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Finance news from Day 2 of the Milken Institute Global Conference

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Modern Money

A roundup of financial news from Day Two of the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, Calif.

Trouble brewing in the credit markets?: “All the danger signs are there of a future crisis.” That is how Apollo Global Management co-founder Marc Rowan summed up his view of the credit markets during the Credit Markets: What’s Next? panel. “We’re back to doing exactly the same things that were done in the credit markets during the crisis. Our job is to step wisely and try to avoid that.” However, David Warren, chief investment officer at Brevan Howard Credit Funds, sees things quite differently. Because of reforms like Dodd-Frank and Basel III are pushing the big banks out of some sectors, Warren says the next 10 years will be a “golden era” for credit investing.

Cybersecurity is the next global battlefield, said former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta during the lunch panel. Hacking is simply a fact of life for U.S. companies — you can’t prevent them, but you need to be able to recognize and deal with breaches. That awareness and response is sorely lacking, though; “On average, a company will go 253 days before they realize that they’ve been hacked,” said Richard Clarke.

Dr. Doom frets for emerging markets: Nouriel Roubini, the man who warned about the housing crisis back in 2005, says prospects for emerging markets have dimmed as global economic tailwinds that powered big gains in recent years are becoming headwinds. Roubini says some growth rates — including those enjoyed by China — are unsustainable.

Rogoff weighs effect of Ukraine crisis: Harvard economics professor Ken Rogoff said that while the crisis in the Ukraine might appear to be contained at the moment, it is still weighing on the global economy. “We would like to have Russia feel they are invested in the global economy. That relationship is important.”

Private equity execs discuss deals, NBA’s Sterling controversy: Leading figures in the private equity world say they are doing more selling than buying and one thing they wouldn’t buy is the Los Angeles Clippers. Apollo Global Management chairman and chief executive Leon Black and John Danhakl, managing partner of Leonard Green & Partners, said they are spending far more time weighing asset sales than acquisitions. As news of the NBA’s move to ban Clippers owner Donald Sterling made its way around the room, the executives were asked who might step in and buy the team. TPG Capital founding partner David Bonderman said he expects wealthy individuals to make such a move, rather than any particular firm. Black disagreed, noting the role Guggenheim partners played in the recent purchase of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Contributing reporting from James daSilva