Maybe, like so many Americans, you have lately found yourself awake at night, plagued by big questions about the economy: Will Europe ever emerge from its debt crisis? Is the stock market rigged against individual investors? Why the heck did I take out those double-digit student loans for that graduate degree I'm not even using?
Grabbing lunch with some of the nation's top financial minds would be an ideal way to get answers. If you've got the cash to pick up the tab, get our your calendar.
Charitybuzz.com is auctioning off a meal in New York City with a cabal of top thinkers, movers and shakers, including Paul Volcker, Mort Zuckerman, Robert Wolf, and Austan Goolsbee. (Proceeds will go to benefit the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights, so there may be a tax write-off in this for you, too.)
Distinguished Economists... Some of Them Sexy
In case those names are less familiar to you than, say, Jon Stewart's or Glenn Beck's, bear in mind that these potential fellow diners are a pretty storied bunch.
- Paul Volcker, most recently chairman of President Obama's Economic Recovery Advisory Board since earlier this year, was chairman of the Federal Reserve under presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan.
- Mort Zuckerman is the chairman and editor-in-chief of U.S. News & World Report (the publication well-known for making you feel inadequate about where you got that expensive graduate degree).
- Robert Wolf, a Salomon Brothers veteran, is the president of UBS Investment Bank (UBS).
- Austan Goolsbee, a professor at the University of Chicago and once chief economist of President Obama's Economic Recovery Advisory Board, was most notably one of Salon.com's 15 Sexiest Men of 2010.
Notions of sexiness aside, if anyone could answer your burning questions about all our financial futures, it's probably these guys. And just imagine the networking possibilities!
At the time of this writing, the top bid for this lunch was $13,000. But expect that number to rise between now and the auction's close on Dec. 15.
For a serious and yet highly readable account of the financial crisis, check out Motley Fool columnist Morgan Housel's $0.99 e-book, Everyone Believes It; Most Will Be Wrong: Motley Thoughts on Investing and the Economy.