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Japan Outlook 2019: How Japan’s Economy and Changing Geopolitics will Impact the United States

February 12, 2019 @ 4:30 pm - 7:00 pm

$15 – $20

2019 is already shaping up to be a volatile year for the United States, Japan and the broader Asia-Pacific region.  Economic growth concerns are elevated on both sides of the Pacific, trade tensions are growing, security threats, particularly the unresolved issue of North Korea’s nuclear program, persist, and Japan is expanding its economic and geopolitical role in Asia while US leadership is increasingly called into question.

What happens in Japan over the coming year will have an economic and strategic impact for the United States and the region as a whole. Whether you do business in Japan, have a personal interest in the country, or are just a concerned citizen, please join us on February 12, 4:30-6:00 in San Francisco at the Public Policy Institute of California’s Bechtel Conference Center to hear three Japan experts give their views on the political, economic and security outlook for Japan and prospects for the US-Japan relationship in 2019.

Robert Madsen, is an economist and global strategy consultant, who has many decades of experience working on Japan, China and the broader Asian region.  Sean Creehan is a financial economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, who, among his many responsibilities, is the Fed’s chief Japan watcher here in the Bay Area and has been covering the broader Asian region for two decades.  Larry Greenwood is a former diplomat who has worked on trade and finance issues and Asian regional institutions over the past 40 years.

Please come to take advantage of this unusual opportunity to hear from three of the Bay Area’s top Japan experts give their views on what to expect in 2019.

Speaker Profiles:

Robert Madsen
Global Economics, Finance, Politics and Geopolitics

Robert Madsen is an expert on global economics and politics who advises financial institutions, corporations, governments, and monetary authorities on long-run trends as well as emergencies around the world. From 2004 to 2015 he was a Senior Fellow at MIT’s Center for International Studies. Over that decade, he served with several of Japan’s most prestigious businessmen on the Executive Council at Unison Capital, a premier private equity group; and as a consultant to one of the “super-major” oil companies, which he helped with global and regional forecasting as well as the 2008-2009 financial crisis, fiscal and monetary policies in the major economies, Chinese politics and economics, European debt and banking, and the future of the Eurozone. He has additionally worked as Senior Economist and Advisor at Asia Alternatives; and a retained consultant to Caxton Corporation, a macroeconomic hedge fund.

From 1997 to 2013, Dr. Madsen wrote the Economist Intelligence Unit’s (EIU) Japan Country Reports and contributed to that company’s analysis of China, broader East Asia, and the world. He also did substantial modeling of national debt sustainability, the future of Chinese GDP growth, and other topics amenable to quantitative analysis. Before joining MIT in 2004, he was a Fellow at Stanford University’s Asia Pacific Research Center, Asia Strategist at Soros Private Funds Management, and a limited partner and advisor to the Robert M. Bass Group on its investments in Japan. Still earlier, as a management consultant at McKinsey & Company he focused on international finance, the EP&C industry, and Overseas Chinese business networks in Southeast Asia.

Robert Madsen graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Harvard University’s Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations and then entered Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, where he earned a master’s degree, with distinction, and a doctorate in international relations. He also holds a J.D., with distinction, from Stanford Law School and is a member of the California State Bar. Having spent over a dozen years abroad, he is fluent in Japanese and Mandarin Chinese.


Sean Creehan
Analyst – Northeast Asia, South Asia

Sean Creehan is an analyst in the Country Analysis Unit within the Division of Financial Institution Supervision and Credit (FISC) at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. In that capacity, he conducts research into Asian financial and economic issues and produces analyses of Asian foreign banking organizations. In addition, he monitors financial, regulatory, and economic developments in Asia with a special focus on Northeast Asia and South Asia. His research interests include financial inclusion, cross-border capital flows, and financial technology.

Before joining the Federal Reserve, Mr. Creehan worked as a management and strategy consultant advising clients on their investing and operating activities in Asia. His work has been published in academic and popular publications, including the Harvard International Review, the SAIS Review of International Affairs, and The Atlantic.

Mr. Creehan received a master’s degree in international economics from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and a bachelor’s degree in social studies from Harvard University. He spent a postgraduate year as a Harvard-Yenching Scholar at Peking University and speaks Mandarin Chinese and Indonesian. In addition, he is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) charterholder.


Larry Greenwood
President, Japan Society of Northern California

Larry Greenwood assumed the position of President of the Japan Society of Northern California on March 16, 2016. Prior to joining the Society, Larry worked four years in Tokyo where he managed government relations throughout Asia for MetLife and five years in Manila, Philippines where he co-led the Asian Development Bank and was responsible for about $7 billion of development lending a year. As a career diplomat from 1976-2006, Larry enjoyed two assignments in the US Embassy in Tokyo, postings in the Philippines and Singapore, and a variety of other jobs, including a term as US Ambassador to the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) group. Larry is concurrently Senior Advisor to the Bower Group Asia, a DC-based consulting firm advising corporations on government policy and regulations, and a non-resident Senior Adviser to the Center for Strategic and International Studies, one of the most prominent think tanks on international issues in Washington DC. Larry holds a BA from Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida and an MALD from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in Medford Massachusetts. He speaks and reads Japanese.


4:30 – 5:00 PM   Registration
5:00 – 6:15 PM   Presentation, Q&A
6:15 – 7:00 PM   Networking and Refreshments


This program is presented in partnership with the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco’s Asia Program, the Asia Society Northern California Center, and the Public Policy Institute of California’s Bechtel Conference Center.



February 12, 2019
4:30 pm - 7:00 pm
$15 – $20


Bechtel Conference Center
500 Washington Street
San Francisco, CA 94111 United States
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