A Global Perspective: the 2017 Agora Economics Roundtable

23.01.2017 • Investing

By Selva Freigedo – Port Phillip Insider Extra (Australia) 

I am in rainy Baltimore, in the US, attending the 2017 Agora Economics Roundtable. The Agora group, of which Port Phillip Publishing is a part of, is one of the world’s largest financial newsletter publishing companies.

It’s my first time in Baltimore, a small city with rich architecture. Baltimore is famous for its crabs and its many monuments.

From my hotel room, I have a great view of the Baltimore Basilica. The basilica prides itself on being America’s First Cathedral.

Just down the road from the hotel is the Washington Monument, which also has a claim to fame. It was the first monument in the US dedicated to President George Washington. The simple column structure, with General Washington standing at the top, represents the president giving up his military position to take office. You see, America did not want its first government to be headed by a general, but a civilian.

Agora’s first meeting was a tour of several historic buildings around Mount Vernon. The 19th century-style buildings are home to the many different groups that form the Agora network in the US. Just to give you an idea, Agora has approximately 1,000 employees in the US.

Well, as I found out during the tour, the claims about the Baltimore Basilica and the Washington Monument are inaccurate.

The oldest, and thus first, cathedral in the US is in New Orleans, which was under French rule at the time the cathedral was built.

And the first Washington monument is actually in a little town called Boonsboro, Maryland. You see, when Boonsboro heard Baltimore was building the monument, they rushed to beat them. The monument is a tower made with rocks.

In the tours first 15 minutes of the meeting, Agora staff had debunked two of Baltimore’s claims about its iconic monuments. That is the great thing about working with Agora; it encourages its staff to question everything.

The backdrop for the roundtable couldn’t be better. The US is gearing up to swear in president-elect Donald Trump this week. While the media is having a field day, the mood in the street is mixed. The truth is, no one knows what to expect once Trump gets into the White House.

The highlight of the conference is a meeting with Dr Alan Greenspan, who served as chairman of the US Federal Reserve from 1987 to 2006. For me, there is an added benefit: the chance to meet Agora’s founder, Bill Bonner, and other members of Agora’s global network.

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