Naked City

Inman's Inside Track

As a former U.S. intelligent official, retired Admiral Bobby Inman is accustomed to relying on gut instinct to guide him through uncertain times. Inman drew on similar instincts Tuesday when he stepped up to the podium, glanced over his notes, and offered his "gut" analysis of today's economy. And if the lunch crowd -- an engrossed audience of 165 business and tech leaders -- had come to the Shoreline Grill looking for a glimmer of hope from the good admiral, they surely must have left with heavy hearts. Inman had little good news to share, except to say that maybe things will bounce back in 2003. Until then, entrepreneurs trying to kick-start new companies should look not to investors but to families and friends for support, and laid-off tech workers may want to consider flipping burgers if they intend to ride things out in Austin. On a cheerier note, Inman believes Austin is poised to take off in a big way once the economy bounces back in 18 months or so -- barring any other catastrophic events that rival the attacks on the World Trade Center.

For himself, though, Inman is no slouch when it comes to making a buck. Since joining the civilian ranks in the early Eighties, the former national security director and ex-deputy director of the CIA has raised his profile considerably in the business world -- as a former CEO of two companies, and a current board member of several corporations. These days, he invests in choice companies and enjoys a tenured professor's life at UT-Austin, where he holds the prestigious LBJ centennial chair in national policy. The law firm Jenkins & Gilchrist sponsored Inman's talk as part of their corporate technology luncheon series.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More by Amy Smith
Well-Behaved? Let's Assume Not.
Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis: The Untold Story
Barbara Leaming's new biography makes the case that Jackie O suffered from PTSD

Nov. 28, 2014

Section 8 Reopens
Section 8 Reopens
Hurry up ... and wait!

Oct. 3, 2014

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle