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BB&T Free Market Process Speaker Series

Each semester we invite speakers from the business and academic world who address the underlying principles of a market economy. Students, faculty, alumni, and the Charleston business community are invited to attend our events.

Spring 2018

Dr. Sun Zhe: "Economic and Political Change in China & China-US Relations"
April 9, 2018; 5:45pm
Wells Fargo Auditorium

About the talk
Dr. Zhe will discuss the economic and political change in China and China-US relations.

About the speaker

Sun Zhe is an adjunct senior research scholar and co-director of the China Initiative at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. He is the founding director of the Center for U.S.-China Relations at Tsinghua University in Beijing and has previously taught at Fudan University and Ramapo College of New Jersey. He is a graduate of Fudan University and has a Ph.D. in Political Science from Columbia University. 

Sun Zhe is the author and editor of more than twenty books on comparative politics and U.S.-China relations, including New Thinking on Human Rights (1992), The Politics of Dictatorship (1995), Influencing the Future: the Institutional Transformation and the Decision Making Process of the U.S. Congress (2001), The Studies of U.S. Congress Series (2002, 2003), U.S. Congress and China: Cases and Analyses (2003), Rise and Expansion: American Domestic Politics and US-China Relations (2004), The Remaking of the National People’s Congress in China, 1979-2000 (2004), American Studies in China: 1979-2006 (2007), and Tsinghua Review of US-China Relations (2009-2015). 

Sun Zhe served as a senior consultant to the US-China Strategic & Economic Dialogue, a senior policy adviser to the Office of Taiwan Affairs of the State Council. He is a board member of the Chinese People’s Institute of Foreign Affairs and the US-China Peoples' Friendship Association, also serving as an independent director of CitiGroup (China) Ltd. as well as MGM (China) Ltd.

Sun Zhe

Dr. Will Luther: "Is Bitcoin a Bubble?"
April 6, 2018; 5:00pm
Wells Fargo Auditorium

About the talk
The price of bitcoin soared from a mere $987 a year ago to an astounding $19,343 in December. It then fell to $7,007 in February. What is bitcoin? Why has the price of bitcoin fluctuated so much over the last year? Why does it remain so valuable today? Dr. William Luther will consider the fundamental value of bitcoin—and the various factors affecting it.

About the speaker
William J. Luther is an assistant professor of economics at Kenyon College, director of the American Institute for Economic Research's Sound Money Project, and an adjunct scholar with the Cato Institute's Center for Monetary and Financial Alternatives. He is currently ranked 25th on the Social Science Research Network's Top 8,000 Economics Authors.

Luther's research focuses primarily on questions of currency acceptance. He has published articles in leading scholarly journals, including Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Economic Inquiry, Public Choice, and Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance. His popular works have appeared in The Economist, Forbes, and U.S. News & World Report. He has been cited by major media outlets, including NPR, VICE News, and Al Jazeera. 

Luther earned his M.A. and Ph.D. in Economics at George Mason University and his B.A. in Economics from Capital University.

Will Luther

Dr. William "Bill" Trumbull: "The Cuban Economy"
February 6, 2018; 6:00pm
Wells Fargo Auditorium

About the talk
To understand the Cuban economy, we have to know the type of economic system that Cuba implemented under Fidel (and now Raúl) Castro. That system is quite unlike the capitalist system that we are used to here in the U.S. I will explain the economic system in Cuba and then discuss the implementation of that system during various periods from what the Cubans call the “Triumph of the Revolution” to today and then add a few words about future prospects for the Cuban economy.

About the speaker
William N. Trumbull is a professor of economics and former dean at The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina. His research and teaching interests include the socialist and post-socialist economies. He teaches a course on the Cuban economy that includes a ten-day field trip to Havana and a course on the post-socialist economies of Europe that includes a field trip to either the Czech Republic or Poland. Before coming to The Citadel, he was an economics professor, department chair, and dean at West Virginia University. In 1994, he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the Donetsk Polytechnic Institute, Ukraine.

Bill Trumbull

Past events

November 2017 Paul Gregory, Cullen Professor of Economics at University of Houston, "What We Have Learned from the Great Soviet Experiment"
October 2017

Marion Smith, Executive Director of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, "Communism 100 Years After the Revolution"

September 2017

Gary Libecap, Distinguished Professor - Corporate Environmental Management at University of California Santa Barbara, "Environmental Markets"

March 2017

Dwight Lee, Professor of Global Markets & Freedom at Southern Methodist University, "Can We Appreciate the Morality of the Market?"

September 2016

Bryan Caplan, Professor of Economics at George Mason University, "A Radical Case for Open Borders."

February 2016

Sean Mulholland, Associate Professor of Economics at Stonehill College, "15 Now or Never: The Seen and Unseen Effects of a Higher Minimum Wage"

February 2016

Mike Munger, Political Science, Public Policy, and Economics at Duke University. "Tomorrow 3.0:  The Transactions Cost  Revolution."

October 2015

Randy Simmons, Professor of Economics at Utah State University, "Can Free Markets Save the Environment?"

February 2015

Terry Anker, Chairman of the Anker Consulting Group and Managing Director of the Bastiat Society of Indianapolis. "Liberal Arts Education, Entrepreneurship & Leadership."

March 2015

Roberta HerzbergAssistant Director of Individual Freedom and Free Markets at John Templeton Foundation and President of Public Choice Society, "Political Entrepreneurs: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly." 

November 2014

Sarah Skwire, Fellow at Liberty Fund, "You're So Money: Literary and Economic Seductions" 

October 2014

John Cerasuolo, President & CEO of ADS Security and Chairman of the Beacon Center of Tennessee, “The Role of Business Leaders in Preserving a Free Society”

September 2014

 Timur Kuran, Gorter Family Professor of Islamic Studies at Duke University, “The Political Consequences of Islam's Economic Legacy”

Check our calendar for the full list of events.