Wall Street Journal editor opens Thompson Forum series

· 3 min read

Wall Street Journal editor opens Thompson Forum series

David Wessel

A Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist will offer insights on the economy and Washington’s role in it during the first lecture of UNL’s 2013-14 E.N. Thompson Forum on World Issues.

David Wessel, economics editor for the Wall Street Journal who writes the weekly “Capital” column, will present “On Capital and the Capitol” at 7 p.m. Sept. 24 at the Lied Center for Performing Arts. The lecture kicks off the Thompson Forum’s 2013-14 season, which will explore the theme of “U.S. & Them” and examine the United States’ place in an increasingly globalized society.

Wessel’s lecture will touch on the dysfunction of Congress and its inability to pass a comprehensive budget; why the federal deficit should matter to U.S. citizens; how the economy will likely fare in the next decade; and how a 24-hour news cycle and the rise of social media are affecting news coverage of economic events and policy.

Wessel’s talk is this year’s Lewis E. Harris Lecture on Public Policy and is co-sponsored by the UNL College of Business Administration.

UNL economist John Anderson will deliver a pre-talk at 6:30 p.m. in the Lied’s Steinhart Room.

Lloyd Ambrosius, chair of the Thompson Forum Program Committee and UNL professor of history, said Wessel brings a wealth of knowledge about the economy and the politics surrounding it.

“David Wessel is exceedingly well-informed about the contemporary economy, about the federal budget and about the way Washington forms economic and financial policy,” he said. “He’s written extensively on the Federal Reserve System and the budget conflicts in Washington. He knows all of those issues very well and is able to present them in a way that is accessible for an audience that may not be as knowledgeable on these issues.

“We’re hoping that he’ll help the audience understand the role of Washington in the current economy and within the framework of the global economy.”

In addition to covering the economy for the Journal, Wessel is also a regular contributor to National Public Radio and is the author of “In Fed We Trust: Ben Bernanke’s War on the Great Panic,” which was selected as one of 2009’s Most Notable Books by the New York Times.

Wessel’s lecture is the first of five presentations in the 2013-14 Thompson series.

All lectures are free and open to the public, but tickets must be obtained prior to the presentation. Tickets are available at the Lied Center Box Office or can be reserved by calling 402-472-4747 or 800-432-3231. Tickets can also ordered online by downloading a form at the forum’s website, http://enthompson.unl.edu.

Sign language interpreters will be on hand for the hearing impaired. Forum lectures will be available live at http://www.unl.edu as well as on Lincoln cable channels 5 and 80, UNL campus Channel 8 and UNL’s KRNU radio (90.3 FM).

The Harris Lecture on Public Policy was endowed by the Glaxo SmithKline Corp. to honor its former chairman, the late Lewis E. Harris. Harris was also founder of Lincoln’s Harris Laboratories, now Celerion, one of the world’s leading independent scientific testing and research laboratories. The purpose of the lecture is to examine major public policy issues and to provide an opportunity for interaction between students and the business and academic communities in Nebraska.

The Thompson Forum is a cooperative project of the Cooper Foundation, the Lied Center and UNL. It was established in 1988 with the purpose of bringing a diversity of viewpoints on international and public policy issues to the University of Nebraska and the residents of the state to promote understanding and encourage debate.

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