UCSB Arts & Lectures is collaborating with the UCSB Economic Forecast Project to host the 32nd Annual Santa Barbara County Economic Summit this morning at Granada Theater.
The event will include discussions of the current state of the economy at the local, national and international levels and feature presentations from three renowned economists from across the nation — including Director of the UCSB Economic Forecast and Economics Department Chair Peter Rupert. Rupert will present a discussion regarding economic conditions in Santa Barbara, as well as the in U.S. and Europe, in addition to a keynote speech about the 2008 financial crisis and subsequent federal bailout.
Founded in 1981, the Economic Forecast Project keeps a number of databases that monitor business and economic trends in Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo Counties. According to Department Resource Manager Kenneth Freeland, the Economic Forecast Project presents important economic trends from multiple sources and perspectives.
“We do real estate, unemployment, water quality, rainfall, whatever we can gather,” Freeland said. “We also have started putting together a lot of really detailed demographic information about Santa Barbara County that includes education, crime and the ethnic make-up of the county population.”
The summit will also feature keynote speaker Neil Barofsky, first Special Inspector General of the Troubled Asset Relief Program. According to the U.S. Department of Treasury, T.A.R.P. was created to implement policies that stabilized private sectors after the 2008 crisis and was initially allocated $700 billion to assist financial institutions, banks and auto companies from collapse. As a fellow at New York University and author of Bailout: An Inside Account of How Washington Abandoned Main Street While Rescuing Wall Street, Barofsky will provide a first-hand perspective of how the bailout was carried out.
Following Neil Barofsky will be Council on Foreign Relations and professor of economics at NYU Thomas Cooley and former managing director at J.P. Morgan Douglas Elliot, both of whom will focus on regulation of financial institutions along with the sovereign-debt crisis afflicting nations in the Eurozone.
Fourth-year history major Roshin Bhangoo said the issues presented at the conference will offer prevalent and dynamic economic information otherwise overlooked by the general public.
“People often throw out the term ‘in this economy’ without understanding what exactly ‘this economy’ means,” Bhangoo said. “I would encourage everyone to attend this event to learn where we stand and how we got here.”
The event will begin at 8:30 a.m. and conclude at 11:30 a.m. Tickets are $200 for the general public and $25 for UCSB students. Visit www.artsandlectures.ucsb.edu for more information.