On Tuesday Robert Kimmitt, former deputy secretary of the Department of the Treasury under President Bush, discussed the general employment trends as well as the global economic environment in a lecture in the Rafik B. Hariri building.
At the lecture, “Operating at the Intersection of Business, Finance and Government,” which was organized by the Distinguished Leaders Series, Kimmitt commented on the numerous jobs he has held in his life and how this has become a trend among working-age people in the United States.
“Your generation doesn’t have a concept of a single employer,” he said. “The average American worker . will have 10 different employers in the first 20 years in the workforce.”
He identified this as an accelerating change in employment habits in the United States that is based on flexibility, mobility and education.
“[The McDonough School of Business’] focus on leadership and [willingness] to operate at that intersection between business, finance and government sets you apart,” Kimmitt said.
He proceeded to discuss the growing involvement of government in business decisions, focusing on the role of the G20 in world politics, particularly since the Asian Financial Crisis in 1997.
Kimmitt referred to the World Economic Forum recently held in Davos, Switzerland, and the G20 meeting held in Washington, D.C., in November 2008 during his discussion of the international economic situation.
“The global imbalances are principally three: the twin deficits in the United States, both fiscal and trade, the misaligned currency in China and low-demand growth in Europe and Japan,” he said.
He added that deficit reduction in the United States is imperative for improving global conditions, as the country accounts for 25 percent of the world economy. He cited this as the most significant challenge facing economic improvement and job reaction.
“Deficit reduction [is very important] to relieve pressure on economic growth,” Kimmit said.
He concluded the lecture by offering advice to graduating students about to enter the workforce, and later answered a number of questions regarding U.S. business relations with China and the European Union, among others.”