Exploring Today's Investment World

An Interview with Beata Kirr

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Editor’s Note: We hope you enjoy the video above. If you’d rather just listen to the podcast, click this link to Apple Podcasts: The Common Bridge. It is also available on all podcast platforms. We have included the transcript to this program below. We offer this program in it’s entirety to our paid subscribers, and welcome all to subscribe below.

Editor’s Note:

This is the first of a two part series with Rich's special guest, Beata Kirr, the co-head of investment strategies and national managing director in the Chicago office of Bernstein. We think you'll find this conversation very fascinating.

Richard Helppie

Hello, welcome to The Common Bridge. We've got a topic today that affects everybody. It's the economy: it's finances, it's money, it's how we buy things, it's how we get things, it's why we go to work, and it's why we try to husband our financial resources. We've got a world class expert with us today from Alliance Bernstein, we have Beata Kirr. Beata, welcome to The Common Bridge and thank you so much for being a guest.

Beata Kirr

Thank you, Rich, for having me. I'm excited.

Richard Helppie

Everyone participates in the economy and the financial markets; whether you're employed, whether you run a business, you own a home, rent a home, you're considering a purchase. Economic policy affects everyone. And so today we're going to get some education, I suspect some policy ideas, for all things economic and financial [from] Beata Kirr. Beata is the co-head of investment strategies and the national managing director in the Chicago office of Alliance Bernstein. At Alliance Bernstein, she served as the head of core asset strategies, is co-head of Bernstein's private client investment group. Before joining the firm, she was the director at Harris Alternatives, which is a global fund of hedge funds, where she advised institutions on the firm's offerings. Before that, Goldman Sachs, where she advised clients on equities merger and acquisition and equity capital markets from their New York, London, and Chicago offices. You don't get into a position like this without some really strong academic credentials and Beata brings a bachelor's in economics, magna cum laude from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. She's provided market commentary; you've probably seen her commenting with the Chicago Tribune, WGN News, NPR and the Wall Street Journal. Now in addition to her work in the financial markets, she is very passionate about helping women investors succeed. She speaks frequently to women's groups nationally. [She is] host of "Bernstein Insights: Women and Wealth" podcast series; heavily recommend that so [after] you listen to The Common Bridge, tune into Beata Kirr. She is on the board of Women Employed, she's the proud mom of two energetic kids - and maybe we'll see them because it wouldn't be the first time on this. She tries to find time to read great books and travel. Beata, again, welcome, so glad you're with us this morning.

Beata Kirr

Wow, I'm humbled by the length of my introduction, Rich. I hope people are still on listening.

Richard Helppie

I had to edit it down, and you have the end of a cough too, so we'll work a way around that. Beata, tell the audience of The Common Bridge just a little bit about yourself. Where were your early days, anything I didn't cover in the academic preparation and maybe a thumbnail of your professional work - like how do you spend the day? You're moving billions of dollars around, is my understanding.

Beata Kirr

Well, there's a lot to cover there. You spent a lot of time on the background and bio, I don't know that it's that interesting for people, but I think your big picture question is, how did I get here and why does this work interest me. I think my perspective on that was when I went to Wharton undergrad, it was an unusual situation. It wasn't the case that I grew up in a world of finance. When I got out to the East Coast - first of all, I'm from the Midwest, love that you're in Detroit. I'm in Chicago, really a Midwesterner, and I'm sure your listeners will get this concept - I showed up on the East Coast and it was just the world's biggest wake up call of another whole world; big, big wide world, certainly of money, of access and privilege that I was not exposed to. I was born in what was then the former Soviet Union and what is now Latvia - very front and center in the news today, because it is NATO's Eastern Front. Latvia, unfortunately, has borne the brunt of invasion from both the Soviet Union and Scandinavia and other countries over the years so I was extremely paranoid at the moment, given the horrific events unfolding in Ukraine. But I tell you that story about my personal background because we came here as immigrants. I was five years old when we emigrated. Both my parents were scientists. And why is this relevant to the Wharton education? Because my parents had no idea what a business school education was. They also had no idea what a liberal arts education was. Because in the former Soviet Union, you really went to schools that were almost more vocational; they were very career oriented. I came from this science background and knew that I did not want to touch cadavers or patients or be in a lab setting. Yet my parents said to me - I'm an only child, by the way - you have to do something practical. And I said, well, what would that be? I asked around in my community, some of my friends' parents, and this word called "finance" really kept popping up. And so that's how I ended up at Wharton. It wasn't because I grew up in a household where my dad read the Wall Street Journal, or we talked about investing, or somebody was an investment banker; I had absolutely no idea. I just watched shows on TV, where it looked like this could be interesting and I heard from my friends' parents that this could be interesting. So there I show up, this naive and uninformed kid, at Wharton [and] ended up majoring in finance. Really, over the years in my career, I've learned that the markets and the economy, like you laid it out, are incredibly interesting. Not only is it telling the story of your day to day lives on a mass scale; how you spend, how you react, how you think about purchasing - is ultimately what economics is - but then taking that and translating it to investing and to markets. So my day to day...and I think what drives me to continue in this role and in markets, is not only the study of the economics in the markets, but translating that to giving advice to people. At the end of the day you can turn on the TV, and whether it's me or a hundred other talking heads, everybody's got an opinion. But you've got to make a decision about how to invest for your goals and keep invested in turbulent times. I think that's what's really interesting. So I really split my time between the research, the strategy of where we go next in investing, and then explaining that to people and really working side by side with our clients. So I think it's a terrific job, I feel very lucky to have the opportunity to do it.

Richard Helppie

You're responsible for how much money?

Beata Kirr

So Bernstein Private Wealth is a subdivision of Alliance Bernstein. Alliance Bernstein is the big publicly traded company that we are a part of. Bernstein Private Wealth was founded in 1967 to manage money for individuals. That's what's unusual about us, that we started managing money for people. We didn't start as an investment bank and then move to money management; we started for people. Why that matters is taxes, right? We'll talk about taxes later, and policy, and how that impacts markets and individuals but obviously, we all pay them; or, last I checked, we should be paying them. And after taxes, what you keep and what you earn - Bernstein Private Wealth is always focused on what you keep and what you earn. Today we manage about $120 billion in Bernstein Private Wealth.

Richard Helppie

A lot of zeros.

Beata Kirr

It is, but every client matters and every individual's goals are unique. And so yes, in aggregate we think about the total sum and we think about for whom is our strategy and how do we change. But it's really complicated, Rich, because there isn't one client for $120 billion. It's thousands of individuals and their individual stories and goals and everybody really is very unique.

Richard Helppie

We hear so much about economic data these days. Any given day, you're going to hear about employment numbers, the unemployment rates, the labor participation rates. We hear about wage rates and household incomes; corporate earnings are too high, too low; interest rates [have] been front and center; sovereign debt, the debt the country's run up - including the national debt of the United States - energy prices; of course inflation, that's not looking great right now. Then we have stock prices, including the major indexes that are reported many times a day. Are any of these numbers, or other ones, that you pay more close attention to than the others?

Beata Kirr

Well, first of all, I just want to say that over the course of my career, working in investing - and certainly working with individual investors - I think the 24/7 news cycle is one of the worst things that could have happened to drive investor outcomes. And you combine that with text and Twitter - no offense to a particular company - but really the distraction of the constant battering of noise makes people want to act when they shouldn't necessarily. I think back to a simpler time, when I was very young in my career in the 90s, that wasn't the case, we didn't have the 24/7 news cycle. I do worry that it has a long term effect on people's outcomes because of this desire to trade and to respond. Because most of the time, there's a lot of noise and there is a long term trajectory that you're on and staying invested in a strategic asset allocation sounds boring. It sounds unfulfilling. It sounds old fashioned and old school. But it's not. It's actually right, in many, many ways. So I just wanted to say that. That is, first of all, keeping a long term orientation is really important.

Richard Helppie

I want to get a definition for our audience of what a strategic asset allocation is. I know there are people that aren't familiar with that term but I think that's a great foundational term. When you speak to it, what kind of definition do you put on it?

Beata Kirr

Thank you for ensuring that we get definitions out there because I think another great challenge of finance is the jargon and the acronyms. If anybody feels overwhelmed or intimidated by the talk track, it's not that individual's fault that's listening, it's the person's fault that's talking to you. I especially talk about this all the time on "Women and Wealth", that we all need to pause and just make sure that we're defining what we're talking about. So thank you, Rich, for catching me on that front. Strategic asset allocation we define as the mix of stocks and bonds. First of all, that people are invested in stocks and bonds as the most traditional asset classes that people have access to. Bonds [are] more conservative, more about managing risk, less about return. Stocks tend to be where you drive most of the return in your long term asset allocation. And then, of course, things get more complicated, because it's not just stocks and bonds, there are other types of investments that we recommend people should be exposed to over time. But generally, your strategic asset allocation is this point that defines what we call your risk profile. So do you have 60% in stocks or do you have 30% in stocks? There's a big difference between a conservative investor and a growth investor. A conservative risk profile could be 30% in stocks, and aggressive risk profile could be 80% in stocks. Defining that strategic asset allocation is actually the single most important decision an individual makes to define their long term goals.

Richard Helppie

Yes, and I think that's a great articulation. We've also got everything from real estate investments to Bitcoin. When people think about stocks, it's not just the Dow Jones Industrial - it's only 30 stocks - we could be talking about emerging market stocks; how's the stock market in Vietnam doing, do we invest in Europe, do we invest in Asia, and so forth. When people think about the economy, that really gets down to what the politicians would call the kitchen table issues. Where are we today, when you look at the issues that we've got; we've got the war in the Ukraine, we have snarls in the supply chain, of course, inflation is here. We have election results and anticipated election results. People get worried about that, about their ability to continue to make their car payment, fill their car with gas, keep a roof over their heads and food on the table. When you think about this, how are you looking at the economy? Is the global economy healthy or we've got problems that we can't fix?

Beata Kirr

I want to come back to your original question, too, about all this overwhelming data and the news flow and what's most important, and I think it's the best way to start to answer where we think we're at today, as well, Rich. I would say that the most important news flow is the news flow that policymakers focus on. And we are really at a point in time where the Fed and the Fed's actions - the US central bank - are in laser focus, because the central bank has pivoted aggressively away from focusing on employment towards focusing on inflation. But basically, the Fed, in the United States has a dual mandate; picture a seesaw where they're trying to balance how much prices go up - inflation, with how fully employed people are in the economy - the unemployment number. And for the last couple of years, during COVID, of course, we went through an unprecedented historic shock in March of 20, where it could have turned into the Great Depression, it was incredibly unknown for how long we would be shut down, how many jobs would be lost; and there were tremendous job losses. So both the Fed and legislators and Congress put forth what we call stimulus, trying to supercharge the economy, really taking the jumper cables to the car and kick starting the economy through checks that went out to support businesses as well as individuals. All kinds of stimulus was put into the marketplace. The Fed lowered rates to an incredibly low rate and that meant there was more desire for risk taking. Well, it worked. The economy got supercharged to an extent that it was growing at a very fast rate, much faster than historical norms. That's what we entered the year with; a point of view that we couldn't keep that up, that those rates were not sustainable. Now the central thesis was going to turn to, can we manage price increases? This was pre the Ukraine war.

Richard Helppie

Let me try to play that back a little bit. So when you talk about stimulating the economy, essentially they put more dollars into the economy so that the dollars kind of float around and people had some kind of spending power. And with interest rates low, it didn't make sense to put it in a savings account or even buy a bond at a few percentage points, if you're lucky. And so a lot of that stimulus just flowed into assets, like stocks and real estate, and into consumption for people that were put out of work. Do we know what happened to that liquidity that got pumped into the economy?

Beata Kirr

I think there's a lot being written about this, how directly correlated that stimulus was both - again, difference between fiscal stimulus and monetary stimulus; fiscal stimulus is the legislation that Congress passed, people received checks in the mail, this was the COVID support for businesses that has to be passed, the legislation; versus monetary stimulus, which is the central bank, like you said, lowering interest rates. Either way, what happened was the Robin Hood effect, right? There were a lot of people that had more time, were working from home, some people quit their jobs even as employment became more available and said, look, I can trade crypto, I can day trade, maybe I'll buy some meme stocks. But this phenomenon also contributed to the stock market going up. Some of that stimulus definitely went into the market because, like you said, you weren't getting a couple of percentage points on your bonds, you were getting much lower numbers than historical norms. And so there was what we call the "Tina effect"; There Is No Alternative to stocks. Stocks felt like the only place to be because the growth rates were more attractive here than in the conservative bank account or in the conservative bond portfolio. But here are a couple of interesting statistics, it didn't all go to stocks; this wealth is not distributed equally. In America, I think you might be surprised to hear that about half, only half, of American households actually own stocks. And of those that do, probably half of it on what we call passive exposure; through their retirement savings plans and a 401k or in an IRA. So first of all, there's a lot of conversation about tax policy and how it affects the markets. Most market investors are not actually taxable, number one, and really, most of America doesn't have the majority of their wealth in stocks; their home has been a much larger asset on average. Home prices also have benefited over this period of time; as mortgage rates were incredibly low, people felt that they needed more space, there was a lack of inventory of homes. So there was a supply-demand issue there. So yes, you had both stocks going up at very high rates, as well as real estate going up. Bonds were doing okay in this time, but not particularly attractive. There was this general "risk on" mentality. But by the way, there was also tremendous economic growth and tremendous profit growth. So when we looked at the market at the end of the year, we didn't think it was over-valued; we think there was justification for its growth because companies were very, very profitable. But then, like you said, a bit ago, the supply chain became a central focus. So what are we talking about there and where are we now? Well, what we're talking about there is how do we get all the goods; whether it's the iPad that we're recording this on right now, or it's your phone, or it's your refrigerator, you need semi-conductor chips, and a lot of the global supply chain emanates from Asia. The country that probably has the strictest COVID policies around - we're seeing it now - China, they have not given up on the zero COVID policy concept, shutting down cities that are manufacturing hubs for the globe. Really, people locked in their homes, effectively for weeks at a time. We went into this year thinking the supply chain issues would normalize by now, but China got caught off guard with their COVID wave. So that's exacerbating the challenges that we've seen, and that's one of the reasons that car prices are up so much, appliance prices are up so much. That's one of the challenges we have with inflation.

Richard Helppie

If you can get those things. Sometimes I think about this, as you look at [it], our Fed flooded the market with extra dollars and the supply chain thwarted the delivery of goods. Isn't that the classic definition of inflation; too many dollars chasing too few goods, therefore the price of those goods is going to go up. The price of cars - being sold for $10,000 over sticker price, homes, that you mentioned, everybody has their story about trying to buy a home and being out bid. I'm familiar with the young couple trying to locate a modest home and by the time that listing appears on Zillow, the owner has ten offers with insane things like no inspection, right? You have a bad roof and a bad foundation and too bad; you own a home. I'm getting off on a tangent but that inflationary pressure, having a lot of dollars in the economy because of low interest rates, supply chain, not producing enough goods, isn't that the classic definition of inflation?

Beata Kirr

There are a couple of factors that drive what we call persistent and systemic inflation and that's really your biggest worry for the economy and that's the Fed's biggest worry today. That's why the Fed has pivoted so aggressively in the last six months; they've totally changed their tune. Last year, the word was transitory, this is going to go away. We believed in that too, by the way, right? Why did we believe that, why did they believe it? Why were we all quote/unquote, wrong? It's because we believed COVID was normalizing and the supply chain issues, these manufacturing issues at the source, would resolve. But then Omicron came and now this new variant came and again, countries didn't change their zero COVID policies. Now, is it ever going to change? Well, it has to; we can't have zero COVID forever, at some point COVID and supply chains will not equal the same outcomes. And also you start annualizing numbers from last year, which were enormous. I was listening to our semiconductor analyst on one of our podcasts this week and he was talking about what happened with the auto manufacturers. The auto manufacturers, for example, it takes time to make a car, it takes time to order the pieces that you need for the assembly line, get the plant staffed up and order semiconductor chips, in particular, they never thought they would see the demand that they saw.

The same thing with the homebuilders. They couldn't order enough lumber, to produce enough supply. And the car manufacturers couldn't order enough semiconductors, to produce enough cars. So back to your point, in balancing that seesaw, executives made decisions about demand that was not in sync with what consumers actually wanted because they had cash flow, they had time and they wanted to spend. At the same time, the factors we couldn't control, it wasn't just COVID, there were other issues with the supply chain that now seem like a distant memory but remember the container ships that were stuck in the Suez Canal. Remember, in Texas, we had gas lines that were frozen, there was an issue there as well. All of those were really extraordinary, kind of 1% type events, that all happened at the same time. So at some point, you get normalization on this and the demand normalizes. People go back [to work], they're not looking to spend as much, they have less excess income, supply chain normalizes as well. At the same time, the Fed is fighting this by raising rates to try and dampen that risk taking impulse, and that helps. But it's a slippery slope, it can be dangerous for the economy to do that, because they're really trying to remove the jumper cables right there. They're not only removing them, they're kind of putting the brakes on. And so that's a tough balancing act, but that's what's happening right now.

Richard Helppie

Indeed. When you think about the economic forecast, let's take automobiles, a big part of the economy, still not the same as it used to be. But the idea was, hey, people aren't going to go to work, they're going to work from home, they're not going to need a car, and maybe demand for automobiles will drop. But people said, hey, (Beata Kirr: I'm going on a road trip!) I'm not getting on a bus, I'm not getting on public transportation. I want to be in my car, because I don't want to be exposed to COVID and so demand for automobiles went up as the manufacturing dropped. But, let's talk about interest rates and let's bring it down, from the top, to the consumer. So it's, as you said, a delicate balancing act by raising interest rates. A business now has a cost of borrowing. And we have an entire generation of businesses now that have never been in a situation where they had to manage the cost of money. I know the first half of my career we did extraordinary things to play the float and manage our cash flow and our receivables so that we didn't have to pay interest rates. Now when it's like zero, it doesn't really matter. So the Fed raises it and now a company says, hmm, I've got to now overcome not only the cost of the equipment and the cost of the materials, but I've got to overcome the cost of money. That's where it starts. Let's go through the economy from that company to the kitchen table. What do higher interest rates mean?

Beata Kirr

Well, you've already laid it out, Rich, you're the economist here. I mean, you totally get it. This is why...(Rich Helppie: Amateur economist.) amateur economist, but you've been a student and investor in the markets for years. So you understand both running a business and investing. How can the Fed manage inflation? And this is the tricky part. It can only manage it so far. What am I talking about? Well, they're raising interest rates, you already laid it out. So picture this in your head, what does that mean? Mortgage rates, you see the headlines recently, over 5% for 30 year right now, that's a big change. Like you said, there's a whole generation of people that have been able to get loans that are incredibly low, probably buying more than what they really can afford. Let's hope we don't have the same issue that we had in the global financial crisis (GFC) when there's a reset of rates that people cannot pay; let's help people lock in fixed or understand what the floating means. Let's hope that underwriting standards were improved and we learned a lesson from the GFC. But that, for sure, is going to have to slow home prices over time and you're actually starting to see it just a bit. Again, more anecdotal and local - we know real estate is very local - but yes, I'm still seeing listings going above asking price, but I'm also seeing some evidence of price decline. In certain areas, you just see more of that impact, so that home buyer that you were talking about - let's say the millennial - that's buying their first home. By the way, millennials aren't that interested in buying homes anymore, they don't necessarily see home equity as the path to financial success. Also, they're much more mobile, much less tied to one location for a long period of time. Another reason for the increased car demand is so much motion in the labor force; people coming in from coastal cities - where public transportation was the way of life - to inner cities; "inner" meaning away from the coasts [places] like Nashville, and Austin and Denver and Boulder and Montana and Oregon. These are not public transportation cities. These are beautiful places to live that are more affordable.

But guess what, there's a lot of driving in these places, so again, the car demand. Back to interest rates; home prices, that's one place that they have a direct impact, [and] risk taken by companies, that's another place. You said it, as an executive, as a CEO, how inclined are you to buy another company? If you need debt financing for that company, it was cheaper a year ago than it is today. How much risk do you want to take? And then investors, how much risk do you want to take in the stock market versus the bond market? Bond yields are back to levels that we have not seen in decades. When the ten year Treasury gets above three percent it tends to be a time where investors start to question the mix between bonds and stocks. You've seen, this year, a really substantial stock sell up. By the way, we think both are attractive and you shouldn't run away from both, but it's been a while since we've said that. So the Fed, just closing the loop, the Fed is trying to decrease that risk-taking impulse, so that there's a balance on prices. But the biggest problem that they will have is can they impact wages with those interest rate increases, and they really can't. When you talk about the inflationary spiral and what drives inflation, it's not just supply and demand of goods. Wage price spiral is actually... the 70s were much more driven by wages. We had a unionized workforce though and those unionized workforces had cost of living adjustments built into contracts. Today's workforce is not a unionized workforce, we don't have cost of living adjustments built in, in the same way. That's one way that wages maybe don't make their way through the system. But what are we seeing today, there are more jobs than people that want them. We really are at full employment and people are making choices that are very different. It's really an employee market, not an employer market. So the wage issue is one we have to keep an eye on and I think could be the biggest challenge for the Fed in this economy today.

Richard Helppie

So let's talk about the wage economy a little bit. In a prior era with a unionized workforce, with manufacturing being a bigger part of the economy, companies needed to have that labor. As labor became more expensive, they started finding ways to go around the labor through automation, through offshoring, going to cheaper labor markets. That, I think, has run its course and wages are going to rise because it's a market like anything else; there's a clearing price for labor. When we get up to that...people say, I don't want that job. What if we paid you ten dollars more an hour? Okay, I'll take that job. So there is a clearing price on wages. Unfortunately, the inflation has eaten up most of the wage increases that were here pre-pandemic, and as we began to come out of the COVID lockdowns, what I think about the wage rates - I'm struck by a couple of things - that this growing divide between the...let me, before I leave wages, I want to say this, that Uber, recently - Uber is a company, everybody knows, Uber, it's ubiquitous - they've been chasing revenue line at the expense of profitability. They have been punished recently in the stock market and been told, basically, by the investing community, [they] need to start turning a profit. One of the chief elements - it wasn't the only element - but Uber's CEO said, hiring is going to be a privilege. We're going to not hire as many people in this environment. So less demand for labor [is] starting to get baked in. So I wanted to spend a little time on this divide between the uber wealthy and a lot of Americans in the...if we had a historical precedent; are there policy issues? We all cheer when the stock market goes up. But if you're...

Beata Kirr

But again, 50% of America owns the stock market.

Richard Helppie

Right, how important is it really to...look, I can relate. When I was a young person with a young family, I didn't think much about the stock market at all, because I was more concerned with is my paycheck going to stretch to the end of the month and what could we do to increase our income or to limit our expenses. We did things like, my wife watched children, other children, and I umpired softball games and that's kind of how we did groceries. We didn't think at all about the stock market, [it] could be up, down, sideways - it didn't matter. So I guess the question I want to get to is central to this; we spend so much time in the media talking about the stock market and we don't spend enough time talking about how do households, typically new younger households, get that into that first rung? Are we on the wrong track right now?

Beata Kirr

Well, I think your observations are accurate, there has been an increasing divide. I mean, the statistics, I don't want to speak out of turn, but I think the statistics are effectively something like 80% of the stock market is owned by about the top 10% of individuals in America. So that growing divide, you can look at history - not just in America, you can look at other countries. This is the hard part, where do we end up? We end up in a much more divided America and when that division occurs, it can get really ugly. There is a deep seated feeling of unfairness and systemic policy working against certain people. I think that there has been a long history of systemic policy changes that have influenced these outcomes; effective corporate tax rates were reduced, the individual wealth taxes, capital gains taxes. Recently, the former administration certainly had substantial tax cuts on the wealthy, incentivized major share buybacks by executives. Back to the earlier comments about the death of labor unions, the air traffic controller strike, back in the 80s, ultimately led to that over time. Perhaps we're seeing a wave now; you see more headlines about unions and employees attempting to bring back unions. But I mean, it's cyclical. We went through this phase where they dominated and then they shrunk and now there's some restart; again, minimum wage pressure or unionization. This is all a reflection of that inequity that we're seeing. I think that the reason we talk less about this, Rich, is that, in general, in society and as human beings, I think it's easier to tackle the day to day and the minute by minute, and maybe it's the social media world and the 24/7 news cycle that's primed all of our brains to be so responsive to the minute. The more that a problem is long term, the more that it's holistic, the more that it's societal - the more overwhelming it is to tackle, and depressing and difficult, like, there are no easy solutions; whether it's climate change or inequality, you're talking about getting hundreds of millions of people on your side, if not billions, to sacrifice something. How easy is that to do? I think the COVID experience over the last couple of years, what an interesting lab to see how in it together are we in the world or in the country. Maybe for a very short period of time, a couple of weeks, we were in it together, then things rea lly fractured.

Brian Kruger

This is the end of part one of Rich's conversation with Beata Kirr. The last part of this conversation will drop next week, on May 31. Please visit us on Substack to see the transcription of this conversation; just search for The Common Bridge.

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Transcribed by Cynthia Silveri