Bill Walton

Senior Fellow, Center for Wealth, Poverty, and Morality

Bill Walton is a Senior Fellow of the Discovery Institute’s Center on Wealth, Poverty, and Morality and Managing Editor, Host of The Bill Walton Show which features in-depth conversations with leaders, entrepreneurs and thinkers who offer fresh perspectives on money, culture and politics.

Bill has an extensive background in leadership roles as an executive, investor and entrepreneur where he has been involved with starting, leading and financing established businesses, start-ups, art, music, education and theater organizations, policy and political action groups and feature films.

In 2016 and 2017, Bill worked in the Donald J. Trump Presidential Transition Team as Leader of the Agency Action and Landing Teams for all the federal economic agencies including Treasury and the IRS, Commerce, USTR, SEC, Social Security, FCC and other independent financial agencies.

Bill served as chairman of the board and CEO of Allied Capital Corporation (NYSE) from 1997 to 2009, and as chairman until 2010 when the company was successfully merged with Ares Capital. Under his leadership Allied Capital grew from $600 million in managed assets to $9 billion. Its private equity portfolio held a majority interest in over 20 companies with aggregate revenues of over $5 billion.  As CEO, he and his management team helped hundreds of entrepreneurs and management teams grow and expand their businesses.

Today, Bill also manages Rappahannock Ventures, a private equity firm and Rush River Entertainment.

Through Rush River, Bill was a producer of Max Rose, starring Jerry Lewis, which was released in August 2016 with an early cut screened at Cannes Film Festival in 2013. A second film, The Ticket, starring Dan Stevens, was selected as one of only 10 films for Tribeca Film Festival’s 2016 U.S. Narrative Competition.

Earlier in his career, Bill worked as a Managing Director of Butler Capital Corporation, a private equity firm; as the personal investment advisor to William S. Paley, founder of CBS;  Senior Vice President in Lehman Brothers Kuhn Loeb’s Merger and Acquisition Group and Vice President of Continental Illinois Bank.

Bill has served as a board member of the Heritage Foundation, American Conservative Union (CPAC), American Enterprise Institute, Media Research Center, Council for National Policy, Committee on the Present Danger: China, US Chamber of Commerce, National Venture Capital Association, National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship and the Financial Services Roundtable. In 2015 he served as Chairman of the Tea Party Patriots.

He has also served on the boards of Africa ASAP, The National Symphony Orchestra (President), Kelley School of Business (Chairman), Wolf Trap Center for the Performing Arts (Executive Committee and Chairman of the Finance Committee) and the National Gallery of Art (Collectors Committee and Trustees Council).

With his wife Sarah, Bill also founded two for-profit education service providers: Language Odyssey which taught Spanish and French to K through 6th grade elementary school students in 12 states, and SuccessLab which taught reading to inner city public school children in Chicago.

Educated in public schools in Indianapolis, Bill served in the U.S. Army as an enlisted specialist at the Pentagon.  He completed his B.S. from Indiana University and his M.B.A. (Beta Gamma Sigma) from Indiana’s Kelley School of Business.

A Life member of NRA and MENSA, he lives with his wife, Sarah and their three terriers in Washington, VA. He is President of the Washington Volunteer Fire and Rescue Company.

Archives

The Bill Walton Show: Silver Linings

As we wrap up one of the most chaotic years in modern memory, members of the BWS team gather virtually to talk about the impact of COVID-19 on our lives. What will the future hold when it comes to masks? The economy? Life in general? While 2020 is one most of us would like to forget, we manage to find several “silver linings” heading into 2021.

The Bill Walton Show: Reality Economics 101 with Don Boudreaux and John Tamny

On this week’s episode of The Bill Walton Show, Discovery Senior Fellow Bill Walton has a wide ranging conversation about all things economic with Donald Boudreaux, best-selling author, professor of economics at George Mason University who writes the popular blog Cafe Hayek and John Tamny, editor of Real Clear Markets, an editor for Forbes Magazine and the author of “The End of Work” and “They’re Both Wrong.” Even if, or maybe especially, you think economics is too abstract or arcane or harsh, this is a fresh and engaging take that everyone can learn from.

Masks and Scarves and Overdraft Protection with Arnold Kling

This week I sought out Arnold Kling to learn more about some of his innovative ideas to deal with the health, economic and social fallout from the Covid-19 crisis. Arnold, who blogs at arnoldkling.com/blog, author of “Specialization and Trade” and “The Three Languages of Politics” and with a PhD in Economics from MIT is one of America’s more original and penetrating thinkers.

The Bill Walton Show: “Is War with China Inevitable?” with Adm. James Stark and Dr. Stefan Halper

In China, the U.S. confronts an adversary that saw itself as the Middle Kingdom –the center of the universe –for 3,000 years, then endured a century of humiliation and now seeks to return to what it sees as its rightful place in the world. Join Bill Walton as he and veteran Washington foreign policy experts Dr. Stefan Halper and Adm. James Stark discuss China’s comprehensive program to dominate its region and to challenge the U.S for cultural, economic and military superiority.

The Bill Walton Show: “Burn the Business Plan” with Carl Schramm

An entire industry – mostly government-funded – has sprung up around the idea of creating entrepreneurs. Don’t buy any of it. Don’t buy college. Don’t buy business incubators. Don’t buy mentors – you probably know more about what it takes to succeed in your business than they do. Start the business.

The Bill Walton Show: “What is Venture Capital and How Does It Help Drive Cutting Edge Innovation” with Dan Mindus and Brett Gibson.

Technology is creating unprecedented wealth the world over, and venture capitalists find themselves in the midst of the best opportunities. It’s an exciting time. There are about $60 billion invested per year in US firms by venture capitalists, and my guests Dan Mindus and Brett Gibson, founders of NextGen, say another $100 billion or more is sitting on the sidelines ready to jump in. At the same time, there is so much progress going on, so few barriers to entry, that opportunities are exploding as well. Professional venture capital investors are on the cutting edge of bold new innovations – like the hyper loop trains, drone delivery services, and more. Or, we all hate waiting to see a doctor. Soon, you might not have to. Telehealth would allow you to take routine tests at home and consult with your doctor from your sofa. And it will make doctors and hospitals more financially stable. On “The Bill Walton Show,” we discuss many of these exciting ideas and the power of venture capital to help make them a reality. In the old days, venture capitalists sought to identify winners. These days, they seek to help create them

The Bill Walton Show: How American Medical Insurance has Failed to Keep Pace with Modern Medicine with John Steele Gordon

Did you know there was no health insurance until 1930 and that 90 percent of today’s medical care did not even exist in 1950? Yet, health insurance has not evolved to match the innovation or the demand. On this week’s edition of “The Bill Walton Show,” economic author John Steele Gordon and I discuss how our antiquated health insurance system has utterly failed to keep pace with modern medicine, how our healthcare system became such a tangled, costly mess and where we can find simple, free market solutions.

“One Nation Ungovernable” with Wayne Crews

By some estimates, the cost of government regulation in the U.S. exceeds $2 trillion. An amazing number. And while we’re paying a fortune for existing regulations, major new ones are coming out at the rate of 3,000 per year, so fast that the White House can only do a cost-benefit analysis on less than one half of one percent of them. But there’s hope. This week on "The Bill Walton Show," Wayne Crews of CEI joins me to explain how to return the U.S. to the path of greater freedom and why “walling off the future” is critical to preserving as much liberty as possible.

“China’s Three Warfares” with Dr. Stefan Halper and Admiral James Stark

China is a mass of contradictions. Intellectual property thief. America’s largest trading partner. Home to 476 billionaires. Choked with air and water pollution. A rapidly aging population. And leadership eager to project its national will. China is plowing ahead with what one of my guests, Dr. Stefan Halper, call its “three warfares.” What are these and what can the U.S. do about them? Effective confrontation of this threat begins with an understanding that China views itself as the “middle kingdom” and why Beijing will only honor an agreement as long as it’s gaining an advantage. Admiral James Stark and Dr. Halper join me to break it all down on “The Bill Walton Show.”

Trumponomics with Steve Moore

Ronald Reagan was a winner who believed in the boundless potential of America. Sound familiar? It's one of the reasons Donald Trump is succeeding despite the relentless criticism. He "has a finger on the pulse of millions and millions and millions of Americans." He beat 17 other candidates to get elected and then outsmarted Congress and his own advisers to get a much better tax bill. Learn how Trump gets what he wants on "The Bill Walton Show" with guest Steve Moore.