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Bank Executive Urges Students to Look Abroad for Opportunities


Joseph P. Quinlan, GSAS ’84, didn’t open his passport for inspection by students during his visit to Fordham’s Rose Hill Campus. But he may as well have.

Globalization was the overarching theme of the hour-long conversation Quinlan had with the Fordham Finance Society on Monday, April 14 at the McGinley Center. The managing director and chief marketing strategist at Bank of America Capital Management covered topics ranging from his career to the current economic recession.

Joseph P. Quinlan Photo by Bruce Gilbert

He made it clear that undergraduates should embrace opportunities outside the country and even bypass Europe for destinations farther east and south.

“I see too many people in my position and lower too focused on the U.S. There’s a U.S. steel analyst, a U.S. auto analyst; but you can’t be that parochial and myopic today,” said Quinlan, who graduated from Fordham’s International Political Economy and Development Program (IPED).

“There’s one economy; it’s called the global economy and there are different parts,” he continued. “Learn how to view it that way. If you’re U.S.-centric, particularly at your age, you’re missing the boat.”

To give students a sense of how important it is to understand the religious, cultural and political elements that affect the global economy, Quinlan pointed out that 80 percent of the world’s output and 95 percent of its population exists outside of the United States.

“Geography is so underrated. We’re geographically illiterate; don’t be one of those people,” he said.

As for the sub-prime loan crisis and credit crunch that have been blamed for triggering the recession, Quinlan said they were inevitable—thanks to bad policy decisions in Washington D.C.

“The problem was we were too lax with money. It’s not just consumers spent too much; the regulators didn’t regulate enough,” he said.

“I was surprised, reading that E*Trade and H&R Block had to close their mortgage banks,” Quinlan continued. “Quite frankly, I didn’t know they had them. But that was emblematic and symbolic that even they were giving out loans. So the Fed did a poor job regulating the financial environment.”


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