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Sunday, March 03, 2024

U.S. financial expert Phil Angelides will speak with former Florida governor and U.S. Sen. Bob Graham at 6 p.m. today in the Pugh Hall Ocora about current U.S. economic and financial issues.

"We want to get people thinking about the issues and what they can do as individuals to change things for their country," said Shelby Taylor, digital communications director for the Bob Graham Center for Public Service.

Angelides is the chairman of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, a group of experts commissioned to study the causes of the current financial crisis.

The discussion, titled "On the Abyss?", is the first in the fall 2011 lineup for the Bob Graham Center Public Matters Speaker Series.

Ann Henderson, director of the Graham Center, said the program will invite experts to talk about critical issues for general audiences.

Dominic Calabro, president and chief executive officer of Florida Taxwatch, will moderate today's discussion. Audience members will get the opportunity to ask questions.

"I would call Dominic a Republican," Henderson said, "and we have him as moderator for just that: We want to represent all points of view."

President Barack Obama's speech at 7 p.m. will be broadcast after the discussion.

"Our idea is to talk about the financial crisis but also do some precursor comments on what we expect the president to talk about," Taylor said.

Appointed by Obama to investigate the financial collapse, Angelides released the final Financial Crisis Inquiry report in January.

His conclusions determined the financial collapse was avoidable and was a result of failure to put appropriate regulations in place.

Because the report cited greed as the cause of the financial crisis, it became highly controversial.

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All of the people who signed the report were democrats, which is something Henderson hopes Angelides and Graham will address.

"It will be diverse, it will also be exciting, there will be differences of opinion, as there are differences of opinion right now about how to solve our financial crisis," Henderson said.

The event, which is free and open to the public, will also be streamed live from

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