November 28, 2021

Tomer Aiderapp

Consummate Business Technicians

Chuck Schumer and Uma Thurman walk into a conference … welcome to Milken

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Welcome to the first edition of POLITICO’s daily coverage of the Milken Institute Global Conference, taking place online and in-person at the Beverly Hills Hilton. As with last year’s virtual event, the big focus this year is on health and economic recovery.

Sunday was all about invite-only roundtables and private dinners, including one soiree hosted by Steven Mnuchin — with today’s proceedings open to the full 2,500 in-person elite delegate list.

The conference is majoring on safety: There’s a mix of indoor and outdoor sessions, and everyone must be fully vaccinated, submit a recent negative test results and “wear CDC-approved masks indoors; KN-95 masks will be provided, as needed.” Milken is also making a conscious diversity effort among panel topics and panelists. We’ll report back on whether the audience matches those on-stage, who range from ACLU leaders to the Saudi investment minister to Uma Thurman.

Weather forecast: Possible showers this morning followed by a high of 66 in the afternoon. Not the best rooftop cocktail weather.

BY THE NUMBERS

0 — hotels under $400 a night within a mile of the venue

1 — morning yoga session

Dozens — of CEOs

100 — percent vaccination requirement

180 — sessions

600 — speakers

2,500 — in-person participants

TODAY’S FULL PROGRAM

MONDAY HIGHLIGHTS

After Sunday’s invite-only events, the conference proper kicks off this morning at 11 a.m. ET / 8 a.m. PT: The opening speakers are Scott Minerd, chief investment officer of Guggenheim Partners; Julie Gerberding, Merck executive vice president; and John Gerzema, CEO at Harris Poll.

CEO Central: Four CEOs hit the stage together at 1 p.m. ET / 10 a.m. PT: Carmine Di Sibio (EY), Barbara Humpton (Siemens U.S.A.), Kewsong Lee (Carlyle) and Michael Wirth (Chevron).

The top politics panel of the day: Gerry Baker tackles the national security outlook with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Reps. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) and Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich.), and former chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph F. Dunford Jr. (Ret.) at 5 p.m. ET / 2 p.m. PT.

Hard to miss: Actress Uma Thurman, the god daughter of psychedelics pioneer Timothy O’Leary, will speak on “the emergence of psychedelics as part of the potential solution to our mental health crisis.” 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT

WHERE TO JOIN GLOBAL INSIDER TODAY: Ryan Heath is a panelist at “Building Trust in an Age of Distrust,” 2.30 pm ET / 11.30 a.m. PT.

TUESDAY BOOKMARK

Frank Luntz and Bari Weiss will be “talking back to cancel culture” at 1 p.m. ET / 10 a.m. PT.

INSIDER TIPS: Global Insider spoke to Milken insiders and veterans about their best tips on how to make of this week’s conference:

“If you’re a panelist, spend some time in the Green Room: It’s where the action is. Also see if you can be a fly-on-the-wall in one of Michael Milken’s small group meetings where he dazzles the elites with his predictions.” — media CEO

“There’s always great movement in the lobby area, too. Catch and see who else is in attendance by hanging out near the session doors as a new session starts.” — Milken staffer

“Take a chance to explore and engage on a topic you might not be the master of the universe on … and more importantly on topics that you might think you don’t want to know anything about. And don’t forget #MIGlobal hashtag.” — Former Amb. Curtis Chin

WHAT’S BUSINESS ATTIRE IN 2021? The dress code is “business attire,” but good luck guessing what that means these days. Many virtual speakers in 2020 seemed happy to make do with zipper fleece tops, while Sunday’s invite-only crowd mostly went for boring dark suits (and ties! On Sunday! In L.A.! What is this: 2019?!). Bloomberg’s Carol Massar dared to brighten the scene in white linen.

I’ll include snaps of the most interesting “business attire” interpretations in Tuesday’s newsletter.

SPRING INTO 2022: Milken Institute intends to switch back to the traditional spring conference schedule next year.

QUOTABLE

“That’s the nice thing about L.A., right? It’s poolside.” Jennifer Prosek, who leads Prosek PR, which is hosting an outdoor cocktail party at Mosaic Hotel in parallel to Milken Conference.

DIGITAL INCLUSION SPOTLIGHT

If global capital markets are at a crossroad as the Milken Institute suggests, this week’s hot digital topics are: how to inject more diversity into venture capital, and how to deliver more usable digital skills across the workforce.

Barbara Humpton, U.S. CEO of Siemens, got the ball rolling with David Rubenstein in Sunday’s invite-only What Matters Now series. If digital is to expand what is humanly possible (rather than mostly eat up middle class jobs), then we’re going to need more workers with curiosity and humility to guide that revolution, Humpton told the audience.

Ally Collab — a collective of women of color-led venture capital funds — hits the stage today. The names to watch for: Tracy Gray (The 22 Fund), Gayle Jennings-O’Byrne (WOCstar Fund), Carmen Palafox (2045 Ventures) and Noramay Cadena (Supply Change Capital). 2.30 p.m. ET / 11.30 a.m. PT

NOMINATED: Enoh Ebong, former Head of Strategic Partnerships at the Milken Center for Advancing the American Dream, as head of U.S. Trade and Development Agency.

Decoding China’s hypersonic missile progress: American intelligence services have been caught off-guard by China’s rapid advances, the FT reported, in a development that has “all the elements of a Sputnik moment,” per Blake Hounshell.

Buttigieg warns some supply chain problems will persist into 2022.

Is a tidal wave of Chinese debt about to sink Australia’s recovery?

Ethiopia is plunging into chaos. It’s time for a new Dayton Peace Process, argue Alex Rondos and Mark Medish.

Japan and Taiwan deepen ties to face their mutual threat.

How Slack and Discord became tools for worker revolt.

British lawmakers to receive police protection when meeting constituents, following second murder in five years.

Another Facebook whistleblower appears before lawmakers today: Sophie Zhang will testify before the U.K. Parliament.

COLIN POWELL PASSES: The former secretary of State and chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff died at 84 from Covid-19 complications, per a family statement.

LEGION D’HONNEUR FOR STEVE CLEMONS: One mainstay of the D.C. journalism and social scenes has managed to stay above recent skirmishes between Washington and Paris, and he’s getting a fancy award to show for it. French Ambassador Philippe Etienne will Monday evening make Steve Clemons a Chevalier in France’s Legion of Honor, at a reception at the French residence.

THE OTHER HARVARD: How an Illinois factory town was used as a Ukrainian money-laundering prop.

HOTSPOT: Dahlias for Your Darling, and a Lavender Latte While You Wait: Great piece here on the florist + barista cafes that U.N. diplomats have started to flock down around U.N. HQ in New York. Owner Remi Kim was inspired by South Korea’s “combination shops.”

WITHDRAWN: Matt Hancock, the politician in charge of Britain’s Covid-19 response until resigning amid a scandalous romantic affair this summer, has had a job offer from the United Nations withdrawn only four days after celebrating it on Twitter.

Rethinking Globalization: Christine Lagarde’s Per Jacobsson lecture, delivered for the International Monetary Fund Oct. 16 in Washington.

Thanks to editor Ben Pauker