The Batten Council generously sponsored my attendance at the 5th annual University of Virginia Investing Conference at the Darden School of Business on November 15th and 16th. The theme of this year’s conference was “After the Election: Realities, Opportunities, and Challenges for Investors.” Specific topics included the fiscal and monetary policies, the U.S. “fiscal cliff,” the state of the global economy, emerging markets, energy, and healthcare.
Speakers at the conference came from all sectors of the economy: investors in the private, educators and researchers from academia and non-profit think tanks, and policymakers and regulators. The conference provided a nonjudgmental platform for the diverse selection of speakers to express their opinions candidly on the current state, trends, and future outlook of both the domestic and global economy. Some speakers focused their opinions of the U.S. regulatory environment, while others offered their forecasts of the trends of the global economy. This ultimately benefited the attendees, including professors, investors, and students, at the conference because they were exposed to a wide variety of perspectives on the economic and policy arenas.
As a public policy student with a business background as well, it was a very interesting and enlightening experience to attend the conference. There is clearly a discernible tension between governmental regulations and financial investors in the free market. With this observation, I would like to share a few key takeaways from the conference:
1) Regulation is not necessarily a bad thing: as long as it is easily accessible to the target sectors, stakeholders may not be as opposed to it
2) Natural resources prices will continue to rise as they become scarcer due to population pressures; this will require more investment in exploration and lead to more global conflicts
3) Uncertainty in public policy will always be a risk for investors
– Blog Post by Katy Lai, MPP ‘13