Economic Club of New York
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|Founder||J. W. Beatson|
|Purpose||Study and discussion of social, economic and political questions|
|Headquarters||New York, NY|
|William C. Dudley|
|Barbara M. Van Allen|
The Economic Club of New York is a U.S. nonprofit and non-partisan membership organization dedicated to promoting the study and discussion of social, economic and political questions.
The Economic Club of New York was founded in 1907 by J. W. Beatson, Secretary of the National Economic League in Boston, and four business leaders from New York City. Its founders sought to follow the successful example of the Economic Clubs of Boston, Providence, Worcester, Portland, Springfield, and New Haven with the aim of bringing business people and others together for discussions of economic, social and other public issues in a non-partisan forum. For many years, the Economic Club of New York was affiliated with the League for Political Education; their first president Robert Erskine Ely was also director of the League.
The main activity of the Economic Club of New York is to regularly host prestigious guest speakers at its member (and their guests)-only dinners and luncheons. However, these presentations are open to the news media to help foster public discussion of issues important to the general public as well those in business and public life. These speaker events are the focal point of large dinner meetings, or occasionally luncheons, in the ballroom of a major hotel in Manhattan. The format is geared to serious discussion. There is no entertainment, no presentations, and no extraneous business. The event's entire focus is on the Guest of Honor and the speaking program. As defined by the Club's founders, the issues for discussion were ones of "live and practical interest" and speakers were to be of national reputation.
The Club has been host to more than 1,200 speakers and the stature, caliber, and variety of speakers has become a guiding principle. The audiences have heard from future, current, and past presidents of the United States including Woodrow Wilson, William H. Taft, Herbert Hoover, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and George H.W. Bush. Among the many distinguished foreign leaders to address the Club have been Winston Churchill, Mikhail Gorbachev, Indira Gandhi, Margaret Thatcher, Yitzak Rabin, Corizon Aquino, and Zhu Rongji.
Other Guests of Honor have included central bankers, justices of the Supreme Court, secretaries general of the United Nations, governors and heads of international business enterprises, as well as many key cabinet members, military leaders, ambassadors, and scientists.
Presentations are followed by a questions period in which Club members, selected in advance and seated on the dais, will query the speaker. There are no constraints placed on what speakers may say during their presentation. Questioners are not constrained either. An all-male organization for most of its history, in 1970, Fortune magazine reporter Carol Loomis became the first woman admitted to the Club.
Club speakers often use the platform to put forth their agendas to members and the media. On December 14, 1962 then-President John F. Kennedy made his famous remarks calling for a sharp cut in tax rates and reform of the tax system in order to grow the economy. In part, he said:
In short, it is a paradoxical truth that tax rates are too high today and tax revenues are too low and the soundest way to raise the revenues in the long run is to cut the rates now. The experience of a number of European countries and Japan have borne this out. This country's own experience with tax reduction in 1954 has borne this out. And the reason is that only full employment can balance the budget, and tax reduction can pave the way to that employment. The purpose of cutting taxes now is not to incur a budget deficit, but to achieve the more prosperous, expanding economy which can bring a budget surplus.
The Chairman of the Board is the chief executive officer of the Club and presides at meetings of the Club and the Board, and has general charge of the business and affairs of the Club. The first chairman was A. Barton Hepburn, who served from 1907 to 1909. Hepburn was U.S. Comptroller of the Currency from 1892 to 1893 and later president of the Chase National Bank. Other notable chairmen included: Wendell L. Wilkie (1938 to 1940), the Republican Party nominee for president in 1940; radio and television pioneer David Sarnoff (1940-1942); James P. Warburg (1934 to 1936), financial advisor to President Franklin D. Roosevelt; Rand V. Araskog (1987 to 1990), former CEO of ITT Corp.; Edmund T. Pratt, Jr. (1979 to 1980), former CEO and President of Pfizer, Inc. for whom the Duke University engineering school is named and Barbara H. Franklin (2003-2007), one of the first women graduates of Harvard Business School. She also served as s United States Secretary of Commerce under President George H.W. Bush. The current chairman is William C. Dudley, President & Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
The president is the chief operating officer of the Club. The Club has had only five presidents since its founding over a century ago. They were: Robert Erskine Ely; Edwin A. Locke, Jr.; Raymond K. Price, Jr.; Paul W. Bateman; Jan Hopkins, and the current President, Barbara M. Van Allen.
- "About the Economic Club of New York".
- "The Public Forum". The American Review of Reviews. January–June 1920. p. 524.
- "Economic Club of New York: History".
- "Economic Club of New York: Guests".
- Christine Haughney (July 3, 2014). "Carol Loomis, Editor for Warren Buffett, Leaves Job After 60 Years". The New York Times.
- John F. Kennedy (December 14, 1962). "Address to the Economic Club of New York".
- "Executive Profile". Bloomberg Business,.