PUC professor to discuss implications of U.S. debt crisis, Sept. 15

A Purdue University Calumet professor and global financial expert will present an assessment and related implications of the United States debt crisis, Thursday, Sept. 15 at 6 p.m., in Alumni Hall of the university’s Student Union & Library. Admission is free.

In his “Community Forum on the U.S. Debt Crisis,” Professor of Finance Pat Obi will discuss in non-technical terms contributing factors to a U.S. national debt that has increased to nearly $15 trillion over the past 30 years. He also will examine the nature of the current financial and political environment in America, as well as the financial impact of the recent U.S. credit rating downgrade by Standard and Poor’s. His presentation also will include the debt’s impact on the northwest Indiana/Chicagoland area.

Obi, who received Purdue Calumet’s inaugural Faculty Lecture Award in 2010, conducted extensive research and made presentations worldwide about the 2008 global financial crisis. He presented at international forums in Prague, Czech Republic; Vanderbijlpark, South Africa; Seoul, Korea; and Khon Kaen, Thailand.

“If the national debt problem is not resolved, we can expect interest rates to eventually rise and with that, increased economic uncertainty,” Obi said.

He added that such staples of the regional economy—manufacturing, transportation and construction—could be further depressed by rising interest rates.

“With the debt level as high as it currently is, the federal government will be limited in its ability to subsidize local government spending, especially in vital areas of education, infrastructure maintenance and health care,” he said.

During the forum, Obi plans to propose direct avenues for trimming the debt. Audience participants will have an opportunity to make comments and ask questions.

The community forum is sponsored by Purdue Calumet’s School of Management, which hosted a campus presentation by Obi in 2008 following the collapse of the U.S. housing market.

Purdue Calumet’s Student Union & Library is located three blocks east of Indianapolis Boulevard, north of 173rd Street, east of Woodmar Avenue. Free parking is available either side of 173rd Street, accessible from the traffic light. Other information is available by contacting the School of Management at 219/989-2595 or som@purduecal.edu.