Anirban Basu sounds a bit jealous of Fayetteville, Arkansas — population 80,000.
The town makes a number of lists of the best places to live. He says Baltimore, unfortunately, ranks high in murder.
"People think Fayetteville, Ark., is nicer than Baltimore," he said, adding he doubted anyone in the audience was dying to visit the town.
Basu, CEO of Sage Policy Group Inc., offered this frank view of the city's bad reputation during a speech at the Greater Baltimore Committee Economic Outlook Conference on Monday at the Baltimore Marriott Inner Harbor at Camden Yards. Basu addressed the crowd of about 200 people after keynote speaker Alex Ross, author of "The Industries of the Future."
Basu, who rarely shies away from what he thinks, didn't hold back in telling the GBC's business leaders that they have to do something to fix Baltimore's reputation. It's hurting not only Baltimore's prospects, but the entire state's. He said the city's reputation makes it hard for companies to recruit employees and the coveted millennial demographic.