Indiana State University Newsroom

Financial expert to give keynote speech at 2011 Indiana Leadership Economic Forum

January 13, 2011

A prominent financial expert affiliated with Indiana State University will deliver the keynote speech at the 2011 Indiana Leadership Economic Forum on Jan. 20.

R. Christopher Whalen, a research fellow with Networks Financial Institute (NFI) in the Scott College of Business at ISU, will speak at the event taking place at Barnes & Thornburg in Indianapolis from 5:30 to 8 p.m. He will discuss issues from his new book, "Inflated: How Money and Debt Built the American Dream," and will describe some changes to monetary, fiscal and trade policy that he believes would help restore balance to the world economy.

The event is being held by the Indiana Leadership Forum, an organization dedicated to attracting individuals to public service and promoting participation in the political process.

"We're excited about supporting this event because the audience is one that we don't reach directly as often as we would like," said John Tatom, director of research for NFI.

The economic forum also will include a panel discussion. Panelists will be State Sen. Luke Kenley, chairman of the Indiana Senate Appropriations Committee; Bob Jones, president and CEO of Old National Bank; and Chris Ruhl, director of the Indiana Budget Agency. Chad Pittman, vice president of the Indiana Economic Development Corp., also will speak at the event.

Whalen has been regularly quoted by the media, and is an important source for financial news, Tatom said. Whalen has written several research papers for NFI, which are available on the institution's website, and he has discussed his research during presentations at Indiana State.

His presentation at the economic forum will be similar to a speech he gave at ISU last fall.

"I think it's very impressive that we have an opportunity to speak to potential future leaders of Indiana, and that's what the Indiana Leadership Forum is about," Tatom said. "The Forum has a strong history, and they have many alumni who are some of the most distinctive leaders of Indiana."

Jon Ford, vice president of the Indiana Leadership Forum, saw Whalen's October speech at ISU. He was impressed, and thought that Whalen would make a good speaker at the economic forum.

"The economic forum's purpose is to educate people on the economy and the effects of the recession we went through," Ford said of the event, "and also provide great insight to the economy moving forward."

Whalen's speech will focus on the national economy. The panel discussion will then focus more on the state of the economy in Indiana.

"Along with Chris, we're going to have a great panel discussion which we hope will generate lots of questions," Ford said.

The event is open to the public. Registration costs $25, and additional information can be found at the following website:

Whalen is the co-founder and managing director of Institutional Risk Analytics, and he has worked as an investment banker, research analyst and journalist for more than 20 years.

Research from Whalen and other NFI fellows can be searched at the following website:

NFI is an institute within ISU's Scott College of Business. Founded in 2003 through a grant from Lilly Endowment, Inc., NFI strives to facilitate broad, collaborative thinking, dialogue and progress in the evolving financial services marketplace, focusing on the areas of education, outreach and research.

Photo: (ISU/Tony Campbell)
R. Christopher Whalen speaking at Indiana State University on Oct. 13, 2010.

Contact: John Tatom, director of research, Networks Financial Institute, Scott College of Business, Indiana State University, 317-536-0281, ext. 712, or

Writer: Austin Arceo, assistant director of media relations, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3790 or