he's sold his home for $2.92 million.</p> <p>Calacanis, who has invested in Uber and Tumblr, was splitting his time between San Francisco and L.A. before August, reports Business Insider. He sold his L.A. home after having it on the market for almost a year, and was most recently listed for $2.998 million in July.</p> <p>The L.A. home has four bedrooms, a bright sun room, and a large swimming pool. The 1940's house resides in the high end Brentwood neighborhood. A separate pool house can provide extra space for guests.<br /> Photo:  Joi Ito</p>
Real Estate Porn: Southampton estate
<p>Looking for an end-of-summer deal? A former Carnegie family summer home is on the market in Southampton for $37.5 million with Sotheby's.</p> <p>The 1890's home holds the Gilded Age charm with modern amenities, over 12,000 square feet.</p> <p>Having a party? No problem. The home has 11 bedrooms, 12 baths, and 11 fireplaces, plus a 2 bedroom, 2 bath apartment complete with a living room and kitchenette.</p> <p>Outside, the grounds hold a swimming pool and tennis court, within walking distance from the ocean.</p> <p>&nbsp;<br /> Photos: Jake Rajs</p>
The art of capital flight
<p>CAMBRIDGE – What impact will China’s slowdown have on the red-hot contemporary art market? That might not seem like an obvious question, until one considers that, for emerging-market investors, art has become a critical tool for facilitating capital flight and hiding wealth. These investors have become a major factor in the art market’s spectacular price bubble of the last several years. So, with emerging market economies from Russia to Brazil mired in recession, will the bubble burst?</p> <p>Just five months ago, Larry Fink, Chairman and CEO of BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, told an audience in Singapore that contemporary art has become one of the two most important stores of wealth internationally, along with apartments in major cities such as New York, London, and Vancouver. Forget gold as an inflation hedge; buy paintings.</p> <p>What made Fink’s elevation of art to investment-grade status so surprising is that no one of his stature had been brave enough to say it before. I am certainly not celebrating the trend. I tend to agree with the philosopher Peter Singer that the obscene sums being spent on premier pieces of modern art are disquieting.</p> <p>We can all agree that these sums are staggering. In May, Pablo Picasso’s “Women of Algiers” sold for $179 million at a Christie’s auction in New York, up from $32 million in 1997. Okay, it’s a Picasso. Yet it is not even the highest sale price paid this year. A Swiss collector reportedly paid close to $300 million in a private sale for Paul Gauguin’s 1892 “When Will You Marry?”</p> <p>Picasso and Gauguin are deceased. The supply of their paintings is known and limited. Nevertheless, the recent price frenzy extends to a significant number of living artists, led by the American Jeff Koons and the German Gerhard Richter, and extending well down the food chain.</p> <p>For economists, the art bubble raises many fascinating questions, but an especially interesting one is exactly who would pay so much for high-end art. The answer is hard to know, because the art world is extremely opaque. Indeed, art is the last great unregulated investment opportunity.</p> <p>Much has been written about the painting collections of hedge fund managers and private equity art funds (where one essentially buys shares in portfolios of art without actually ever taking possession of anything). In fact, emerging-market buyers, including Chinese, have become the swing buyers in many instances, often making purchases anonymously.</p> <p>But doesn’t China have a regime of strict capital controls that limits citizens from taking more than $50,000 per year out of the country? Yes, but there are many ways of moving money in and out of China, including the time-honored method of “under and over invoicing.”</p> <p>For example, to get money out of China, a Chinese seller might report a dollar value far below what she was actually paid by a cooperating Western importer, with the difference being deposited into an overseas bank account. It is extremely difficult to estimate capital flight, both because the data are insufficient and because it is tough to distinguish capital flight from normal diversification. As the late MIT economist Rüdiger Dornbusch liked to quip, identifying capital flight is akin to the old adage about blind men touching an elephant: It is difficult to describe, but you will recognize it when you see it.</p> <p>Many estimates put capital flight from China at about $300 billion annually in recent years, with a marked increase in 2015 as the economy continues to weaken. The ever-vigilant Chinese authorities are cracking down on money laundering; but, given the huge incentives on the other side, this is like playing whack-a-mole.</p> <p>Presumably, the anonymous Chinese buyers at recent Sotheby’s and Christie’s auctions had spirited their money out of the country before bidding, and the pai</p>
How UBS’s Suki Mann went from top banking strategist to blogger
<p>Last February Suki Mann was the ‘star credit strategist’ at UBS, and now, instead of sending notes to clients, he blogs his financial musings to the entire cyber-world, reports Finbuzz.</p> <p>The blog so far includes three posts that read like very colorful and well-written research notes and a ticker that flashes global indexes and has up to date FOREX trading quotes.</p> <p>Mann’s LinkedIn profile states that he left his position at UBS Investment Bank in February of 2015, just after six months. UBS has not commented on Mr. Mann’s departure or whether he was fired, laid off, or left on his own accord. Before that, he had worked as the Head of European Credit Strategy for Societe Generale for nearly 14 years.</p> <p>So far Mann’s Twitter handle only has 20 followers, but given his robust experience and insights into European debt markets, that number is likely to take off once the City gets wind of his blog. His inaugural tweet was sent into the Twittersphere on August 26, 2015.</p> <p>Several ex-analysts have made careers out of journalism. Joe Weisenthal, now the host of his own TV show at Bloomberg, followed a similar path. After working as an analyst for the money management firm Prentiss Smith &amp; Co., he left finance as Wall Street was crashing into recession and joined Business Insider, just financial news was abundant and in demand.</p> <p>Photo: 3news.co.nz</p>
Chinese team to debut on the Rolex Sydney Hobart race
<p>Much like Gianni Agnelli, Ted Turner, Larry Ellison, and several other gazillionaires before them, a group of Chinese businessmen have taken a liking to the world of high-performance sailing and are now set to flex their muscles in the 71st edition of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.</p> <p>Taking a page off Larry Ellison, the group has hired a Kiwi to help the team take the glorious-looking, Botin &amp; Carkeek-designed Ark323 to victory. But aside from him, Sail Word reports that it’s a wholly Chinese team – a first, they point out – as Serena Cai, the team’s manager, told the magazine:<br /> “Ark323 is a purely Chinese entry; a Chinese owner, crew and administrators. The yacht is representing Noah Sailing Club in Shanghai, but we do have a coach from New Zealand. The boat is owned by Noah’s Group, which is led by Wilson Lee and sponsored by E-commerce company Nuoego.com.”<br /> Their entry appears to be a source of great pride for Mr. Lee, who told Sail World:<br /> “We made a decision to enter the Rolex Sydney Hobart because of the nature of the prestigious event, the challenge it presents. It is also one of the ultimate platforms to showcase the Chinese team and the Club’s passion to increase a Chinese presence at international yachting events.”<br /> I wish them all the best, though it does appear to be a tough race; Harburg Investments’ Peter Harburg and his champion crew are also in, while Colin Buffin – who may or may not be a senior MD at Candover Partners – has brought along Sydney Hobart vets to help him win the race.<br /> Photo: davekeane</p>