1. What’s the most important lesson in life you have learned?
One word – perseverance.
First and foremost, I would have never achieved what I have in my career had it not been for my education, which I fought for as hard as I did any of my positions. My MBA in finance opened the door to Wall Street and my second masters in journalism opened a different door that led me to the Federal Reserve, albeit via a circuitous route.
As far as my career, you don’t ‘make it’ in sales on Wall Street without a strong constitution and faith and, yes, perseverance. The Fed was no cake walk either, advising and fighting the good fight alongside Richard Fisher, who uphill battled the dovish majority.
Finally, starting my own business has been my greatest challenge thus far. Never giving up on my ability to make Money Strong Work has afforded me the deepest satisfaction yet in my career.
2. If you could tell your 14-year old self one thing, what would it be?
“Don’t sweat life’s setbacks, embrace your failures. They only open your eyes to your own fallibilities and help you succeed when opportunity next presents itself.”
3. What is the biggest economic risk right now?
Leverage was, is and remains the biggest risk.
The $200 trillion credit market, to say nothing of the opacity of the derivatives market, was never properly addressed during the Great Financial Crisis and will present policymakers and investors with tremendous risks of unknown proportions until systemic risk reveals the fault lines and points of connectivity within the global financial system we cannot see today.
4. Fast forward ten years from now—does the Fed exist in its current form?
Much of the anger simmering under the surface that heralded the rise of Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump is now being directed at the Fed. Years of Mission Creep and delving into politics has made the Fed vulnerable to attack. My hope is that a true reengineering of the institution results from whatever politicians finally are able achieve on behalf of their constituents.
5. Are we on the road to a cashless society?
I hope, I pray not. I have a $100 bill in my second wallet. I always travel with it in a different spot than my wallet in the event I lose my wallet, get mugged, whatever. I am NOT a criminal for having that $100 bill in my pocket and I doubt I am alone in thinking this way.
The philosophy driving the current Yellen/Draghi/Kuroda generation of central bankers truly believes that outright monetization of debt and eradication of cash should be the solution to the next financial crisis if interest rate normalization cannot be achieved. It IS a distinct possibility but I fear the reaction of those inclined to be tomorrow’s ‘freedom fighters’ in this country though I hate to use that term as I am not trying to be a fearmonger.
6. If you were a car, what year, make and model would you be?
I would be one of the two 2001 Corvette concept cars I personally witnessed win the 24 Hours of Daytona race that same year, 2001. The cars beat out all of the European models with true grit, genius design and a massive motor. (I was born a car guy!)
7. What is your favorite sport and your favorite team?
UT Longhorn Football (a suffering but faithful fan – Hook ‘Em!!)
8. If you could travel back in time, where would you go and why?
Outside of being a germaphobe, I would travel back to Florence in its heyday as a global center of both finance and art. What’s not to like, and the dining and wine are some of the world’s best.
9. Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts?
Starbucks (if only two choices – prefer local coffee purveyors of fine grinds.)
10. If you could listen to only one album for the rest of your life what would it be?
Rolling Stones, Let it Bleed
11. If you were an animal, what would you be?
12. What annoys you most?
Public displays of noise, when people don’t appreciate they should never forget their mother’s admonition to use their inside voices.
13. If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life what would it be?
14. What is your favorite movie?
Godfather I (though II is almost as good)
15. What’s the most important book you’ve ever read?
16. Who is the best CEO past or present?
Fred Smith, FedEx
17. What is the greatest invention of all time?
18. Are America’s best days behind or ahead?
Ahead of it if the rise of a third political party is possible that protects and preserves the dollar’s reserve currency status.
19. If you could give one piece of advice to recent college grads what would you tell them?
Save at least 10 percent of your earnings forever.
20. What’s your favorite quote of all time?
"It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."
Abraham Lincoln, November 19, 1863
21. What do you want written on your tombstone?
Beloved Daughter, Wife and Mother of Four who led by example.
Bonus question: What’s your favorite (and least favorite) word?
Favorite word – Please
Least favorite word – No