Paul Volcker answers a question from one of the students who greeted him and President Crouch, right, before Obama’s economic adviser spoke to the campus community. From left, Natalie Hymer, a freshman from Louisville; President’s Ambassadors Daniela Fuentes, a junior from Temuco, Chile, and Ashlee Gordon, a junior from Dallas; Julia Smith, a freshman from Rineyville, KY (Hardin County); and Ashley Hashampour, a junior from Virginia Beach, VA. Hymer, Smith and Hashampour are all Global Scholars. Photos by Paul Atkinson/Rockledge photography
Paul Volcker, the Chairman of the Federal Reserve in the Carter and Reagan administrations and still one of the of the most influential economists in the country, spent some time speaking to two very important Kentucky audiences on Thursday (Oct. 22) – the campus community of Georgetown College and many of the top CEOs in the state at the 2009 Round Table at Shaker Village.
Even at age 84, Volcker’s advice is frequently sought. After last November’s Presidential election, he accepted the role of first chairman of 1st Chair of the Obama administration’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board.
President Bill Crouch helped line-up Volcker, a Georgetown College trustee fellow, for the Round Table – and his prominent guest agreed to share his economic wisdom and insight with Georgetown students, who are certainly anxious about their futures and where this country is headed.
Daniela Fuentes, a President’s Ambassador and part of a student greeting committee, got to ask Mr. Volcker “In this recession, what part of the business cycle are we in – are we still going down or are we on our way up?” He told her she should feel good about being a junior because “We’ll have another year before recovery…and it’s going to be a slog.”
At a short reception in the Hall of Fame Room – primarily for area bankers – Mark Hendryx, a commercial surety manager with The Hartford’s Cincinnati office, had a good laugh with Volcker about the former’s days as Finance major in the early ‘80s. The Miami (Ohio) University graduate told him “I had to take four semesters of Economics and not a day went by your name wasn’t mentioned in class.”
In his 30-minute session in the College’s John L. Hill Chapel, Volcker told the large student audience, “You better work hard and polish your skills so you can beat the competition in this economy.”
Then, aiming at all leaders and citizens of the United States, Volcker said, “People need to push to change their habits. We need to produce more, finance less…we need to save more, spend less.”
Afterwards, President Crouch whisked our special guest off to Pleasant Hill in Mercer County where Mr. Volcker was to be featured in a discussion about the economy with Kentucky leaders at the 2009 Round Table at Shaker Village, an annual public policy forum for CEOs.
The Round Table was founded in the early 1970s to bring private sector leaders together to address the concerns of Kentucky and its position relative to the nation and the world. After a hiatus of several years early in this decade, the Round Table was reinstituted in 2007. This year’s session includes leaders from Kentucky’s banking, health care, investment, education, energy, agricultural, entrepreneurial and government sectors whose discussion is to focus on the roles of government and business in the current economic climate and other issues related to the economic downturn and recovery.