Simon Property Group CEO David Simon's sound bite from the company's fourth-quarter earnings call in February got a lot of play. At the time he said, “The new development business is dead for a decade.” Recently, he was interviewed as part of the Wharton Leadership Lecture series and had a much more upbeat message. “I'm going to bet on the American consumer a bit more than CNBC and the others,” Simon said. “I think [retail] will bounce back a little bit faster and harder than most people say.”