Iowa History Center features author and financial analyst


by Britteny Johnson

On Sept. 17 the Iowa History Center held an event featuring author and financial analyst James Grant discussing the Great Depression and how the depression cured itself.

Britney Samuelson, undergraduate assistant for the Iowa History Center, said in the past when speakers have come there were formal dinners for the speakers.

They would invite the economics department at Simpson and the donors for the Iowa History Center, but she explained this event was opened up to more people.

“This is our second meet-and-greet with just light hors d’oeuvres. This time, we’ve invited people from the Des Moines area who are interested in finance and economics. We’ve invited the economics faculty at Simpson and the history faculty,” Samuelson said.

“It’s another chance for people who are specifically interested in the topic of the lecture to have a chance to have a personal conversation with whoever our speaker is,” she said.

Simpson students were welcome to attend the lecture portion of the night.

“I think that these are great opportunities for Simpson students and many of them aren’t even aware that the Iowa History Center exists on campus and that we bring these great speakers here. All of our lectures are free and open to the public, especially Simpson students,” Samuelson said.

Grant the author of the book, “The Forgotten Depression 1921: The Crash That Cured Itself,” was the basis for the lecture he gave to an engaged audience of students and those interested in finance and economics from the area.

Grant added hints of humor into his lecture that got most of the crowd laughing out loud.

Senior Ethan Fredrick, said the way people view recessions is one thing that should be taken away from Grant’s lecture.

“If people walk away remembering 1921, then they will remember 2008 differently, and they’ll think about the next recession differently,” Fredrick said.

Not only has Grant written numerous books, but he also publishes a newsletter every two weeks entitled “Grant’s: Interest Rate Observer,” which he founded in 1983.

According to the website for “Grant’s,” it is described as “an independent, value-oriented and contrary-minded journal of the financial market.”

The Iowa History Center has another event coming up Nov. 3 with authors and journalists Marc Hansen and Tom Witosky speaking about the battle for marriage equality and exploring how Iowa had an impact during the battle to gain equal marriage rights.