Marc Faber Defended by Conference Organizer After Racist ReportBy
‘We can’t ignore his life work, experience and knowledge’
World Wealth Creation Conference 2017 to be held in Singapore
Just hours after Marc Faber was ousted from three corporate boards for racist comments in his newsletter, organizers of a wealth conference next month in Singapore decided to keep the veteran investor as a keynote speaker.
The event’s founder, hedge fund manager Mikk Talpsepp, described a debate with his Chief Operating Officer Denis Merkuljev and Anneli Duarte, the summit’s sales director, that took place before the decision. Other scheduled speakers at the inaugural Wealth Creation Conference 2017 include Qi Wang, chief executive officer of MegaTrust Investment, and Ravi Chidambaram, co-founder of TC Capital Pte. The content of Talpsepp’s email to Bloomberg has been lightly edited for clarity.
“The comments might be considered racist, but we can’t ignore his life work, experience and knowledge,” Talpsepp said in the email. “In the stock markets, there is no racism at all, as all trades are anonymous. You will never know with whom you are making trades. Sometimes you trade against a computer, sometimes against white, black and Asian people. It does not matter. What is important is the knowledge.”
Merkuljev argued that Faber should be removed, saying there’s “no place for racist comments in the world, and it does not represent the values” of the conference, Talpsepp wrote.
The COO also asked: “How can you be sure our other speakers and attendees are not annoyed after these comments? Qi Wang is Chinese, speaking right before Marc Faber, and Ravi Chidambaram, speaking right after Marc Faber, is a multicultural person born in India, who has lived in the United States, Brazil, England, Germany and Singapore.”
Talpsepp defended Faber’s comments: “He is a statistical guy and this is where his comments come from. He looks at the GDP of Zimbabwe and compares this with the GDP of the United States. But the United States has always been multicultural and some white people in America have used black labor against their will for centuries.”
He also wrote: “I would like to apologize for Marc Faber´s comments, and I hope we won´t lose attendance by keeping him as our speaker. All our attendees are free to protest against Marc Faber if they like.”