|IBAC discusses solutions to financial crisis|
|Friday, 24 April 2009|
Benedictine College once again welcomed business leaders from around the globe three weeks ago on Saturday April 4, for the Global Financial Summit. This second meeting of the International Business Adviory Council (IBAC) was focused on forming solutions to our current economic crisis.
“In that regard it was highly successful,” Antonio Soave, Executive Director of the School of Business said.
The conference featured panel sessions: International Finance; Banking, Bailouts and Tarp Funds; New Technology; and Global Security. Soave said that transcripts from these talks will be studied and that the council will release their findings and conclusions through their Journal of International Business as well as a press release and direct mail to corporate and government leaders.
“From a very general perspective I think what most people want to see is greater accountability in America,” he said
One of the key positions taken was that there needs to be greater guidelines set in place in regards to government spending and bailouts. In the second session of the conference, Robert Atwell, Chairman and CEO of Nicolet National Bank, voiced his dislike for current proposed solutions to the recession.
“The whole problem was caused by too much private debt--how is public debt a solution for private debt?” he asked. “The stimulus package as it stands today is an injustice against future generations.”
Atwell countered with the need to assess and prevent risk in the U.S.’s economic policies and said that companies need to be allowed to fail…to even out the financial plane.
“Our government doesn’t need to solve the current economic problems,” he said. “It needs to create a framework in which people can fix them.”
Soave said that another conclusion from the talks was that TARP funds
This panel also discussed the Troubled Assets Relief Program. These federal government-compiled funds, in a nutshell, are designated to “buy off bad assets” in an attempt to correct the banking problems that led to the country’s current financial situation. Soave said it was concluded that TARP funds were released to quickly and irresponsibly.
Another thing Soave said emerged from the conference is that we have to reevaluate how corporate structure is financed. Chuck Morris, vice president and economist in the Supervision and Risk Management Division’s Banking Research Department for the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, presented the two main factors that led to the U.S.’s tough economic times, as well as three ways to correct the problem.
“Our country had a great lack of understanding of its financial instruments, and people simply borrowed too much money,” Morris said. “People’s investments were thought to be diversified, but all the major funds were heavily invested in real estate. When that collapsed, you saw losses in all other assets.”
Morris also noted that businesses relied on security rating agencies to assess large, complicated institutional structures and their finances. Agencies that were paid by the businesses they were rating, creating a conflict of interest. On top of that, loan regulations going into the current recession were based on a segmented market dating back to the 1930s, a market obviously much different from today’s.
As far as solving the economic crisis, Morris told Benedictine College students and business council members that the country needs three things: fiscal responsibility, fiscal policy, and programs to stabilize the financial sector.
Another aspect of the conference was the opportunity for networking between the business leaders and students. Business students had the opportunity to interact with IBAC members as Student Ambassadors, escorting them around campus and to various events during their visits. Saturday's events also included a networking lunch in which all students and faculty were invited to mingle with the council.
Organizers had tried to create an environment condusive to networking and Soave said that both the students as well as IBAC members were very pleased with the networking portion of the conference.
“I think that's a big big deal. Other schools talk about business networking but it's difficult to pull off.”
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