Vice-chair FDIC, BC alum discusses economics

BC’s most famous alum (Photo Credits: blogs.wsj.com)

It’s not every day you get to speak at an organization named after you.

Tom Hoenig, vice-chair FDIC, gave a lecture hosted by the Thomas M. Hoenig Student International Business Council (SIBC) Monday, Nov. 2 at Benedictine College.

Hoenig was chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank in Kansas City from 1991–2001 and was recently elected president of the International Association of Deposit Insurers (IADI).

He is a 1968 grad from BC and served as chair of the board that hired President Steve Minnis 11 years ago.

Hoenig’s talk covered a range of economic topics, including the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), the dynamics of international trade and financial risks.

He further discussed the 2007–2008 economic crisis and what led up to the falling out of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac followed by Lehman Brother’s bankruptcy.

It used to be that a bank posted its capital in reserves in the window. Now the plaque just says ‘insured by FDIC,’ Hoenig said.

The evening had its light-hearted moments.

In response to a tough question about whether the U.S., like Iceland, should throw pundits into jail over financial crisis, Hoenig replied, “Only if they’re guilty of a criminal act.”

The audience laughed.

Students were honored by Hoenig’s presence.

“He’s a hero, said Josh Linton, senior and SIBC vice president. “His job is at the apex of what an economics major could want.”

Hoenig’s visit brought welcome exposure for the SIBC chapter named after him. “It was a huge recruiting opportunity for us,” Linton said. Benedictine’s SIBCchapter currently has 30–40 members.

The talk was a great opportunity for students to learn about the economy.

“I really liked how open he was to teach and how approachable he was,” Linton said. “He spoke in a manner which we could follow.”

Hoenig’s style especially helped one BC student.

“I appreciated how he used physical handouts and real data so that we can better learn,” said Audra Burke, sophmore. “It helped me study for my test.”

Reflecting on the night, Emily Luxem, president of SIBC, said Benedictine is lucky to have Hoenig speak.

“Last night was a realization for me of how great Benedictine is,” Luxem said.

Many of my friends at larger universities do not get the opportunity to sit down and eat dinner with such great men, Luxem said.


Originally published at bcstudentmedia.com on November 6, 2015.

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