I find myself in a cold New York City for a few days as the Big Apple readies itself for a somewhat more subdued Christmas than usual.
Although reduced business activity is not overly visible in the shops and restaurants, one is certainly often reminded in conversation of the hardship of many locals. My overriding impression is that the city, and most of the world for that matter, would like to draw the curtain on 2008 in the hope that 2009 will auger in a recovery phase – however slow the “healing” process may be.
Notwithstanding the fact that the US is experiencing a severe recession with Wall Street at the coalface of the economic woes, New York remains a fascinating hub of the investment fraternity and a seriously good adrenalin booster.
Some of the many memorable items included on my schedule have been:
• Attending a unique “Holiday Festivus” BBQ in the heart of Manhattan in aid of Minyanville’s Ruby Peck Foundation for children’s education, and also in celebration of its Business and Financial Reporting Emmy. (I have been contributing editorial content to the ‘Ville for the past two years.)
• A meeting with Bennet Sedacca, president of Atlantic Advisors Asset Management and frequent guest contributor to Investment Postcards. In my book he rates as one of the most clear-thinking investment strategists around, and his investment reports are must-read material.
• Dinner with the RGE (Roubini Global Economics) team. The “Bini” wasn’t in attendance, but what a class act he has surrounded himself with!
• Lunch with Tim Sykes, who as an 18-year-old turned his Bar Mitzvah gift money of a few thousand dollars into a few million by trading penny stocks, and subsequently wrote a book, An American Hedge Fund.
• A discussion with David Gaffen, investment writer at The Wall Street Journal’s MarketBeat blog. Make sure to bookmark this site as Dave is one of the sharpest journos around.
• A superb viewing, together with my Swiss business partners, of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular featuring The Rockettes.
• And then there was “Drinks at the Bar” with a few of the Investment Postcards readers and business partner John Mauldin, author of the Thoughts from the Frontline newsletter. A good time was had by all and I am planning to make these meetings a standard item on my annual December New York agenda.
The upshot of my fairly busy schedule in New York is that “Words from the Wise” is taking a break this Sunday. In the absence of my regular compilation of news items and quotes from market commentators, please post any interesting items that you would like to share with the Investment Postcards community, in the comments section. Let’s have a do-it-yourself “Words” review so to speak. The normal blogging service will be resumed upon my return to Cape Town by the middle of this week.