Written by Meghan McCoy, UCLA Anderson School of Management Class of 2012
Sebastian Edwards, UCLA Anderson’s Henry Ford Professor of International Economics, addressed an audience of prominent industry professionals at the UCLA Ziman Center’s Spring Board Meeting on April 12th. Professor Edwards provided an optimistic outlook for the U.S. economy, an in-depth analysis of Europe’s sovereign debt crisis, and discussed emerging Latin American markets such as Honduras. Specifically, he addressed the opportunity for private sector real estate investment in over 100,000 square kilometers of government-created special development regions known as “Charter Cities”. These protective enclaves in an otherwise extremely violent country aim to facilitate a safe haven for Hondurans to come together and put their skills to work with the expertise, financial resources and technology available to those in first world countries.
The meeting’s keynote speaker was Michael Milken of The Milken Institute who emphasized how both America’s changing demographics and further reliance on the Internet will shape the future of commercial real estate. The overriding theme of his talk centered on America’s historical tradition of rising to the challenge in the face of adversity, citing the recent recession. He addressed six areas in particular that provide opportunities for positive change including energy, housing, entitlements, education, health and immigration. Mr. Milken also spoke on the importance of better allocating the resources we have, including investing in human capital to compete in a global economy without increasing taxes and government spending.