Jamaican-Born, NYU Dean Talks “Miss Mama” Economics In New Book

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Dean of New York University’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Peter Blair Henry.
News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Mon. Dec. 2, 2013: Dean of New York University’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Peter Blair Henry, insists economics is much like “Miss Mama,” the hungry Jamaican woman who would show up at his grandmother’s gate for a meal and to chat about her economic woes.

As Dean Henry tells it in his new book ‘Turnaround: Third World Lessons for First World Growth,’ it’s simply about “helping people to help themselves.”
The Leonard N. Stern School of Business youngest dean argues that the secret to emerging countries’ success is discipline – sustained commitment to a pragmatic growth strategy.

Henry insists that what is needed is less polarization and more focus on facts to answer the fundamental question: which policy reforms, implemented under what circumstances, actually increase economic efficiency?

Through examples ranging from the drastic income disparity between Barbados and his native Jamaica to the “catch up” economics of China and the taming of inflation in Latin America, Turnaround offers vital lessons for developed and developing nations in search of stability and growth.

In the forward looking book, Henry shows that in much of the emerging world the policy pendulum now swings toward prudence and self-control. With similar discipline and a dash of humility, he concludes, the First World may yet recover and create long-term prosperity for all its citizens.

As he boldly states: “The economic policy decisions implemented in the coming months will determine whether people eat or starve, live or die and not just in emerging economies.”

Henry assumed the Deanship in January 2010 and joined the NYU Stern Faculty as the William R. Berkley Professor of Economics and Finance. Hejoined NYU Stern from Stanford University, where he was the Konosuke Matsushita Professor of International Economics, the John and Cynthia Fry Gunn Faculty Scholar, and Associate Director of the Center for Global Business and the Economy at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business.

Henry also serves as a member of the board of directors at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), the nation’s leading nonprofit, non-partisan economic research organization; as a member of the board of the Council on Foreign Relations; as a member of the board of directors for Kraft Foods, Inc.; and as a Nonresident Senior Fellow of the Brookings Institution.

An expert on the global economy, Henry led the external economics advisory group for then-Senator Barack Obama’s presidential campaign in 2008. Following the historic victory on November 4, Henry was chosen to lead the Presidential Transition Team’s review of international lending agencies such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. In June 2009, President Obama appointed him to the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships.

Henry’s expertise in the areas of emerging markets and international finance has made him a regular speaker at the IMF and has led him to testify before the United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and before various ambassadors to the United Nations. Additionally, Henry has also served as a macroeconomic advisor to the governments of Ghana and Jamaica.

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