One-on-One with Economist Dr. Raymond Jallow
Economist Dr. Raymond Jallow has been Chairman of Jallow International Ltd. in Los Feliz since 1981. The Baghdad native relocated to the United States 50 years ago to attend college in Los Angeles. At UCLA’s Anderson School of Management he earned his PhD in Business Economics and also studied Finance, Accounting, Quantitative Methods along with Statistics and Management. Soon after, he landed a job with California Bank then moved on to serving as Chief Economist and Senior Vice President for United California Bank which became First Interstate Bank then merged with Wells Fargo. Jallow was elected the first President of a then-new chapter of the National Association of Business Economists for which he served for two years. He started his own company and now he is the Chairman of Jallow International Ltd., doing so for more than three decades. Over the years he has also been a private advisor regarding economic policy and other issues to several U.S. Presidents including Nixon, Reagan, Ford, Carter and George W. Bush.
In January 2009, shortly after President Obama’s inauguration, Dr. Jallow introduced his economic plan and had a very energetic dialog with the Obama Administration as how to reverse the U.S. financial meltdown and the recession of 2008. Dr Jallow claims that if President Obama had the political courage to sponsor the plan (instead of the Health Care legislation) the U.S. economy would be booming now with many more jobs created over the past four years.
How did you become interested in economics?
In Baghdad I started doing business while I was in high school, buying and selling two important things at that time which were imported from abroad: cigarettes and soap products. When I came over to the U.S., I attended USC, received my Masters Degree in Business Administration, and was elected International Student Body President. After that I enrolled in UCLA Anderson School of Management and got my PhD. I worked for over 20 years as a Chief Economist, Senior Vice President, Director of Research and the Principal Spokesman for United California Bank.
For the past 30 years you have been involved in investment banking.
Since I left my [prior] employment in 1981, I have had a small company named Jallow International Ltd.; I am the Chairman, with a small staff along with many supporting experts. I help companies to raise funds, to go public and help others to invest their wealth in emerging companies as well as other unique investments. I traveled the world lecturing on economics, finance and investments in major capitals of Asia and Europe. Recently I traveled to the rich Gulf six countries with the largest oil production, resources and $2 trillion cash to be invested. The six countries include: Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates.
I am also involved in many other activities: I am a Chairman or Member of the Board of organizations involved in cultural activities, educational institutions, professional societies and several charitable associations. For example, I served for 25 years on the Several Institute Board which is a large contributor to Loyola Marymount University, USC, Pepperdine University, Pomona College and several organizations of hospitals, churches, cultural and scientific projects.
With your knowledgeable economic background, how do you think Los Angeles is doing?
Los Angeles has several advantages: it is the world capital for the entertainment industry, repeatedly traveled to by tourists and has many outstanding universities and colleges. These features attract people from around the world as tourists, as students, for business and large investments. My activities cover many of these developments.
How can Los Angeles use its natural resources best in your opinion?
Los Angeles needs to establish a Global reach to maximize the benefits for its residents by bringing more students into the colleges here, more tourists into the region of Southern California, more business development and more international investments in housing, in companies and by encouraging joint ventures with international companies. Los Angeles should be a ‘Global City’; it is the center of Los Angeles County with more than 10 million in population which generates a very large economic production and a strong financial power. Its economic size exceeds any of the 2nd 100 member countries of the UN. The LA City–County area needs to plan better for the future to improve its infrastructure and to provide incentive for U.S. and international corporations to locate in the area. The City-County leaderships need to put more effort in planning for the next five to ten years, in addition to the day-to-day needs of the area.
You were an advisor to several U.S. Presidents…
Yes and I have met with a few of them. When Ronald Reagan was California governor I was an advisor to his Administration at that time. When he became President I consulted with members of his cabinet on the economy. Prior to that, I helped President Nixon’s Administration and was invited to the White House several times, was offered four or five different positions over the years, including Chief Economist, Energy Tsar and International Trade Chief. I also had advised President Gerald Ford and met with President Bill Clinton on special occasions.