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The Federal Budget and an Innovative Economy

Co-hosted by CED and the Public Management Initiative at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, The Federal Budget and an Innovative Economy was held from 5:30 pm to 8:00 pm at the Schwab Center at Stanford University. The program centered around innovation, and how the budget might affect the U.S. economy to hinder or help R&D and private innovation and was opened by Glenn R. Carroll, Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Laurence W. Lane Professor of Organizations, Stanford Graduate School of Business and Charles Kolb, President, CED. The agenda featured keynote speaker Lenny Mendonca, Chairman, McKinsey Global Institute who provided remarks on the importance of growth and renewal, productivity regeneration and innovation and stressed the need for a productivity revolution - a critical component for ongoing US competitiveness. He discussed how imperative the widespread adoption of innovative practices is for the public, health care, and education sectors and provided a preview to an upcoming McKinsey report Growth and Renewal in the United States: Retooling America's Economic Engine. Following Mr. Mendonca's remarks was a presentation by CED's Senior Vice President and Director of Research, Dr. Joseph Minarik who provided a macroeconomic perspective on the budget defict, laying out the current fiscal state of the country and predicting the challenges that lie ahead for the United States as a result of the budget deficit.

A panel of economic experts followed Dr. Minarik's remarks including discussants William W. Lewis, Director Emeritus, McKinsey Global Institute, Daniel T. VanDyke, Senior Vice President and Risk Manager, Wells Fargo and moderator Darrell Duffie, Dean Witter Distinguished Professor of Finance, Stanford Graduate School of Business.  Mr. Lewis discussed how the deep instability of today's economy and our huge debt has macroeconomic repercussions that affect our future and innovation. He highlighted that our nation requires, not only the will to manage and the political will to reform, but the business community needs to step up, think and act on the premise that what's good for America is good for business. Mr. VanDyke spoke about assessing the debt problem and articulated that the current practices are unsustainable. He stressed that all options for tackling the debt problem should be on the table and that leaders need to act in such a way that deserves the people's trust and should embrace the responsibility they have been given. Matt Miller reviewed the political backdrop of the current fiscal challenges and stressed that a great opportunity to renew America's competitiveness and renew America's institutions exists. He outlined how current partisan approaches impede productive discussion and practical solutions and stressed the need for the business community to become more engaged in quality public policy discussions and advancements.

After an engaging question and answer session, speakers encouraged students to personally inform themselves on fiscal issues, be open to challenge entrenched perspectives, support people and a political process that offers a safe place for discussion of solutions, and do whatever it takes to develop their leadership abilities to equip themselves to meet the challenges ahead.

Over 90 Stanford Graduate School of Business students attended the dinner. The event was part of CED's Fiscal Health Intiative, an effort that seeks to engage current and future business leaders around the need for national fiscal health. It was made possible by the generous support of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation.