Stephen E. Usher

Public Speaker on Contemporary

Financial & Economic Events

Contact Information:

Brief Biography:

Stephen E. Usher -- Ph.D. economist with expertise in money, banking, and financial markets – received his doctorate in 1978 from the University of Michigan.  He served as a staff economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York from 1978 to 1980.  His tenure overlapped with Paul Volcker who was president of the NY Fed until President Carter appointed him Fed Chairman in August 1979.  After running a small publishing company (Anthroposophic Press) from 1980-1988, Mr. Usher joined a premiere international firm of consulting economists (NERA) and specialized in securities and financial markets.  Mr. Usher established his own economic consulting business in 1999.

Seminar on the Current Economic Crisis:

A keen observer of economic and financial markets, Mr. Usher watched deteriorating conditions during recent months with interest and concern.  At the request of acquaintances, he began offering short seminars on the current financial crisis in September (2008).  One goal of the seminar is to help participants form a better understanding of what is actually happening.  This includes an examination of faulty lending practices of banks and real estate loan brokers, the securitization of mortgages, and the role of credit default swaps and other derivative securities.  Major events in the unfolding drama of recent months are also scrutinized.  As understanding is a ray of light for the human soul, shedding light on the recent traumatic events is the first step to coping with the reality. 

A second goal of the seminar is to try to understand what lies ahead.  Of course, no one has a crystal ball, but it is possible to see where the stresses and tensions in the current situation lie, and from that to form some idea of what might develop.  In particular, it is important to keep an eye on the value of the US dollar both in terms of the inflation rate and other major currencies like the Euro and the Yen.  Another serious question is how much will real economic activity contract?  Thinking about such issues should help seminar participants plan for the future.

The third and last goal of the seminar is to consider deeper questions about the organization and structure of contemporary civilization in light of these developments.  Wall Street folklore, for example, holds that greed and fear drive markets.  It is certainly not difficult to find both these emotions at work in the current crisis and that leads to a question: Is it conceivable that something else could drive our economic life?  Certainly, no progress can be made if such questions are not asked.  Wrestling with such questions gives rise to hope for the future.

Seminar Program

Mr. Usher offers three programs:

Keynote Address (up to 90 minutes)
Short Seminar (3 hours)
Full Day (6 hours)

Please call or e-mail for rates and availability.

Mr. Usher: An Excellent Speaker

Mr. Usher is an experienced speaker who has lectured hundreds of times in business, cultural, and academic settings.  He has also served as an expert witness in Federal and State Courts.  As a Teaching Fellow at the University of Michigan, Mr. Usher taught principles of economics and econometrics.  He taught introductory economics courses at Rockland Community College in New York and principles of money, banking and financial markets at SUNY as adjunct faculty. 



“Stephen Usher was an economist at the New York Fed and is a very knowledgeable speaker on the financial markets, and on the causes on the financial crisis.” – Tiemen Woutersen, Ph.D. Economist, Johns Hopkins University

"Steve Usher provides an outstanding analysis of the causes and consequences of the current economic collapse.  I wish every investor (if not every American) had an opportunity to hear his lecture." – Clint Bledsoe, Esq.

"I really thought Mr. Usher's seminar was very deep but explained with simple examples that all levels of investment acumen could understand.  He did a great chronological flow of events leading up to this present world financial crisis.” – Roger Zessin, Senior Vice President, Wachovia Securities.

“Dr. Usher’s depiction of recent, dramatic economic events has been very well received by audiences, eager to clarify their grasp of what has happened and what needs to be done.” – David Booth, Ph.D., educator and mathematician.

“With refreshing agility, Steve constructs order from chaos... [He] takes current events that are history in the making and provides a comprehensive perspective from which to make our own educated decisions.” – Kathleen Burnette, editor.

Stephen is an engaging speaker. He delivered a lot of complicated information in a clear and concise way. It was all relevant and valuable. I would recommend his lectures to anyone interested in a more complete understanding of current or historical global economics.” – Paula Fracasso, Development Director, Austin Waldorf School



Rudolf Steiner: Social and Political Thought, edited and introduced by Stephen E. Usher, Rudolf Steiner Press, London, 2003
“A Comparables Approach to Measuring Cash-Flow-at-Risk for Non-Financial Firms”, with Jeremy Stein, Daniel LaGattuta and Jeff Youngen, Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Winter 2001
“Cashflow-at-Risk and Financial Policy for Electricity Companies in the New World Order”, with Jeremy Stein, Daniel LaGattuta, Michael Tennican, and Jeff Youngen, The Electricity Journal, December 2000.
 “Derivatives in Securities Class Actions”, in Litigation Services Handbook: The Role of the Accountant as Expert, 2000 Cumulative Supplement, Roman L. Weil, Michael J. Wagner, and Peter B. Frank, eds., John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
“Insuring Earnings: A Quest Worth Pursuing?” Viewpoint, The Marsh & McLennan Companies Quarterly, Number 1, 1999, with Marty Scherzer
“Modeling Risk in the U.S. Business Cycle,” NERA Working Paper #33, November 1998, with Daniel LaGattuta.
"Derivatives in Securities Class Actions, " NERA Working Paper #31, June 1996.
"The Emerging Asset Class: Insurance Risk," A Special Report from Guy Carpenter & Company, Inc., with Ken Froot, Aaron Stern and Brian Murphy, 1995.
"Catastrophe Exposures And The Capital Markets," with Ken Froot, Aaron Stern and Brian Murphy, October 1994.
“The Fundamental Social Law”, The Threefold Review, Summer/Fall 1993.
"An Economist's View of the Proposed Profit Interval Test," BNA Transfer Pricing Report, May 13, 1992.
"A New Approach To Valuing Callable Warrants," NERA Working Paper, 1991.
"Some Notes on Option and Warrant Pricing."
"A Mixed Policy Approach to Euro-Market Regulation,” Federal Reserve Bank of New York Working Papers.
Consumer Aspirations: A Dynamic Approach, Ph.D. Dissertation.