Wall Street and Capitol Hill are in different cities, but where dialog on major economic issues is concerned, they might as well be on different continents. Many corporate executives suspect that policy makers do not understand business. And government officials, for their part, often view business people as being short-sighted and more concerned with profits than the pressures of public policy.
To bridge this gap between New York City and Washington, D.C., the Wharton School -- located appropriately midway in Philadelphia -- recently launched the Wharton Public Policy Initiative. On March 7, the Initiative hosted its first major event, the Wharton Economic Summit, in New York City. "Our goal was to bring together business leaders and policy makers and talk about major sectors of the economy," says Mark Duggan, faculty director of the Wharton Public Policy Initiative. "We wanted to shine a light on a path forward for the U.S. economy that will be important for future growth." Marc Rowan, co-founder of Apollo Global Management and chair of the Summit, adds: "Think tanks are funded by the left or the right. We are an independent party, and we want to show that business can be a resource for policy makers."