Welcome to another edition of PowerTalk. I’m your host Chris Versace, editor of the investment newsletter PowerTrend Profits, and these are my 1-1 conversations with the movers and shakers in the business world that take you behind the scenes and in the know. Be sure to check out ChrisVersace.com for more on PowerTrends and past editions of PowerTalk.

This week I had the pleasure of talking with John Allison, President & CEO of the Cato Institute. Unlike many other firms located in Washington, D.C., Cato is neither democratic nor republican in nature, but rather it is a public policy research organization — a think tank – dedicated to the principles of individual liberty, limited government, free markets and peace. That alone is great reason to talk with John Allison, but it get’s even better.

Prior to becoming the President & CEO of the Cato Institute, John was Chairman and CEO of BB&T Corporation (BBT),  the 10th largest financial services holding company headquartered in the United States. During his tenure as CEO from 1989 to 2008, BB&T grew from $4.5 billion to $152 billion in assets. John’s also written a fantastic book —  “The Financial Crisis and the Free Market Cure: Why Pure Capitalism is the World Economy's Only Hope.” Not only did it receive a number of rave review, but it sat at the top of the Wall Street Journal’s best seller list. 

Over the course of our conversation, John and I talk the big talk on a variety of topics including why a sense and understanding of liberty is essential, why regulation is bad for the market,  what we can do to promote a healthy free market and end unemployment in America. We’ll even touch on the Federal Reserve, an organization that some say is only helping fuel the problems we are experiencing today.