There's a great big elephant in the room called the economy. So let's start talking about that.
I wanted to give you a current picture of the economy. That's what I have behind myself.
But of course what we have to remember is this. And what you have to think about is, when you're dancing in the flames, what's next?
So what I'm going to try to do in the next 17 and a half minutes is I'm going to talk first about the flames — where we are in the economy —
and then I'm going to take three trends that have taken place at TED over the last 25 years and that will take place in this conference and I will try and bring them together.
And I will try and give you a sense of what the ultimate reboot looks like.
Those three trends are the ability to engineer cells, the ability to engineer tissues, and robots. And somehow it will all make sense.
But anyway, let's start with the economy. There's a couple of really big problems that are still sitting there.
One is leverage. And the problem with leverage is it makes the U.S. financial system look like this.
So, a normal commercial bank has nine to 10 times leverage. That means for every dollar you deposit, it loans out about nine or 10.
A normal investment bank is not a deposit bank, it's an investment bank; it has 15 to 20 times.
It turns out that B of A in September had 32 times. And your friendly Citibank had 47 times. Oops.
That means every bad loan goes bad 47 times over. And that, of course, is the reason why all of you are making such generous and wonderful donations to these nice folks.
And as you think about that, you've got to wonder: so what do banks have in store for you now? It ain't pretty.