I attended a meeting of the National Organization of Investment Professionals (NOIP) yesterday in Washington DC. My CEO, Don Springer, sat on a panel discussing the future of alternative research and did a great job. There is a sea change going on regarding the dissemination of research information. Dollars spent on traditional research are declining while alternative research is increasing. This is on the same scale as advertising spend decline in traditional news while increasing on-line. So this was a very timely event for us with lots of good discussion around the impact of Web 2.0 technologies on new forms of research and research delivery.
The other discussions were focused on legislation and the 2008 election and how it could impact Wall Street. It seemed that the consensus was the republicans were on the run and in a bit of disarray. One Washington insider still believed that McCain has the best chance of winning the GOP nomination. On the democratic side, he felt that Obama would eventually fade because the Clinton campaign was just too experienced and tough and would "eat Obama for lunch." One of the funniest quotes though was about Al Gore running. He said that Gore is the dark horse and certainly has the popular capital to make a serious run for the nomination and the presidency (didn't he already win the presidency once?) but that Washington folks were keeping an eye on Gore's wasteline, "If he loses 20lbs in the next few months, no later than August or September, he's probably going to make a run for it."
The truth in that observation is absolutely hilarious.