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Former Presidents George Bush and Bill Clinton spoke at UBS on Monday.Topics of discussion included how to revitalize America, challenges ahead for the financial sector, and U.S. debt and high unemployment.
About 400 people attended, according to someone familiar with the talk. Clinton was planned. Bush was a total surprise. (Everyone loved it.)
Here’s a summary of what was said:
- Osama is dead!
- There is growing uncertainty about U.S. public debt levels, and the ability to repay our debts
- Also uncertain is the country’s ability to repay debts while also fulfilling social commitments
- The U.S. needs to take responsibility for its debts, and satisfy all obligations
- The financial sector needs to support real innovation
- The financial sector has an opportunity to win back trust now, by supporting the spirit and talent of our people, “our most plentiful resource,” according to Bush
- Investing in professional education and making policy changes to make it easier for small businesses will help spur job growth that is sustainable
- Employment is improving, but not enough yet
Bob McCann, the head of UBS Wealth Management who moderated the event, said, “The U.S. has reached a critical inflection point…[we need to] make difficult choices and a commitment by all of us to embrace change.”
He also emphasised that the U.S. is great because of its entrepreneurial spirit, according to our source.