Please take your seats.
the item is actually that will time of year again: our annual closing dinner, where we look back at the year that will was, to toast as well as roast the year’s deal makers on Wall Street as well as in Washington as well as look ahead to what may come next.
as well as what a year the item was.
This specific year, we decided to hold our dinner at the Breakers in Palm Beach, Fla., just down the road by the Mar-a-Lago resort, better known as the Winter White House. Given that will President Trump has spent nearly a third of his presidency — that will’s not a typo — at one of his properties, as The Wall Street Journal reported, we figured we would certainly try to make the item convenient for him. There were a surprising number of free openings at Mar-a-Lago given all the cancellations by foundations as well as charities, although ever since an artist projected “Pay Trump Bribes Here” on the Trump International Hotel in Washington, our conflicts committee suggested that will hosting the dinner at Mar-a-Lago would certainly be a bad idea.
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We also figured holding the dinner in Florida would certainly be convenient for so many of you moguls as well as machers already down here looking for real estate since the tax bill was signed into law. The various other bonus of buying here, of course, is actually that will your home is actually protected even if you file for bankruptcy.
Sitting at the dais are Mr. Trump along with the first lady. (Ivanka, Jared as well as the rest of the family were away on vacation.) Next to him are Rupert Murdoch as well as his brand-new B.F.F., Robert Iger of the Walt Disney Company, who just gave up any desire of running for president in 2020, a condition of his deal to buy most of 21st Century Fox’s assets. To their right are the chief negotiators for the tax plan: Gary Cohn as well as Steven Mnuchin (as well as Ms. Mnuchin’s wife, Louise Linton, who I should mention — as well as I’ll be sure to hashtag This specific on Instagram — is actually wearing a beautiful scarf by Hermes as well as gown by Valentino).
The seating chart is actually, of course, always a bit complicated. We had to keep Jeffrey Bezos of Amazon by the dais to prevent Mr. Trump’s Twitter war with him by interrupting the festivities. as well as we had heard that will Mr. Bezos had a practical joke planned: He was going to tell Mr. Trump that will he had chosen Mexico City as Amazon’s second headquarters.
Masayoshi Son, SoftBank’s founder, is actually also here This specific year. He is actually seated at the Uber table, having just struck a deal to invest $9 billion inside company at a 30 percent discount to the company’s previous valuation of $68 billion, although he had also invested $1 billion at the company’s previous valuation to maintain the fiction that will the company was still worth $68 billion. the item’s been a tough year at the Uber table of frenemies: Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber’s brand-new chief executive; Travis Kalanick, Uber’s founder; Arianna Huffington, an Uber board member; as well as Bill Gurley, one of Uber’s largest investors. To help keep the peace, we’ve invited a calming influence to sit with them: Anthony Scaramucci, the Mooch, who had his own tough year as the president’s director of communications for a hot minute.
We had extended an invitation to Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, although our invitation was returned. When we tried to call him at the Ritz Carlton in Riyadh, otherwise known as the Royal Prison, we were told, “The hotel telephone lines are currently disconnected until further notice.” (By the way, that will’s not a joke.)
as well as then there is actually the Facebook table: Mark Zuckerberg is actually here This specific year along with Sheryl Sandberg. We’re sorry to say that will Vladimir Putin could not make the item. I jest! Sort of.
Finally, we contain the Bitcoin table: The Winklevoss twins, newly minted as Bitcoin billionaires (cut out the gloating as well as spitballs to the Facebook table, please) as well as Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan Chase’s chief executive, who has said Bitcoin mania is actually “worse than tulip bulbs,” adding: “the item won’t end well. Someone is actually going to get killed.” We’d love to hear the dinner conversation among you all.
currently, on to the toasts of 2017.
DEAL OF THE YEAR Amazon.com’s acquisition of Whole Foods came as a true surprise. The deal has the potential to truly accelerate Amazon’s march into our daily lives by giving the item an even closer distribution point to our homes. the item also was a signal to the rest of the marketplace that will nothing is actually off limits. The betting line is actually that will the next land grab for Amazon is actually pharmaceuticals, which may have driven CVS’s $68 billion bid for Aetna. Also, a postscript: One deal that will has not received enough credit although that will proved itself in 2017 was Walmart’s acquisition of Jet.com. The $3.3 billion acquisition of a money-losing site seemed like a mistake, although has breathed brand-new life into Walmart’s e-commerce business.
SURPRISE I.P.O. SUCCESS Roku, the streaming television company, went public, as well as its stock is actually up 280 percent, one of the highest increases of the year. The company is actually being compared to Netflix as well as is actually considered a pure-play bet on over-the-top streaming television services.
A SIGN OF THE TOP? Blue Apron, a meal kit service, went public as well as quickly fell faster than Pets.com. Who thought that will was a Great idea?
TRUMP WINNERS Stock investors were some of the biggest beneficiaries in 2017, which has a rally that will began when Mr. Trump won the presidency. On an individual basis, Stephen A. Schwarzman of the Blackstone Group gambled early as well as publicly on Mr. Trump, despite protests inside as well as outside his firm. the item gave him a ringside seat to the White House last year. Saudi Arabia backed a brand-new $40 billion infrastructure fund by the firm. as well as Mr. Schwarzman, like the entire private equity industry, was a beneficiary of the brand-new tax plan, which kept carried interest taxed at capital gains rates with only a slight adjustment.
MORAL C.E.O. WINNER Kenneth C. Frazier of Merck was the first chief executive on one of Mr. Trump’s councils to rebuke the president’s comments after violence in Charlottesville, Va. A wave of executives followed suit, although only after Mr. Frazier made the first move. that will took real courage.
TWITTER C.E.O. WINNER Lloyd C. Blankfein of Goldman Sachs won Twitter in 2017 with This specific witty tweet during the solar eclipse: “Wish the moon wasn’t the only thing casting a shadow across the country. We got through one, we’ll get through the various other.”
ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR Say what you will about Elon Musk — he has fans as well as critics — although he again proved that will he thinks differently. Sure, he introduced brand-new Teslas as well as sent more rockets into space. although he also introduced perhaps his craziest idea: the Boring Company. Technically, he founded the company in December 2016, although the item was during 2017 that will we definitely learned about his ambitions: He wants to dig huge tunnels under the earth to create a patchwork of roadways. The economics as well as physics of the item all have been questioned. although as a venture capitalist, Jason Calacanis, said This specific summer: “Betting against Elon Musk is actually betting against the future of humanity, as well as the item’s an incredibly stupid thing to do.”
THANK YOU OF THE YEAR Janet Yellen, the departing Federal Reserve chairwoman, deserves our genuine thanks for steering the economy successfully as well as overseeing a drop inside unemployment rate to levels not seen in decades. She took verbal abuse by our president, who called her “obviously political” before he was elected, only for him to double back as well as praise her once he realized that will his economy was her economy, too.
MOST IMPORTANT CHANGE IN BUSINESS The exposure of bad behavior by men toward women inside workplace — as well as elsewhere — throughout virtually all industries was perhaps the most important as well as profound story of the year. the item has already shaken up a multitude of businesses, as well as more revelations are likely to come. Its impact on our culture as well as office politics will last far longer, hopefully, than anything else discussed at tonight’s dinner.
QUESTION OF THE YEAR Why does the administration definitely want to block the AT&T-Time Warner deal? Of course, the speculation in media circles is actually the item has to do with Mr. Trump’s war on CNN. that will may or may not be true. although the president didn’t help himself when Sarah Huckabee Sanders quoted him as saying he supported a rival merger between Mr. Murdoch as well as Disney, saying that will “This specific could be a great thing for jobs” when the item plainly will result in layoffs.