SFC Welcomes Home McCabe ’65 Lecture
For the first time since the series’ inception in 2019, the Professor John J. McCabe ’65 Lecture was held on the St. Francis College (SFC) campus. On April 27, an in-person and virtual audience listened intently to a conversation between McCabe and Alfred A. DelliBovi about mergers and acquisitions through the lens of macroeconomics. They touched on debt markets, home loan banks and the current overall economic state of affairs. There was a lively Q&A session toward the end.
“The enthusiasm and interaction displayed by the students, alumni and guests was truly inspiring,” said McCabe, who is not only an SFC graduate but also a former faculty member. He is one of the nation’s foremost experts in corporate governance and shareholder rights and their impact on wealth creation and the capital formation process in the United States. An advisor to several U.S. Presidents, McCabe’s career includes tenures at Bankers Trust, Sterling Manhattan Corporation, Shay Assets Management and Flushing Bank.
To introduce the event, SFC chief engagement and external affairs officer Monique Moore Pryor, Esq., noted, “We have created successful business leaders for decades. A lot of it is because of the foundation the Franciscan Brothers instilled in giving back and creating social mobility, but also, so many former students give credit to John McCabe. We continue to let the world know this is the place to create those rulebreakers, those disruptors.”
In explaining what the discussion would include, McCabe said, “The essential purpose of a capitalistic society is to create wealth and capital so that each generation would have a higher living standard.” The ideal time to create wealth and capital is when inflation is low. He’s still not sure that we’re currently in a recession brought on by the pandemic but posed the question to DelliBovi, the former president of the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York and current chairman of the board of directors at Flushing Bank. DelliBovi responded that, over the years, he’s learned the economy is cyclical.
“You want to have your money working for you regardless of whether it’s in good times or bad times. Having your wealth working and appreciating is going to work to your benefit,” DelliBovi said. “If there’s a recession, it’s going to end, and there’s going to be a booming economy again. I don’t think we should worry too much about what’s going to happen in the next six months or 18 months. You just have to be prepared.”
McCabe noted that most people aren’t heavily invested in the stock market; the most prominent investment is in real estate. DelliBovi shared some history about mortgages. That segued into a discussion about bonds. Then, both men shared historical stories, some serious and others humorous.
“The ideal time to create wealth and capital is when inflation is under control,” said McCabe. Right now, inflation is rising. There are also international concerns, he added, like the situation in Ukraine, and there is a supply chain problem. Also, there are problems in the country that need to be considered. “There are a lot of things we have to do, and we can’t do it the old-fashioned way,” McCabe underscored.
Audience members then asked McCabe and DelliBovi some lively questions, which they enthusiastically answered. Some focused on productivity and people working from home. “I was very impressed with the students I met,” said DelliBovi. “The students in the audience were alive with a thirst for facts that make knowledge. Their curiosity is refreshing and real. They possess exactly the qualities I looked for when I was a CEO hiring talent.”
One of those students, MK McKendry, was pleasantly surprised by how much she enjoyed the experience. “In the lecture, they spoke about the history of some financial recessions and what kind of economy we are living in today,” said McKendry, a Communication Arts major with a focus on digital media and a member of the women’s water polo team. “If you are interested in macroeconomics, I would definitely look into attending another of Professor McCabe’s lectures.”