You might call it the Coachella of capitalism. Titans of industry from around the world have gathered the past couple days in Beverly Hills at The Milken Global Conference.
KPCC news titan and business reporter, Ben Bergman, managed to sneak in too. He joins the show to talk about what he hear and saw at the exclusive event.
What were some of the highlights for you of the panels you attended?
Naming panels is important so one of first I went to was called: "Why Tomorrow Won't Look Like Today: Things that Will Blow Your Mind." It featured Eric Anderson, Co-Founder and Co-Chairman, Planetary Resources, a company that wants to mine asteroids.
They have funding from people like Elon Musk and Ross Perot, and Anderson says this isn't some distant fantasy. It's something that's very close to reality.
He also said if he could mine an asteroid the size of the room we were sitting in for platinum, it would be worth $500 billion. That caught the ear of many people in the room, who are money managers.
That's a lot of high-falutin chit chat. Anything a little more down to earth?
I went to a panel called, "The Evolution of Music and the Music Consumer." We usually think of gloom and doom for the industry, but this panel was very bullish, seeing music as more important than ever. It's worth nothing that everyone on the panel were executives, not artists.
But the executives said that all the money is in live events and EDM, or electronic dance music. Everyone loves EDM, not least of which the DJs, who can make multiple six figures for one night of spinning records, or in some case just pretending like they're spinning.
Who was the most interesting person you met?
T. Boone Pickens, a Texas oilman who now flies around the world promoting natural gas and energy independence. But being a fitness nut the thing I was most interested in hearing from Pickens was his fitness routine, because he's more energetic than a lot of 20-year-olds I've met. Keep in mind that he's turning 86 in a few years. Here's what he does with his trainer:
"I do 10 degrees and speed 4 — which is 4 mph — and I do a mile at that. 10 degree elevation and all. We did 300 yards of lunges, it was three sets of 100 yards. Then we did crunches with a 20 pound weight on my chest, and we do 50 of those, so it was a good workout."
One other thing Pickens is famous for: He's never had a cup of coffee in his life.