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Milken Moments – Day 3

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Modern Money

A few highlights and memorable quotes from Day Three of the 2015 Milken Institute Global Conference:

Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker says offering corporations a one-time tax repatriation holiday is not some kind of silver bullet that would solve the challenge of trying to get U.S. multinationals to bring their profits home. Pritzker said the repatriation holiday is only part of a more complex plan. It will be interesting to see if Pritzker feels the same way once she leaves her current job.

The person quizzing Pritzker about the repatriation holiday was CME Group Executive Chairman and President Terry Duffy; a man who knows more than a few things about financial markets. Yet, Duffy says even he has a hard time understanding why major geopolitical events like ISIS or trouble in the Ukraine no longer moves markets.

Cal-Berkeley professor Susan Graham says there is one big reason it is so hard to even define exactly what information a ‘right to privacy’ entails: “Privacy is contextual.” Graham explained that the information individuals choose to share about themselves varies depending on if they are talking to their neighbors, work colleagues, doctors, etc.

Speaking about how the way we all consume entertainment has changed, Leslie Moonves, president and CEO of CBS Corp., said that in reviewing the company’s performance ahead of its next earnings call, he realized 40% of its revenue comes from business lines that didn’t exist 5 years ago.

And finally, the “Business of Sports” panel at Milken is an annual favorite. Among the many topics, the panel weighed whether sports gambling has become so socially acceptable that perhaps it should be made legal throughout the U.S. They also talked about how performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) have affected sports, both in the professional and youth ranks. If the panel had taken questions form the audience, a good one would have been: If gambling is more socially acceptable than PED use, why do pro athletes who get caught gambling face lifetime bans while those caught using PEDs only face tiered levels of suspensions? If everyone is so worried about the long-term health of pro athletes and the example they are setting for kids, shouldn’t PED use warrant lifetime bans?