August 17, 2022

“Hope Is Not A Policy, But Neither Is Despair” Featuring Ambassador David Satterfield, Rice University’s Baker Institute

Today we had the honor of visiting with Ambassador David Satterfield, who recently assumed the role of Director at Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy. Ambassador Satterfield's extensive foreign service career includes over four decades of diplomatic and leadership experience in the United States and overseas in the Near East and Europe, notably serving as Ambassador to Lebanon and Turkey and Charge D'Affaires in Iraq and Egypt. We had the unique opportunity to host the discussion in Secretary James A. Baker III's office at the Baker Institute. We were thrilled to meet the Ambassador, get his global perspectives, and hear about his vision for the Baker Institute. For those of you who don't know, the Baker Institute has been named one of the leading non-partisan think tanks in the country.

With the Ambassador's background, our conversation had a decidedly international focus. We touched on the State Department's increased advocacy for American business beginning in the 1980s, the Department's market orientation and desire for market stability, the value of principled pragmaticism, the ongoing crisis in Ukraine and the implications for other countries that are bracing for an extended conflict, the United States' response to the crisis, the financial and geopolitical implications of limited OPEC excess supply, food price inflation, the energy transition, and more. It was really thrilling to sit with someone for whom no geopolitical question was too far afield. We loved the session.

In our upfront discussion, Mike Bradley shared a natural gas and crude oil commodity update and flagged a few key items including Aramco's half year conference call, Russian EU sanctions, global SPR draining, OPEC underproducing quotas, and Iranian sanctions. Colin Fenton continued the discussion with macro insights on markets and program trading, a warning to look at real economies instead of financial metrics, comments on the S&P 500 200-moving day average, and other insights on the current inflationary environment.

We had an excellent visit with Ambassador Satterfield and can't thank him enough for the opportunity. Thanks to you all for watching!

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