Forums

1999

03

August 1999

Global Population: Development, Economic and Investment Implications

Milken Institute Conference Center
1250 Fourth Street (at Arizona)
Santa Monica, California 90401

Recent decades have seen tremendous demographic turbulence. A major postwar baby boom was followed by a sizeable baby bust, which itself was followed by a muted echo of the original baby boom. Overlaying this massive shift in the age profile of the U.S. population have been incredible social changes.

Probabilities of first marriage are low and divorce rates remain high. Since 1986, the average American man or woman entering adulthood can expect to live the majority of their lifetime as an unmarried person, a major departure from the past.

All of these changes, in particular the maturation of the smaller baby-bust generation taking place in the United States today, imply that the future will be radically different from the past. Investment policies based on the economic relationships of the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s are likely to underperform, if not fail.

Richard Hokenson discusses the changing economic relationships both at home and abroad and their implications for investment worldwide. Hokenson is Chief Economist of Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette and a member of its Investment Policy Committee. Before coming to DLJ, he served as senior economist at both Merrill Lynch (1976 - 77) and Data Resources, Inc. (1973 - 76). From 1970 to 1973, he was a research associate at the University of Michigan's Research Seminar in Quantitative Economic. At DLJ, Hokenson is responsible for analysis and forecasts of economic and demographic trends and is author of DLJ Demographics: Profiles of a Changing Society as well as Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette's weekly economic publication, Economic Highlights.

Read More

20

July 1999

The Future of Russia

Milken Institute Conference Center
1250 Fourth Street (at Arizona)
Santa Monica, California 90401

When the Soviet Union was dissolved in 1991, Russia's economic prospects were hopeful. Yet, since that time, Russia's decline as been precipitous, culminating with its August 1998 default, devaluation, and the freezing of bank accounts. Michael Intriligator will examine what went wrong for Russia, where things now stand, and Russia's prospects for the future - as well as their implications for the rest of the world.

Michael Intriligator has been a member of the UCLA faculty since 1963 and joins the Milken Institute this yearyear as a Senior Fellow. He directed the Center for International Strategic Affairs, the predecessor to the Center for International Relations, from 1982 to 1992 and currently is a Professor of Economics, Political Science, and Policy Studies at UCLA.

Intriligator has authored or edited over 200 professional articles, books, and advanced texts in the areas of economic theory, econometrics, health economics, strategy and arms control, and Russia's transition to a market economy. His work on strategic affairs includes analyses of arms races, arms control, nuclear proliferation, and the nature of global security.

Intriligator currently is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the International Institute for Strategic Studies and has recently been appointed a Foreign Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences. His Ph.D. in Economics is from MIT.6408477304

Read More

30

June 1999

Icons of the Internet Economy

Milken Institute Conference Center
1250 Fourth Street (at Arizona)
Santa Monica, California 90401

Most people familiar with the World Wide Web are also familiar with on-line leaders such as Amazon, eBay, and Charles Schwab. But what are the implications of these corporate successes for other businesses?

Kenneth Green examines how these and other less-well-known corporations are using the Internet to change and/or enhance conventional business practices. Their methods are affecting both the definition of markets and the delivery of products and services. They are also providing models for others as they reassess their missions, markets, and traditional organizational practices, policies, and procedures in light of this new technology.

Green is an expert on information technology, higher education, and their intersection with the business community. As director of The Campus Computing Project, Green heads the largest continuing study of the role of IT in U.S. colleges and universities and has published over three dozen books, research reports, and scholarly articles. His 1991 book Who's going to Run General Motors? What College Students Need to Learn Today to Become Business Leaders Tomorrow, co-authored with Daniel T. Seymour, is still described as a "must-read" for students, faculty, and corporate leaders.

Read More

1998

26

June 1998

Education's Challenge: The Jobs Skills Mismatch

Milken Family Foundation National Education Conference
Century Plaza Hotel
Los Angeles, California

The Milken Family Foundation's National Education Conference examined significant issues in education, and provided an opportunity for honorees to share their ideas with one another and with other distinguished representatives from academia, government, business, and local communities. The event culminated with the recognition of K-12 educators from across the United States for their teaching, leadership, and contribution to the healthy development of children.

As its part of the conference, the Milken Institute held a panel discussion Friday, June 26, "Education's Challenge: The Jobs and Skills Mismatch," that examined the disparity between the skills of the labor force and the requirements of today's job market. Institute Chairman Michael Milken moderated.

The Issues

The American economy has undergone extraordinary change over the last decade, driven by technology and global competition. With some industries expanding rapidly while others are contracting, the consequences for labor markets and our educational system are profound. Technology is at the heart of a growing mismatch between the skills possessed by our labor force and the mix of skills demanded by employers. What is to be made of this?

The program consisted of two sessions:

The Professionals' Perspective. This session, which featured experts who study education and labor, looked at how our education system is serving the changing needs of the American economy.

The answer? Not as well as it must if American companies are going to successfully compete in the 21st century global market.

Today's workplace is changing so rapidly, that even in today's strong U.S. economy, companies are going begging for skilled, talented workers. One of the critical problems is that many people don't have the skills necessary to succeed in today's "knowledge economy," which values skills like problem solving and communication much more highly than ever, they said.

"The new economy is knowledge-biased," said James O'Connell, Vice President of government relations and human resources policy for the Ceridian Corp. "It gives tremendous advantage to those who have knowledge and a tremendous disadvantage to those who don't. In this economy, knowledge is power."

Laurie Bassi, Vice President for research at the American Society for Training and Development, agreed. "We are now well into the 'knowledge' era, and in this era, it is human capital that defines privilege and wealth, and the absence of human capital that defines poverty," she said.

Bassi presented a chart showing the work attributes that are "in" and "out" in today's workplace. On the list of "ins" were: brains, mental dexterity, access to memory and integration of skills and tasks. On the "out" list were: brawn, manual dexterity, memorization and compartmentalization. "What we need is an education system that is defined by the attributes on the 'in' list," she said. "What worked well in education for hundreds of years for the majority of people who would become the workforce is now a detriment, not an asset."

She and other panelists told the hundreds of educators gathered for the talk that they must change the way they teach if young people are going to succeed. The panelists stressed that traditional fact-based, test-taking classrooms won't help students when it comes time to get jobs in the new workplace.

"Both current entry-level and future entry-level employees need to be intelligent, skilled, thoughtful, able to problem-solve, able to communicate with each other and be able to work together in teams," said Michael Templeton, a consultant in science learning.

Richard McGahey, Assistant Secretary for Policy for the U.S. Department of Labor, told the gathering that jobs are changing so fast today that even in industries such as auto making, the skills required are dramatically different than in years past. "Fewer than half of the high school graduates in the United States currently have the mathematics skills to get a job in an auto plant," he said.

Milken Institute Economist Alec Levenson said many people in the U.S. today don't have the basic skills necessary for such things as locating an intersection on a street map or using a calculator. These workers must be given a proper foundation of reading, writing and math. Without that, the more critical skills needed in today's economy won't be possible.

Slides were presented showing how rapidly jobs are changing in the world today, with some of today's growth leaders being the computer industry, pharmaceutical companies and financial firms. The point, said Donald Straszheim, president of the Institute, is that, "Not only do the employers change, but the nature of the jobs change as well. That's the constant challenge of the whole education system."

The Practitioners' Perspective. This session looked at the problem from the business sector's point of view.

They had two key messages:

One, companies are desperate for intelligent, professional workers with strong people skills, technological skills and the ability to think independently and creatively in the work environment.

Two, businesses must work with educators to create a plan for teaching students so they will have the skills necessary in the changing workplace.

Roger Brossy, of Sibson & Co. said three areas in particular cause great concern to businesses today: 1. They cannot find enough qualified individuals to handle technological matters, such as writing code or computer programs. 2. The service sector cannot find enough good workers. And 3. They cannot find enough talented executives. "The best performing companies today are paranoid that they have an insufficient level of executive talent," Brossy said. That's one reason the search business, or executive head-hunters, has grown by 550 percent in the past 15 years, he said.

Jerry Jasinowski, President/CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers, said among his members, training employees to handle work in the "knowledge" economy is the number one priority. "If we want to continue on the successful growth path, we have to elevate the quality of knowledge within our people to a higher level than it is," he said.

What's critical, said Ray Marcy, Chairman, President and CEO of Interim Services Inc., is "how we educate, not just what we educate."

Sharon Feldman, vice president of employee relations at Warner Bros., said the skills that her company and other businesses need are simple: workers must have basic reading, writing and math skills; must be computer literate; must be able to assimilate into the corporate culture; and be a team player.

The second part of the discussion focused on what government and businesses can do to help educators.

George McCrary, workforce development manager at Wal-Mart Stores, said his company has a policy that every store must adopt a school and work as partners with educators. He urged the educators in the room to go back home and contact their local Wal-Mart store manager to set up a program with their schools.

Karl Chapman, founder and chief executive of Spring Group PLC, said in England the government made improving schools and workers' skills a priority. Teacher training, the ability to close poor schools and the creation of "learning accounts" that allow people to take out loans during their lifetimes to retrain are just a few of the things that country is doing.

Read More

18

June 1998

Practical Privatization: Lessons from Cities and Markets

Jerusalem, Israel

On June 18, 1998, the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs and the Milken Institute held a conference in Jerusalem on Practical Privatization in Local Government, bringing together a distinguished group of Israeli officials and American experts including the Prime Minister and Finance Minister of Israel, and the Mayor of Indianapolis. The proceedings of the conference were published in Hebrew for an Israeli audience in the volume Practical Privatization: Lessons from Cities and Markets, which outlines how outsourcing and privatization can be used by Israel's local authorities to improve their ability to deliver quality services to their residents at lower cost. The conference examined the U.S. experience with privatization in various cities in light of the ongoing effort in Israel to decrease public-sector involvement in its cities.

Among the speakers were Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli Finance Minister Ya'akov Ne'eman, Indianapolis Mayor Stephen Goldsmith, and representatives of the finance and investment sectors. More than 200 people attended, including representatives from most of Israel's major cities, as well as scholars, government economic officials and business leaders.

The morning session focused on privatization experience and theory. The afternoon portion featured specialized sessions on water and water treatment, infrastructure finance and projects, and municipal services.

The conference was a follow-up to a November symposium on Israel's economic future held at the Milken Institute. The Jerusalem conference was organized in conjunction with the Office of the Mayor, City of Indianapolis; the Israeli Economic Commission; and the Consulate of Israel on behalf of the Israeli Ministry of Finance and the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.

For related information on Israel's economy, see the Milken Institute's Israel Briefing Book.

Read More

01

June 1998

Democratizing Capital in the United States

Milken Institute Conference Center
Santa Monica, CA

The starting point for this two-day symposium, "Democratizing Capital in U.S. History, Business, and Public Policy," was the question, What has happened to the goal of combining a capitalist economy with democracy? To answer this question the symposium explored converging themes in American history related to the democratization of capital. We examined from an historical perspective the notion that popular access to capital in a capitalist economy translates to democratic values in a polity. We also considered how that idea developed as the nation's social and economic structure changed from the 19th century to the present day.

The Issues

Two days of roundtable discussions addressed the question along several lines:

The history of capital access The ideal of a society of independent farmers, proprietors, and craftsmen - economically independent producers of wealth - was propounded from the time of the nation's founding through the mid-19th century. It was thought that the wide distribution of ownership of productive assets would form the basis for democratic participation. Could this goal of "democratic capitalism" survive the industrial revolution?

Populism and labor movements The 20th century arrived on a wave of progressive reforms as the needs of mass production drove capital into the hands of a few. Did the redistribution of wealth through the welfare state supply a new means of sharing capital broadly? What issues raised during the populist/progressive era resonate in today's policy debates?

Democratizing financial institutions Access to capital increased through the growth of finance and saving options. A.P. Giannini was one of the first bankers to lend to average citizens instead of just to corporations; he also invented the modern mortgage system, propelling home ownership. How did this focus on providing small-scale financial services to individual consumers impact American economic and political life?

Financial technologies How did 20th-century financial innovations - such as employee ownership of large corporations, greater access to funding for new businesses, and broader participation in the stock and bond markets - affect the role of Americans in the economy and in politics?

The New Deal and the Reagan era Roosevelt and Reagan entered office confronting dire economic challenges: the former, a credit crunch in tailspin; the latter, a stagnant economy and concentrated corporate power. How did the policies of these administrations compare and contrast in their prescriptions for recovery and growth?

Shared capitalism and ownership Could employee buyouts of corporations start a new trend in capitalism - or even eliminate the problem of struggle between owners and laborers? Will the merging of these roles bring about a peaceful democratization of capital in an industrial, technology-driven world? Will the political influence of workers and owners equalize?

Community capitalism How do institutions like community development banks empower the disenfranchised on a local basis?

Democratizing economic policy What policies can the U.S. government adopt to further develop all Americans' access to capital, and, in turn, meaningful participation in the political process?

The Sessions

The program for this small but important symposium consisted of seven roundtable discussions which addressed both historical developments in capital access and their policy implications in the present day. Also featured was a luncheon presentation on the democratization of capital and financial technologies.

The Audience

Our audience of approximately 100 included historians and practitioners in politics, economics, business, and labor as well as key policymakers and media.

Read More