'Blockchain Is to Bitcoin as Internet Is to Dot Com Bubble,' Says Zillow CEO
Yahoo Finance All Market Summit.

Happy Thursday. 

 

 

Spencer Rascoff, CEO of Zillow (Z)

"We're nervous about everybody. It would be very easy for us to do nothing," said Rascoff.

Rascoff was asked whether or not Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) is going to get into real estate. He shrugged and said, "I don't know." He then followed his answer up with "I just read that Amazon is going to sell Christmas trees...if you were a Christmas tree operator, you probably thought you were safe."

Rascoff has tweeted over 19,000 times, which is more than Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla (TSLA) , who has gotten in hot water recently for his tweets. Rascoff said that he has stopped tweeting so much, but likes to be aware of what people are saying about his company. 

"Blockchain is to Bitcoin as the internet is to the dot com bubble," said Rascoff. He defended that by saying that blockchain is here to stay, like the internet, but Bitcoin is more volatile. 

Ken Langone, Co-Founder of Home Depot (HD)

"I think it's natural that this group...their first taste of capitalism was the collapse...but that wasn't capitalism, that was a system that went amuck," Langone replied to a question about millennials veering towards socialsim instead of capitalism.

"I'll put you in my plane and fly you down to Venezuela. See how good socialism's doing down there," he said.

"I don't think anyone should apologize for being successful," Langone said. "I can assure you that there is no nation on this earth that is more philanthropic than this nation."

"Philanthropy is only when you sacrifice something to give it to someone else," Langone said. "I haven't gotten there yet and I don't think I'll ever get that, so I guess I'll never be a philanthropist."

"We desperately need to fix leadership in this country," said Langone. "I think that one of the biggest payoffs from Trump running for office" is that other professional businessmen will run for office. 

Sean Spicer Takes the Stage

Spicer is first asked about what he's currently doing. He talks about partnering up with different nonprofits to discuss "how to create an effective marketing strategy' and how to communicate better. 

Who are your favorite reporters? The moderator asks, eliciting a laugh from the crowd. 

Spicer paused and said, "you really should read my book" before naming a couple, which included the New York Times Maggie Haberman. 

The moderator, rick Newman, and Sean Spicer went back and forth about the truth in journalism and how Spicer believed that he shouldn't be forced to apologize as much when journalists who get the story wrong only have to correct the story and add an editors note. 

Spicer proceeded to say that journalists "antics" should be more "respectful."

Cathy Engelbert, CEO of Deloitte

"Our millennials have a strong voice...employees will take to social media" to criticize CEO's and brands, Engelbert said.

"I'm much more of an optimist on this one," Engelbert said about the future of artificial intelligence. 

"Not everyone needs to be tech fluent," she said. "But everyone needs to be tech savvy."

 "Obviously tariffs should be the last resort," Engelbert said. One in five jobs deals with importing, she stated. 

Sheila Bair, Former FDIC Chair 

"The priority right now should be preventing" a crisis, said Bair.

"Obviously, bailouts were a crowdpleaser with the financial industry," said Bair. "Frankly, we should have stood up and had a spine with the banking industry."

Bair believes the crypto market is a "legitimate new asset class."

"People need to distinguish blockchain technology from cryptocurrencies," she added. 

She added that she wishes that there was a federal regulatory framework. 

"I do think that Mr. Trump deserves credit for nominating knowledgable people," Bair said. She was referring to the economists surrounding Trump.

Kewsong Lee, Co-CEO of The Carlyle Group

"We're quite bullish on opportunities in China long-term," Lee kicked off the interview talking about the escalating trade war between U.S. and China. 

The Lehman collapse is brought up and Lee is asked about the possibility of another recession.

"The growth in the global economy and the U.S. is what I would call low and steady. And that low and steady growth doesn't allow for a lot of excess in the economy," said Lee. "You're not really seeing huge bubbles in the financial sector...that makes it really hard to have a bad event in terms of a recession."

"Saying that, our crystal ball is not that great past a year," He smiled.

Larry Fink "View From the Top"

Before Fink's interview could begin, it was interrupted by a protestor who jumped on stage and accused Blackrock of funding killing. 

Protesters erupt at #YahooAMS as Blackrock's Larry Fink takes the stage. pic.twitter.com/y3l5aMqCkY

— Carleton English (@carletonenglish) September 20, 2018

Here's a photo of the protestor being led out. pic.twitter.com/9P0qCFDUIT

— Katherine Ross (@KatherineRooss) September 20, 2018

The protestor was quickly led away. 

Protestor at the Yahoo Finance Summit.
Protestor at the Yahoo Finance Summit.

When the interview started, Fink discussed global economies. "My greatest long-term fear is that we don't have the connections...the world is probably less economically safe."

"We have to prove that we have a purpose in every country we operate," Fink said. 

"Millennials are asking more out of companies than maybe my generation did," Fink said. "More people want to associate themselves with a brand they believe in. There's no question that employees are seeking organizations that they believe in."

Fink added, "Firms are much more transparent about their long-term strategy."

What to Look For

The Yahoo Finance All Markets Summit is packed with top names from the finance world...and some of the top political names, too.

Some of the speakers include Larry Fink, CEO of Blackrock, Cathy Engelbert, CEO of Deloitte, and Sean Spicer--it's safe to say that most people know who he is. 

Anyway, those are only some of the names. TheStreet will be following the conference live throughout the day. 

The first speaker up will be Fink.

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