Alums Discuss U.S. Economy – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Alums Discuss U.S. Economy

Continuing a tradition started last year by Will Weinstein ’60, L.H.D. ’04, Reunion 2011 included a symposium on healthcare: Debts, Deficits and the Great Recession: The Future of Economic Policy and Strategies for the Maintenance of Individual Wealth.

Led by Interim Provost and Dean of Faculty and Professor of Economics Pat McGuire HON ’10 and Consulting Group Analyst with Morgan Stanley Kelly LaVoie ’99, the symposium began with a brief overview of the American economy over the past 50 years.

“How would you describe the U.S. economy today,” asked McGuire, eliciting responses ranging from “stressed” to “stagflation.” McGuire compared the current recession to those of the past 50 years, which have all been able to recover employment rates much quicker.

“I believe our economy is filled with potential and poised for advance,” he said, before turning the audience over to LaVoie. “It’s really not the catastrophe that we might have thought.”

LaVoie spoke about the importance of keeping a diversified portfolio. “I’m a value investor,” she said. “I tell my clients to rely on real investments, like fixed income, real estate and gold.”

Taking questions from the audience, McGuire and LaVoie ended the panel with a lively conversation about government treasuries and, ultimately, the need for the U.S. to revamp the education system and produce more skilled workers.

The symposium was well attended by an eager audience that included alums, guests and faculty, including Professor Scott McKinney. “I’m here today because I learned everything that I know about economics from Professor McGuire and Kelly was my student,” he said.

“I love macroeconomics, I could talk about it all day,” said McGuire, in closing the gathering. “But I have to release you for your next lecture.”


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