University Experts Available for Analysis of U.S. Debt Ceiling and Deficit Situation Issues

The United States is expected to hit its debt ceiling on or near Aug. 2 and no deal is in place from Congress to raise the debt ceiling. Economics experts in and out of government have said that if we reach Aug. 2 without having passed legislation to raise the debt ceiling, the U.S. will at worst default on its $1.3 trillion debt and likely will have to stop funding government expenditures.

Faculty experts from The University of Texas at Austin's McCombs School of Business, Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs and College of Liberal Arts are available to discuss these issues from a variety of perspectives:


Thomas W. Gilligan
Dean and Professor, Business Administration
McCombs School of Business

Gilligan previously served as a staff economist at the Council of Economic Advisers in the White House. His areas of interest and expertise include government deficits and fiscal policy.

Janet Dukerich
Professor of Management
McCombs School of Business

Dukerich is an expert on negotiations, and her research and teaching interests include organizational identification, reputation management, issue interpretation and ethical decision making.

Michael Granof
Professor of Accounting
McCombs School of Business

Granof holds a joint appointment with the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs. He is a member of the Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board and the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB). His research and teaching interests include accounting in governmental and nonprofit organizations and financial accounting.

Lewis Spellman
Professor of Finance
McCombs School of Business

Spellman's research interests include the value of third-party financial guarantees, market estimates of bank risk, bank survival, debt, market intervention by governments, and macroeconomics and business conditions. He blogs about the economy and markets at The Spellman Report.

Robert C. Duvic
Distinguished Senior Lecturer, Finance
McCombs School of Business

Duvic's areas of expertise include deposit insurance, financial institutions and international foreign exchange markets.

Sandy Leeds
Senior Lecturer, Finance
McCombs School of Business
512-471-6830 (preferred)

Leeds is a member of the Texas State Bar and is a Chartered Financial Analyst. He is the president of the McCombs MBA Investment Fund LLC. He blogs about the economy and the Federal Reserve at Leeds On Finance.

Public Policy

Robert Auerbach
Professor of Public Affairs
Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs

Auerbach was an economist with the House banking committee during the tenure of four Federal Reserve Chairmen: Arthur Burns, William Miller, Paul Volcker and Alan Greenspan. Auerbach also served as an economist in the U.S. Treasury's Office of Domestic Monetary Affairs during the first year of the Ronald Reagan administration and as a financial economist with the U.S. Federal Reserve System.

Leigh B. Boske
Professor of Public Affairs
Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs

Boske's teaching and research interests have focused on transportation policy, economics and finance. His published research has been on national and international transport policy issues, the role of transportation and logistics in international trade, and multimodal/intermodal transport planning.


Veronica Vargas Stidvent
Assistant to the Dean
McCombs School of Business

Stidvent is director of the Hispanic Leadership Initiative and a lecturer in the Department of Business, Government and Society. Prior to joining the university in 2007 Stidvent held a variety of positions in the federal government, including assistant secretary for policy at the U.S. Department of Labor, special assistant to the president for policy, and policy adviser in Office of Management and Budget's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.

Sean Theriault
Associate Professor of Government
College of Liberal Arts

Theriault studies party polarization in  Congress and is currently researching the role of the so-called Gingrich Senators in bringing increased partisanship to the Senate. His 2005 book "The Power of the People" argued that members of Congress remain responsive to their constituents -- an argument he says holds true even in the current debate over the debt ceiling.

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