"The U.S. has always done better when we celebrate the success of people from the bottom up,” former Florida Governor Jeb Bush told those gathered for the Carroll School of Management's 12th Annual Finance Conference. “We don’t do as well when we abdicate our own responsibility over our own lives, our families’ lives, or the people around us who may be struggling."
Photos by Gary Wayne Gilbert
The political storms in Washington and around the world took center stage at the Carroll School’s 12th Annual Finance Conference, with former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and international relations expert R. Nicholas Burns '78 offering their perspectives on an era of instability at home and abroad.
John and Linda Powers Family Dean Andy Boynton welcomed a capacity crowd to Fulton Hall the morning of June 8, taking a moment to note the role of faculty and the school’s nearly 2,200 undergraduate students in the Carroll School’s ascendance in two respected business school rankings.
Prior to Bush taking the stage, Boynton said the program was designed to provide faculty and industry experts with insights into both the markets and world events. “We’re all going to learn from each other today,” Boynton said.
Bush, whose 2016 candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination found little traction with voters, revisited many of his pro-growth, less-government campaign themes in his delivery of the Dorothy Margaret Rose Knight Economic Keynote Address.
“Are we going to be a ‘right to rise’ society?” Bush asked.
“The U.S. has always done better when we celebrate the success of people from the bottom up,” Bush said in closing. “We don’t do as well when we abdicate our own responsibility over our own lives, our families’ lives, or the people around us who may be struggling. America at its best is an America that solves problems from the bottom up, that allows a dynamic approach to things, that lets failure happen. We have to have a society that allows for more trial and error, more dynamism for more people – not just those who have already made it. If we do that, we’ll lead the world.”
Bush made a few references to President Donald J. Trump. But he urged the audience to cut through the minute-by-minute swirl of Beltway news. “Watch what he does rather than what he says,” Bush said.
Former diplomat R. Nicholas Burns, now on the faculty of Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, offered his perspective on the foreign policy challenges ahead for the Trump administration.
He said Trump administration missteps in just a few months had alienated many allies – particularly in Europe – during an inter-connected “transnational” era that requires the U.S. to work in economic and strategic partnership with the world’s democracies. He lamented that few in Washington have tried to counter these failings.
“We have a leadership crisis and we need great leadership to be a great country,” said Burns, a former U.S. Ambassador to NATO, who worked in Washington under both Republican and Democratic presidents.
Turning to the markets, BC’s Shea Center for Entrepreneurship Executive Director Jere Doyle '87 moderated a panel on “Fintech: What’s Real? What’s Not? Why it Matters?” – speaking with Kensho COO Adam Broun, Honest Dollar founder and CEO William Hurley and Goldman Sachs Partner and Head of Digital Strategy Larry Restieri.
VISA Inc. Chief Executive Officer Alfred F. Kelly, Jr. discussed the “evolving payments ecosystem” in a Q&A with PIMCO’s Marc Seidner '88, CIO, Non-traditional Strategies.
To close, Carroll School Seidner Family Faculty Fellow, Professor and Chair of Finance Ronnie Sadka moderated “Equity Investing in a Dynamic World,” a discussion with Goldman Sachs Asset Management Director and CIO of Fundamental Equity Steven Barry '85, Geode Capital Management President and CIO Vince Gubitosi '94 and Lazard Asset Management Managing Director Jay Paul Leupp.
–Ed Hayward | University Communications