Pulitzer Prize-Winning Journalist David Wessel Presents "Red Ink"

Union League Club of Chicago's Authors Group

Business Book Roundtable

September 6, 2012: 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM

The new book by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Wessel is a compelling, accessible account of the people and politics behind the federal budget. RED INK details how we got here, where the trillions come from, where they go, and why this can't go on forever.


Union League Club of Chicago
65 West Jackson Boulevard
Chicago, Illinois

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Indoor and valet parking available at customary Loop rates.

Dress code:  business or business casual attire required.  Jeans are not allowed.

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Event Details

For the past few years, the federal budget and the budget deficit—the difference between what the government takes in and what it spends—have been near-constants in the headlines. Yet the scale of the budget is so overwhelming, the numbers so huge, and the jargon so impenetrable that they are nearly impossible for the layperson to comprehend. In RED INK: Inside the High-Stakes Politics of the Federal Budget (on sale July 31), David Wessel cuts through the rhetoric and the lingo to explain from whom the federal government raises revenues, exactly where it spends that money, and why the federal budget is on an unsustainable course. "I wrote RED INK for all the people out there who know the budget and the deficit are important issues, but haven't made it to the end of any Wall Street Journal article on the subject," says Wessel, economics editor for that paper and author of the New York Times bestseller In Fed We Trust. "While this topic pretty much used to be of interest to only politicians and economists, now not a day goes by in which I don't have someone asking me to explain to them the fix we're in."

Weaving facts and figures with anecdotes and the personalities of key actors in the federal budget—including Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and White House chief of staff Jack Lew, as well as Wisconsin Republican representative Paul Ryan and Ohio Republican senator Rob Portman—Wessel tells how the government grew to its current scale and then illustrates where the money actually goes. "Anyone in Washington who is serious about trying to steer the government to the right or left understands the power and import of decisions on taxes and spending embodied in the budget," Wessel says. "The line between fact and opinion, though, is too often blurred in the current debates. The facts aren't political; they're the facts. The choices about what to do about them are political. I've tried to present the facts, so people can make intelligent political choices."


$35.00.  Book is not included.  Books will be available for sale at the event.


Register Online

Reservations are required. No walk-ins allowed.

Online registration will close at 6:00 pm on September 6th. After that time, if seats are still available, see contact information for phone reservations and cash / check payment options.

Deadline: 9/5/2012


11:30 AM-1:30 PM: Reception, noon luncheon, author presentation, followed by Q & A and book signing

Speaker Profiles

David Wessel (Speaker)
Economics Editor, The Wall Street Journal

David Wessel is economics editor for The Wall Street Journal and writes the Capital column, a weekly look at the economy and forces shaping living standards around the world. He appears frequently on National Public Radio's "Morning Edition" and on WETA's "Washington Week." He tweets actively at @davidmwessel.

He is the author, most recently, of "Red Ink: Inside the High Stakes Politics of the Federal Budget" (2012). He wrote the New York Times best-seller "In Fed We Trust: Ben Bernanke's War on the Great Panic" (2009) and, with Bob Davis, "Prosperity" (1998), a look at the American middle class.

Previously, Mr. Wessel was deputy bureau chief of The Wall Street Journal's Washington bureau. David joined The Wall Street Journal in 1984 in Boston, and moved to Washington in 1987. In 1999 and 2000, he served as the newspaper's Berlin bureau chief.

He has worked for the Boston Globe, the Hartford (Conn.) Courant and Middletown (Conn.) Press. A product of the New Haven, Conn, public schools, he graduated from Haverford College in 1975 and was a Knight Bagehot Fellow in Business & Economics Journalism at Columbia University in 1980-81. In 2009, he was awarded an honorary doctorate in humane letters by Eureka College.
David has shared two Pulitzer Prizes, one for Boston Globe stories in 1983 on the persistence of racism in Boston and the other for stories in The Wall Street Journal in 2002 on corporate wrong-doing.

David is a trustee of Temple Sinai in Washington, D.C. He and his wife, Naomi Karp, have two children, Ben and Julia.


Philip Bretton 

(312) 343-9928

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