Spring 2019: Washington, DC

Washington, DC

The spring semester concluded with the biannual spring break field trip to Washington, DC (March 17 – 22). Students attended four presentations: (1) World BankAngelica Silvero, Head of the Speakers Bureau, gave the students an excellent overview of the bank and its history; (2) Federal Trade Commission (FTC)David Balan, Illinois Economics Ph.D. alum, gave an overview of how the economics lessons they are learning are directly applied in cases of the anti-trust side of the FTC that he works on. He further laid out some of the major changes in the FTC’s approach to mergers and the impact that economists have had on this process in recent decades. Devesh Raval, economist on the consumer protection side of the agency, then described a case in which consumers were intentionally harmed by a system that attempted to get them signed up for third party services that would be billed through their wireless providers and how they used a model to identify which of those parties were likely to have been acting maliciously; (3) Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)Sikander Daryanani described some of the origins of the IDB and how one of the driving forces behind its creation was to serve as an aid to development in Latin America and a counterbalance to extreme leftist policies; and (4) International Monetary Fund—Senior Economist Rodrigo Garcia-Verdu from the Debt Policy Division gave the students a thorough history of the IMF and its role in the world.

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