Conversations with Mike Milken

Conversations with Mike Milken

COVID-19 has changed the way we work and live. In response to the public health emergency, Milken Institute Chairman Michael Milken is engaging a range of industry leaders and medical experts to help us better understand and confront a crisis that has not only altered our current day-to-day but will change the course of how we work, socialize, and fight disease for years to come.... Show More

Episodes

July 10, 2020 15 min
“Obviously, we wish it was earlier if China had been more forthcoming and transparent. But I think the important part is that we cannot allow any pandemic or any economic situation currently to cloud our moral responsibility for issues that are already on the ground.” Whether she’s voting in the Security Council or leading the personnel at the U.S. Mission to the U.N. (USUN), Ambassador Kelly Craft is keenly aware of the national...
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“It's really the first time that you've had challenges and down cycles in the financial side, on the racial side, and health-wise with COVID. … We're at an absolute tipping point from what we are going to do and how the consumer experience is going to be on the retail side.” When Kenneth Lombard looks at our current confluence of crises, the Executive Vice President and COO of Seritage Growth Properties sees opportuni...
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“A sociologist … said that pandemics fracture society along known fault lines. And that is so true. Every single one of the issues that we have historically worked on that are at the core of what we do has been touched and exacerbated by COVID. … It’s energized us.” For ten years, husband and wife Laura and John Arnold have grappled with some of society’s most intractable problems. Their Houston-based philanthropy, Arnold Venture...
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“If you have a vision for what America 2.0 post-reset should look like, there will never be a better time to create a business that goes into an entirely new direction. … If you have a vision for something dramatically different, now's the time to do it.” For Mark Cuban, fortune favors the bold – and there’s no time like the present. As a serial entrepreneur, investor on TV’s “Shark Tank,” and current owner of the NBA’s Dalla...
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“The Wall Street Journal last week reported that 41% of the African American businesses have stopped transacting and stopped conducting business and have closed up, which is a true tragedy. They don't have the banking systems, which limited their ability to actually process the Payroll Protection Program loans through the CARES Act.” With the pandemic revealing greater inequities in existing economic systems, Robert F. Smith ...
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“Our policy engagement is very strong everywhere, but … the same way people with preconditions are more vulnerable to the virus, weakened economies are more vulnerable to the economic shock we experience today. So, they need more of our help.” For struggling economies around the world, the IMF is a lifeline. Since 1944, it has promoted financial stability and sustainable growth to its 189 member countries with zero percent loans ...
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“Each day you have to answer a series of questions so that you can electronically access the office. If you don't, we'll either send you to one of our testing labs or to a telemedicine doctor. … We have these huge UV chambers. You put all your outerwear, your phones, your shoes, and we can actually UV disinfect, almost anything.” As CEO of one of Fortune’s "100 Best Companies to Work For," Activision Blizzard’s Bo...
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“It can feel like the world is a colder and riskier place, [but] we've been through these things before, and we generally know that society comes through. We learn lessons. We become stronger over time and create opportunities for personal growth and societal learning that can continue to make the world a better place.” Chevron has been weathering the vicissitudes of cultural and industrial shifts around the world since it wa...
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“Six out of the seven jobs of the future have not been created yet. The future of workplaces and workforces are going to change significantly. The change was gradual, but with the pandemic and in the post‐pandemic era, the changes will be all of a sudden.” As the world struggles with the vagaries of a pandemic, Ravi Kumar S. is already planning for a transformed workplace. As President of Infosys, his effort begins with finding a...
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“I certainly hope this is a unique moment where we will have profound conversations, not only about our own lessons or our own challenges, but about the future of humanity. … This lockdown gives us the opportunity to have long conversations that otherwise would not have happened.” Last year, the World Bank Group was busily working on two ambitious goals for its 189 member nations: ending extreme poverty within a generation, and b...
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“In the last three months we’ve probably have had five years’ worth of acceleration in terms of e‐commerce. … People are realizing that cash is a way that germs get transmitted. Currency is dirty.” When the pandemic hit in January, Al Kelly made a vow to have zero layoffs at Visa. Fortunately, as one of the world’s foremost purveyors of e-commerce, they soon found that 97% of their 20,000 employees were able to work from home, an...
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“The whole premise that where you live dictates your access to specialty care, dictates your outcomes, dictates your access to tools to manage your disease. That's absurd in this day and age. … We have to seize this opportunity to level the playing field and really begin to truly give equal care no matter where you live. When David Panzirer was named a Trustee of the Helmsley Charitable Trust thirteen years ago, he knew littl...
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“I will be honest in saying that I never imagined the degree of exhaustion and the multitude of issues that have come about with this crisis: on a personal level, on an institutional level, on a community level, on a national level.” For 150 years, Children’s National Hospital in Washington, DC has been a beacon of pediatric excellence. With Dr. Joelle Simpson as its Medical Director for Emergency Preparedness, they have partnere...
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“Local travel, meaning travel 100 to 600 miles from where you live by car, is fairly robust and is almost back to pre‐COVID levels. … We're not seeing and won't see air travel, certainly not international air travel. … We’re not seeing it yet because people feel unsafe. Travel is probably one of the last to actually get back the robust growth.” As Chairman and Senior Executive of Expedia Group – which includes a dozen top...
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“In Africa the economy is also a patient. … We have a consortium in Ethiopia, for example – 12 businesses run by women who are pivoting and using their skills to now manufacture PPE. We’re doing the same in Ghana, working through a coalition … to get to 12,000 small businesses the financing they need.” Relatively new to the world of nonprofits, the MasterCard Foundation has had an outsized impact, especially in Africa. Led by Pre...
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“I thought a lot about it from the perspective of being a person who walks around with brown skin, a woman, a mother, but also someone who runs a company. … My mother used to tell me, ‘Mellody, you could be or do anything.’ … There's going to be a struggle. It's going to be super hard. People aren't going to treat you fairly, but you can still be or do anything. I actually believed her.” As president and co-CEO of Ari...
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“I negotiated directly with Mr. Mnuchin. … He was fair. He was easy to communicate with. …  Working with him, I was able to carve out and direct to these minority institutions, a sum of money that would give them the liquidity that they needed.” Rep. Maxine Waters has always been a champion of the underserved: as an assistant teacher in 1966 with the Head Start program in Watts, California; as a state legislator in the 70s and 80...
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“The COVID-19 crisis has made me realize that if there's anything I really want to get done in my life, I need to get it done sooner. I am ratcheting up my activity.  I'm doing what I call sprinting to the finish line now because I realize how fragile life really can be and this crisis brought it home to me.” After achieving financial success by co-founding and co-chairing the private equity firm The Carlyle Group, David ...
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“We immediately went from working 100% from the office to 100% work from home; we’ll remain working from home at least through October as we see how the virus progresses and how we protect the health and safety of our employees as we start to reopen.” For PayPal president and CEO Dan Schulman, the health and wellbeing of his 25,000 global employees comes first. They, in turn, are then better able to provide for the 300 million co...
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“It's really, to me, a trust factor. … Companies at that moment had huge, huge needs for capital to manage through the beginning of what they were seeing was going to be a significant downturn in their business. If we had closed the markets, they would not have been able to gain access to that capital when they needed it the most.”  Early in the coronavirus crisis, Adena Friedman, president and CEO of Nasdaq, focused her ener...
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