Today was a mixed bag for the first-ever Money:Tech conference hosted by Paul Kedrosky and Tim O’Reilly of O’Reilly Media. The morning was terrific: Tim did his Web 2.0 overview, which I’ve heard/seen before, but this time it was well-tailored for the audience. Then Jim Cramer came on and was on fire. More interesting nuggets in 30 minutes than pretty much the entire afternoon. As everyone knows, it’s not just what he says it’s how he says it. Cramer highlights:
- Sell-side research will go away – it provides imperfect information
- Two things he reads: Implode-O-Meter and Seeking Alpha. He wants to hire some Seeking Alpha writers for The Street.com
- Bloomberg (the terminal) is king. "Other than Bloomberg no one has an edge." They (Bloomberg) come out with new valuable stuff daily.
- Thomson-Reuters should spend tons of money on research to offer an alternative to Bloomberg.
Larry Tabb of Tabb Group gave a very informative presentation on trends in liquidity for equity transactions, focusing on the emergence of dark pools.
My friend Dave Leinweber gave a great talk on the history and future of financial information. And then there was lunch.
The afternoon was interesting but lacked energy. Steve Steinberg, a "financial markets data hacker" presented a wealth of experience regarding where to look for (and where not to look for) an edge in collecting data that might generate alpha. Rob Passarella of Bear Stearns led a panel on "Building a Better Information Beast." This panel was probably half an hour too short, in that there were 4 panelists and they didn’t get enough time to explain their value proposition.