These experts break down the truth, myths, and hype about a possible economic downturn

These outsider analysts and experts from inside the Fed debunk myths, ease worries, and arm you with the knowledge you need to succeed.

Megan Boley

Megan Boley was a content marketing writer at WSB. ...

With people in the media speculating about a possible looming recession, financial issues and the economy are front-of-mind for businesses and individuals alike.

According to a recent survey, 53 percent of chief financial officers expect the U.S. to enter a recession prior to the 2020 presidential election.

For outsiders and those unfamiliar with the inner-workings and details of what makes an economy tick, knowing how to prepare and what to expect can feel overwhelming.

From the escalating trade war with China to the gloomy U.S. forecast and overall global slowdown and talk that it's all just hype — it takes an expert to bring clarity to the many complexities and prepare you for what's next. 

Supplying a global perspective in a down-to-earth style, these array of voices are well-versed in the policies and intricacies of a bustling economy. They break down current events and policies to debunk myths, ease worries, and arm you with the knowledge to survive and succeed.

Lessons from Leading the Fed

The Federal Reserve System, or the "Fed," serves as the United States' central bank. It's important for regulating the banks and other financial institutions of our nation. It ensures the stability of the financial system and also protects the credit rights of consumers.

Recently, the Fed lowered its interest rate in an effort to stave off a possible recession triggered by a global economic slowdown and the U.S. trade war with China.

The leaders behind the central bank provide their steadfast and expert insight into the inner-workings of this integral institution — including the decisions made — and how it affects policy and businesses.

Former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen was the first woman to serve as head of the central bank. She assumed this role during the recovery of the economy from the financial crisis, serving under the Obama and Trump administrations.

During her tenure, Dr. Yellen helped sustain a period of economic prosperity in the U.S. — the stock markets outperformed the rest of the world, inflation remained stable, and the unemployment rate declined. Sharing unique insights into global and domestic monetary policy and economic trends, she speaks candidly on the economic climate in the U.S. and globally.

Ben Bernanke was also front and center during a tumultuous period of economic history, as Fed Chair under Presidents Bush and Obama. He faced some of the most critical economic and financial challenges since the Great Depression.

Dr. Bernanke offers keen insight and analysis of the current global economic landscape. His experiences during the Great Recession that followed provide an unequaled perspective on the American economy since 2006. His narrative reveals for the first time how the creativity and decisiveness of a few key leaders prevented an economic collapse of unimaginable scale.



Insights from the Inside Experts

The 12 Federal Reserve Banks are the operating arms of the Fed, providing it with vital information for maintaining the health of the economy and the nation’s financial system.  Each Reserve Bank acts as a “bank for banks,” and gathers information about the businesses and the needs of local communities in its region. Similarly, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) sets the national monetary policy and directs operations with foreign exchange markets and foreign central banks.

The people working inside these entities have unique expertise on the mechanics of these key parts of the federal banking system and know how to maintain a healthy financial ecosystem. 

William Dudley, for example, served as president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and the Vice-Chairman of the Federal Open Market Committee. There, he worked closely with Chairs Ben Bernanke, Janet Yellen, and Jay Powell, and played a key role in nursing America's economy back to health in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. This all after serving as the chief U.S. economist at Goldman Sachs for a decade.

Dudley explains the economic vulnerabilities that remain — building upon his career in financial markets and the lessons he has learned from the financial crisis. He offers authoritative analysis of the causes of financial crises, how to respond, and how to reform and regulate the system to avoid future incidents. 

Richard Fisher worked at the center of a national dialogue to shape economic policy and maintain economic stability throughout the country, as president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. Fisher additionally served as member of the FOMC, and was chair of the Conference of Federal Reserve Bank Presidents, where he oversaw the shared operations of the 12 Federal Reserve Banks.

Facing critical challenges during one of the most tumultuous times in the country since the Great Depression, Fisher became nationally recognized for his unique and intimate approach — and his vocal and unequivocally candid commentary. With a knack for relatable storytelling, he translates complex economic matters in a way that is comprehensible and applicable to each audience.


Navigating the Foreign Markets

According to The Washington Post, nine major economies around the world are in recession or on the verge of one, raising fears that a global economic slowdown could help tip the U.S. into an economic contraction, too.

To break down financial crises abroad, complex foreign policies, and how it all relates, an economic leader who is well-versed in foreign financial markets can increase understanding. 

Lord Mervyn King, for example, is backed by his three decades of experience navigating the UK through one of the most perilous periods in economic history, and more recently leading the international central banking community. He served for ten years as the Governor of the Bank of England, where he was front and center as the Bank dealt with the 2008 financial crisis. 

Lord King offers leaders and businesses with a framework for helping to navigate their economic challenges. His knowledge of European politics and economics as well as financial, economic, and political history provides a rich context for understanding the world today. 

Dr. Raghuram Rajan rose to acclaim as the youngest chief economist and director of research to serve at the International Monetary Fund. Throughout his three-year term as governor of the Reserve Bank of India, a central figure in the world’s third-largest economy, Dr. Rajan both witnessed and helped shape the transformation of the global financial system.

Dr. Rajan explains to audiences how adopting sound and responsible policies will prevent the next great financial crisis. He discusses the potential risks and rewards that face the major players in the global market—nations and corporations — and where the future of international economic policy is headed.


Analysis from the Analysts

Beyond the inside men and women of our monetary system are economic analysts sharing their take from varied vantage points. Gained through their diversified experience across multiple sectors, they break down the financial complexities into easily understood takeaways.

Michelle Caruso-Cabrera brings clarity to complex topics, colored by her experience as a renowned international correspondent and television commentator. As chief international correspondent and co-anchor of CNBC's ‘Power Lunch,’ she reported from Iraq, Iran, Ukraine, Venezuela, and other world hotspots.

The sweet spot of her expertise, however, resides at the intersection of economics, policy, and politics — where she can dissect major world events and translate the impact on global markets. Caruso-Cabrera provides audiences with an instant and deep analysis of the interplay between global markets and world affairs, and how companies can best prepare themselves.

John Manzella is an author and nationally syndicated columnist on global business, trade policy, and the latest economic trends. His valuable insight and strategic direction have been vital to many of the world's largest corporations in preparing for the business, economic, and political challenges ahead. He's also the founder of ManzellaReport.com — a premier source for global business and economic analysis.

Through his talks, Manzella reveals global dangers, forecasts what to expect from the road ahead, and provides analysis to help business professionals reduce risks. He provides clarity around emerging risks so that managers can make better-informed decisions, improve competitiveness, and develop more successful business strategies.

Christina Romer, a key adviser to President Obama through the economic crisis, is one of the world's leading scholars on economic crises — and how to solve them. She provides a perspective on what's ahead for the economy and the choices policymakers face in addressing today's economic challenges. She's also an award-winning Professor of Economics at the University of California, Berkeley.

An expert on economic history and the impact of fiscal and monetary policy, Dr. Romer helps audiences understand the roots of our current economic problems, the challenges and stresses that policymakers should be addressing, and the likely impact on economic growth.

Morgan Housel is a partner at the Collaborative Fund, a venture capital firm backing young companies that are moving the world forward. Previously, he was a columnist at The Wall Street Journal and an analyst at The Motley Fool. He also authored two books, Everyone Believes It; Most Will Be Wrong and 50 Years in the Making: The Great Recession and Its Aftermath. 

With audiences, Housel shares stories of how investors, business executives, and everyday people misinterpreted risk to disastrous consequences, and how you can identify and correct your own biases to make better decisions. 


Looking for More?

Looking for additional economic experts that may be a better fit for your audience? You can see other top speakers on our website.

To view other topics, download WSB 100 for virtuosos in a wealth of other areas — like politics, technology and innovation, and business.

Download WSB 100


Subscribe to our blog.