Tags: michael milken | optimtisic | markets | racial threats | pandemic

Michael Milken: 'Optimtisic' Market Will Survive Racial Threats Amid Pandemic

By    |   Sunday, 14 June 2020 03:47 PM

Financier Michael Milken is more optimistic than he’s ever been that the nation will not only eventually conquer racial strife but will also overcome the coronavirus pandemic while the stock market holds firm as Americans invest in their future.

“The world for most Americans has been turned upside down,” Milken told pollster Frank Luntz in a recent webcast.

 “There is no other alternative. When you ask Americans what the American Dream is, its freedom to live your life,” he said. “We are being challenged on (the) freedom to live our life,” he said.

“World War Two was a challenge to our way of life and the country and people responded,” he said. “This virus and the events in Minneapolis are an attack on our very being to what we stand for.  So we all have to respond,”said Milken, the former junk-bond chief at Drexel Burnham Lambert Inc.

“What we've seen is unacceptable. It is not America and we're going to change,” he said.

“We underestimate what a country that affords freedom to people is worth. How much would a person pay just to be able to come and live in the United States? So it's the social capital and fabric we need to protect right now,” he said.

“We've had a shock in this country and we need to respond,” he said.

Milken indicted in 1989 in an insider trading probe. After pleading guilty to securities violations, he paid $1.1 billion and served about two years in prison.

Since then he has headed up the non-profit Milken Institute, focusing on a wide span of research, including curing cancer, public health, aging, California and financial markets. Each year the titans of finance flock to the Milken Institute Global Conference, where fund managers and marketers woo prospective investors and philanthropies make pitches for funding.

Amid all the health chaos and racial uncertainty, Milken sees the market hold firm, predicting stocks may end up finishing the volatile year basically unchanged.

"There's a desire to invest in America. People around the world would prefer to invest in America," he said.

"Are they going to invest in a government bond that yields less than 1% or are they going to buy stock in a company here?" he said.

He said lower interest rates drives people into the stock market or other alternative investments.

He said pension funds and college endowments have to look beyond government bonds for substantial returns.

He urged Americans to to "invest in companies you believe in" to send a message of change to corporations.

"If PayPal is going to make a decision to figure out how to support small merchants and individuals, you can decide you like what they stand for and so you're not just investing in the market," he said.

"In the 21st century, a company has to stand for something. 'Where do you stand?' And I think we saw where the country stood when it saw the video of what happened to this man in Minneapolis. Are you going to sit and moan and do nothing or are you going to figure out what to do?"

He said he's not worried about a possible mountain of debt left behind for future generations.

"If you're worried about the next generation, all we have to do is sell 40-year bonds and we'll skip the next generation," he said.

The bigger problem is finding a solution that ripples through all colors and creeds of the economy.

"It's not going to work unless we create opportunities for everyone. And I feel this sequence of events has told all of us we need to be all in," We need to be giving people opportunity, giving people hope," he said. 

"I have no other choice but to be optimistic. I have too much faith in science to say we're not going to find a solution so I am optimistic," he said.

“You have to assume that every individual someone is making the decision that they're going to change the course of history,” he said.

“That's why I am optimistic and that's why I see a solution medically and that's we're not going to go back to a lockdown. Now it's easy for everyone to tell you now OK, things are better but it's going to be terrible in October,” he said.

“I can tell you right now hundreds of thousands of people working in the bioscience industry are going to make sure it's not terrible in October.”

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Financier Michael Milken is more optimistic than he’s ever been that the nation will not only eventually conquer racial strife but will also overcome the coronavirus pandemic while the stock market holds firm as Americans invest in their future.
michael milken, optimtisic, markets, racial threats, pandemic
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2020-47-14
Sunday, 14 June 2020 03:47 PM
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