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What We Learned From Tim Cook, Antony Blinken, Mary Barra and More

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He also called on governments, drug companies and others to “step up” vaccine distribution efforts around the world.

Ken Griffin of the financial giant Citadel said rapidly growing inflation was one of his biggest worries. He said that the Fed had been “far too generous” with stimulus, and he dismissed predictions that rising inflation would be temporary. “The theory that this is transitory is starting to get long in the tooth,” he said.

Griffin also expressed skepticism about the promises made by supporters of cryptocurrency. “I worry that some of this passion has been misplaced when it comes to cryptocurrencies,” he said.

Mary Barra, G.M.’s chief, said that she wasn’t bothered by Tesla being worth 10 times more than her company, despite selling far fewer cars. Why? Because G.M.’s investments in electric vehicles would eventually bear fruit, she said: “General Motors is so undervalued as we start this wonderful period we’re in.”

Barra said she currently drives a Chevy Volt, but that she was on the waiting list for an electrified version of something bigger. “I’m waiting for my Hummer,” she said.

Darren Woods, Exxon Mobil’s chief, argued that his oil giant — long criticized for its role in climate change — can help the global economy transition to clean energy. Exxon can “bridge that gap between what’s needed today and what we want for tomorrow,” he said.

A debate has emerged over whether rising energy prices are driven by moving too quickly away from fossil fuels or a cyclical phenomenon. Woods said both factors were at play.

Dax Shepard, a host of the popular interview-based podcast “Armchair Expert,” said that he was against deplatforming, welcoming conversations with all, including those he disagreed with. “I think people’s bad ideas are best heard because that’s when you find out how bad their ideas are,” the actor and comedian said. But Monica Padman, his co-host, still has her guard up during tricky interviews. “We’re having very human conversations, and everyone can come off sympathetic,” she said.

The journalist Maria Ressa, who won a Nobel Peace Prize this year for her work in the Philippines, has put her life and liberty at risk exposing government corruption. Her experience is a sign of what may lie ahead for the U.S. and other countries. “Our dystopia is coming for you,” she said.

Ressa, who runs the digital media company Rappler, says the dangers she faces have been exacerbated by Facebook, which she says amplifies division and misinformation. The solution isn’t breaking up that company — others use similar algorithms — but stricter regulation.


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