Up and down the 405

Posting will be light today as I’m currently traveling back up to Los Angeles after a couple of great days in Orange County. I had never spent any time in Laguna/ Dana Point before – now I don’t understand why I don’t live here. Place is sick.

Yesterday at the IMN Global Indexing and ETFs Conference, Felix Salmon delivered an opening keynote that was both brilliant and ballsy. Felix explained his view that governing by referendum is insane, and that democracy done properly requires “attenuation” by a technocratic class that understands policy implications and can shepherd the will of the people into a a more feasible version of what they want.

It’s a nuanced argument, and it wasn’t terribly popular amongst the Californian audience he said it to. Judging by some people’s reactions, you would have thought Felix was recommending a royal family! When the mic was passed around for Q&A, one attendee called for a referendum on Felix’s talk. Like Brexit’s remain camp, he got just under half the vote.

Later on I got to moderate a panel about how advisors are using ETFs. This morning I’m hosting a closed door breakfast for advisors only, should be fun.

It’s really been a treat to meet some new people whose work I respect, like Nir Kaissar (Bloomberg Gadfly) and Helaine Olen (Slate). Also great to see old friends and colleagues from around the industry all in one place. In the last 48 hours, I got to hang with Cullen Roche, Bob Seawright, Scott Bell, Meb Faber, Dan Egan, Mark Dow, Rob Arnott, Roger Wohlner, Peter Lazaroff, Rob Sechan, Tom Kimberly, Ari Weinberg and Rick Ferri, to name a few.

Today I’m headed back up to Santa Monica to see some people before I fly home. TRB will be back to regularly scheduled posting on Wednesday. Cheers!

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