Economic Club of New York
The Economic Club of New York is most interested in semi-formal discussions concerning the economy and a variety of social issues. It was instituted in 1907 and has a long tradition of success. The Economic Club of New York was founded by a man named Beatson, who wanted to bring business men together for productive discussions. It is 700 members strong. Membership is granted by a Member recommendation and a seconding of that nomination. New members must have an interest in the topics that are proposed for discussion. Application is first made to the Membership Committee.
The year 2007 saw the formation of the Centennial Society, instituted in an effort to focus on the continued quality among members and speakers for the second century. It also was founded for the future financial security of the ECNY, with people encouraged to donate $10,000 or more. When doing so, a person is considered a Club founder. This call for finances was to secure the future quality of speakers, as the Club ventured into this new era. The ECNY also wanted to make quite certain that it will continue to be known as the top nonpartisan platform in the United States.
According to its website, the Economic Club of New York is a nonprofit, nonpolitical and nonpartisan organization. It does not promote an agenda; it exists solely for the purpose of discussion. It has been termed by Wendell Willkie, a former club chairman, the most nonpartisan group in the United States. The meetings are speaker meetings presenting a topic and a certain structured view. Past speakers have included such people as scientists, generals, bankers, labor leaders and judges. Each speaker presents a view and a questioner is permitted to ask a question. The question is pre-formulated for review, as is the speaker's topic.
Previous guests of honor have included the following elites:
King Abdullah, III
Ben S. Bernanke
James L. Buckley
George H.W. Bush
George W. Bush
Richard B. Cheney
John Foster Dulles
Dwight D. Eisenhower
This small list shows the quality of the speakers invited to the Economic Club of New York. They have prided themselves on consultations and discussions with the "best" of the best, as well as taking pride in the afforded freedom of speech within the organization. There is a definite lack of criticism, and certainly no room for debate, of the guest speakers' points of view. The speaker is selected according to the current issues of the day, his/her areas of expertise and other personal credentials.
People are welcome to visit the club. Whether are from Europe or the United States, visitors are encouraged. The meetings are held in only the finest of halls and ballrooms in New York, and there is always good coverage from the press. They are usually dinner meetings, with an occasional luncheon being held. Members are also encouraged to bring invited guests for the sake of exposure of the Club and its extraordinary merits. This is a private club with individual members only and does not allow for corporate membership.
Obviously, as a gathering place for members of the powers-that-be and venue for issuing dominant social themes, the Economic Club of New York is preeminent. The oft-quoted statement by George H.W. Bush, "My vision of a new world order foresees a United Nations with a revitalized peacekeeping function," was made in 1991 at the club, and in June of that year Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher said the club is "the right place to discuss the economic aspects of President Bush's 'New World Order'."