At MIT Sloan, State Street CEO talks election, recovery

Published: November 2, 2012

Joseph HooleyState Street CEO Joseph Hooley speaks at MIT Sloan

The country’s ongoing financial problems are “eminently solvable” and will require strong leadership from the winner of Tuesday’s presidential election, State Street Corporation CEO Joseph “Jay” Hooley said in a talk at MIT Sloan Thursday.

“This country is going to have a chance to redefine its purpose and its mission going forward,” Hooley, who is also chairman and president at State Street, said about the election. “The winner is going to immediately face this fiscal cliff.”

As the leader of State Street, a Boston-based financial services company with $23.4 trillion in assets under custody and administration, Hooley is a member of the Fed’s Federal Advisory Council, a group of bank leaders that meets quarterly in Washington, D.C. to advise the Fed’s Board of Governors.

Hooley, who discussed the characteristics of leadership with MIT Sloan students, shared reservations about QE3, the third round of the Fed’s quantitative easing stimulus measure, announced in September. But he backed the Fed’s broader recovery strategy.

“Overall, I’m completely supportive of aggressive monetary policy in order to stimulate growth in the economy,” he said.

He also talked about meeting with central bank governors in Asia who, while expressing concern about the European financial crisis, have told Hooley that from their perspective “the U.S. will be fine. The U.S. economy is resilient.”

The comments about the economy came during an hour of leadership advice and a question and answer session as part of Hooley’s visit for the Dean’s Innovative Leader Series, MIT Sloan’s premier executive speaker series, which brings business leaders from diverse industries around the globe to campus.

Hooley also discussed the importance of integrity for both individuals and corporations, as well as the challenge of assembling a trustworthy team. He said integrity and a strong team were critical for him during the tensest parts of the 2008 economic collapse.

“When I think about those moments, what was most important to me was to be surrounded by people that I trusted,” he said.

“I believe integrity is a binary characteristic,” he said. “You either have it or you don’t.”