After the 2016 Presidential election, Stephens Inc. CEO Warren Stephens was determined to do something to turn around public opinion on “capitalism.” Citing the performance in the Democratic primaries of avowed socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, Stephens said Americans needed a better understanding of how capitalism and the free enterprise system helped shape the country.
A video series, “This is Capitalism,” is part of Stephens’ answer to promote capitalism and its benefits – the ability to help anyone from any circumstance improve their lives and society, in his words.
“Somehow capitalism is a greedy, zero-sum game that people who have an ‘in’ can do well and people who don’t cannot. Really, nothing could be further from the truth,” Stephens said in an exclusive Talk Business & Politics interview nearly eight months ago.
“Now, I freely admit, as government and business seems to have gotten closer over the years — you know, the phrase ‘crony capitalism’ does have some significance and real meaning, but that’s not what we’re talking about. We’re 100% opposed to that, crony capitalism, and 100% supportive of capitalism. Let’s see where the ideas go, and how people do,” Stephens said.
In the first wave of videos through his series website, the stories of entrepreneurs such as Sam Walton, Helena Rubinstein, Jack Stephens and free market founder Alexander Hamilton were featured.
Now, Stephens is debuting “The Future of Capitalism,” a film that explores the challenges and opportunities associated with the free-market system through the perspective of three leading socioeconomic experts:
- Glenn Hubbard: A renowned economist and current the Dean of Columbia University Graduate School of Business. He served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Treasury from 1991 to 1993; and as President George W. Bush’s chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors.
- John Hope Bryant: The founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Operation HOPE, Inc., a non-profit aimed at teaching financial literacy and economics. His work includes a four-year term on the U.S. Community Development Advisory Board under President George W. Bush. More recently, he was on President Obama’s Advisory Council for Financial Capability.
- Seema Hingorani: The founder and chairman of SevenStep Capital and a senior advisor at Crestview Partners. Seema is also the founder of Girls Who Invest, a non-profit committed to increasing the number of women in portfolio and asset management. She is the former Chief Investment Officer of the City of New York Retirement Systems.
Also, the website plans to roll out new biographies, including features on Bernie Marcus, co-founder of Home Depot; Eddie Brown, founder and president of Brown Capital Management; and Josie Natori, CEO and founder of the Natori Company.