John Allison, President & CEO of the Cato Institute, Addresses Liberty, Limited Government and the Financial Crisis

Chris Versace

Chris Versace is a financial columnist and equity analyst with more than 20 years of experience in the investment industry.

I had the pleasure of talking this week with John Allison, president & CEO of the Cato Institute. Unlike many other organizations located in Washington, D.C., Cato is neither Democratic nor Republican in nature, but rather it is a public policy research organization — a think tank — dedicated to the principles of individual liberty, limited government, free markets and peace. That status alone is a great reason to talk with John Allison, but it gets even better.

Prior to becoming the president & CEO of the Cato Institute, John was chairman and CEO of BB&T Corporation (BBT), the 10th-largest financial services holding company headquartered in the United States. During his tenure as CEO from 1989 to 2008, BB&T grew from $4.5 billion to $152 billion in assets. John also has written a fantastic book — “The Financial Crisis and the Free Market Cure: Why Pure Capitalism is the World Economy’s Only Hope.” Not only did it receive a number of rave reviews, but it sat at the top of the Wall Street Journal’s best-seller list.

During the course of our conversation, John and I talk about a variety of topics, including why a sense and understanding of liberty is essential, why regulation is bad for the market and what we can do to promote a healthy free market and end unemployment in America. We’ll even touch on the Federal Reserve, an organization that some say is only helping fuel the problems we are experiencing today.

Listen to my behind-the-scenes PowerTalk conversation now, so you are even more in the know:

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The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development cut its global growth forecasts for this year and next year to reflect the cooling of emerging-market economies, including India and Brazil. The world's economy probably will expand 2.7 percent this year and 3.6 percent next year, instead of the 3.1 percent and and 4 percent, respectively, predicted by OECD in May.

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