In September 2009, the Laboratory for Aggregate Economics and Finance presented “A Look at Current Economic Issues,” a public lecture by Richard W. Fisher, president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.

As the chief executive of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Fisher serves as a member of the Federal Open Market Committee, the Federal Reserve’s principal monetary policymaking group. After beginning his career at the private bank of Brown Brothers Harriman & Co in 1975 he became assistant to the secretary to the Treasury during the Carter administration. In that capacity Fisher worked on issues related to the dollar crisis of 1978-79. After returning to Brown Brothers to found their Texas operations in Dallas, he created Fisher Capital Management and a separate funds-management firm, Fisher Ewing Partners, in 1987.

From 1997 to 2001, Fisher served as deputy U.S. trade representative with the rank of ambassador, overseeing the implementation of the North American Fair Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and various agreements with Vietnam, Korea, Japan, Chile, and Singapore. In addition, he was a senior member of the team that negotiated the bilateral accords for China’s and Taiwan’s accession to the World Trade Organization.

A first-generation American, Fisher is equally fluent in Spanish and English, having spent his formative years in Mexico. He attended the United States Naval Academy, graduated with honors from Harvard University, read Latin American politics at Oxford University, and earned his master’s degree in business administration at Stanford University. In 2006, Fisher received the Service to Democracy Award and the Dwight D. Eisenhower Medal for Public Service, and in April of 2009 he was inducted into the Dallas Business Hall of Fame.

Fisher’s talk focused on the economic outlook and current economic issues.  His lecture was well-attended, attracting members of the campus and greater Santa Barbara communities, as well as local and national media.