Beyond the Meltdown Focus of EMBA Panel, Celebrates 31 Years

Published on March 23, 2009

Professor Rubenstein and Growth Capital Chairman McNabb Discuss State of Economy, What’s Next for Financial Markets

Panelists David Rubenstein and John McNabb discussed how the economy can rebound from the financial crisis.

Panelists David Rubenstein and John McNabb discussed how the economy can rebound from the financial crisis.

Students and alumni from the Executive MBA program at the University of Houston C. T. Bauer College of Business filled a classroom to hear two financial experts analyze the current economic situation at “The Economy: Where Do We Go From Here?,” a panel discussion held in March.

EMBA Professor David Rubenstein and Growth Capital Partners Chairman John McNabb, who also leads the Dean’s Executive Board at UH Bauer, shared their insight with the group.

It would be easy to point fingers and lay blame for the economic downturn, McNabb said, but a combination of factors led to the financial collapse. “You can blame everybody. There’s plenty of blame to go around,” he said, adding that lack of oversight on Wall Street, ineffective regulation of derivatives and the absence of Congressional involvement were all contributors.

Rubenstein noted that the recession has caused Americans to spend less and save more, adding a new dimension to the issue. “American consumers are basically maxed,” he said. “Americans are starting to save not 1 percent of their income, but 5 percent. We’re not seeing any investing or consumption. What we’re going to see is the federal government trying to fill that hole.”

The event was also an opportunity for EMBA students and alumni to network and celebrate the 31st anniversary of the program.

The event was also an opportunity for EMBA students and alumni to network and celebrate the 31st anniversary of the program.

The recovery process won’t be immediate, Rubenstein added, estimating that it could take months or years for an impact to be felt. But the United States economy has proved resilient in the face of economic crisis, McNabb noted.

“This economy is so inherently strong that we’ll get through this,” he said. “We’re going to start seeing some positives. The key is, we have great spirit in this country, and there’s a lot of wherewithal people are sitting on. When you feel it’s safe again, people will start spending.”

The panel discussion was held in recognition of the 31st anniversary of the EMBA program at UH Bauer College. In 2008, several panel discussions were held for members of the University community to discuss the economy and its impact on personal finance, employment opportunities and other issues.

By Jessica Robertson