Fall Luncheon, J. P. Morgan Chase, 2002

Date: October 2, 2002
Chair: Jim Whitely
Treasurer: Sam Heffner
Location: J. P. Morgan Chase
Speaker: Roger Shields, MBIA

empire-viewThose attending the Fall Luncheon of the Old Asia Hands on October 2 were immediately struck by the lovely views of New York from the dining room of J.P. Morgan Chase on Park Avenue. But our attention quickly shifted to fellowship, and then to Asia when host Jim Whitely introduced guest speaker Roger Shields, MBIA's Managing Director for International Analytics and Risk Management.

Active in Asia in one way or another since 1968, Roger claims to know most Asian countries better than he knows New York. Supporting this assertion was his review of the prospects of the major Asian economies that captured the highlights in a manner both entertaining and informative. And his responses to our questions, including some relating to economic backwaters, demonstrated an in-depth awareness of the importance of government policies and values that simply cannot be gleaned from textbooks and newspapers.

In a study in contrasts, we welcomed new member Toshio Ozeki and learned that charter member Rick Wheeler and Betty Ann are embarking on an Asian tour to mark the fiftieth anniversary of their Asian debut. We observed a moment of silence in memory of the late Jack Loughran, J.P Morgan's long-time Man in Japan. And our Honourable Mail Clerk Sam Heffner read brief Asia-related commentary received from Hands Gordon Franklin and Bill Smith. (On the escutcheon of Bill's letterhead are symbols of his life in Asia that began almost 60 years ago.)

As to OAH business, attendees indicated that the timing of the Luncheon in early October (coupled with the Dinner in February) was satisfactory so long as it does not conflict with the annual IMF meetings. We closed by applauding Jim Whitely for the quality of the luncheon buffet.