“He taught me common sense—economic common sense,” says veteran Morgan Stanley wealth advisor Bill Burke ’64, who recently made a significant contribution to SCU in appreciation of what Belotti has done “for me, my family and my clients.”
Like many others, the engineering major from Pasadena had enrolled in a basic economics course to fulfill an elective. Belotti’s lectures made so much sense that he swapped engineering for a degree in economics.
“It was just his way of being able to explain, in simple ways, what is complicated to a lot of people,” recalls Burke. “He made economics seem logical to me.”
Even now, says the Oxnard, California-based financial advisor—whose son Brian Burke ’92 attended Belotti’s class—whenever he sits down with his clients, “Mario Belotti is talking through me to them.”
It helped that the economics professor often made his lectures personal, recalls Frances Boscacci ’81.
“He told stories that really drove home the point for me,” says Boscacci of the examples Belotti drew from his tough life growing up under Fascist Italy, immigrating to the U.S. where he worked as a quasi-cowboy, kitchen helper, pizza maker, and restaurant chef, among other jobs, before becoming a professor, U.S. citizen, economic consultant, speaker, and investor.
The entertaining lessons underscoring economic concepts and plain old perseverance have served the native Venezuelan well in her careers, from international banking to real estate–even to our current locked-down lives.
“Everyone today is talking about (flattening) the curve,” says Boscacci of the term used to describe efforts to stagger the number of new coronavirus cases over a longer period to allow people better access to medical care. “He taught us that—about economic equilibrium—and the pricing fundamentals of economics, which really are based on theories of supply and demand.”
Economics major David Bustos ’15 still re-reads the notes he took in Belotti’s classes, the only ones he saved from his four years at SCU.
“Because I knew they would be helpful in my everyday life,” he explains about his stash of scribbles. He says Belotti’s Money and Banking course, particularly the lectures on loans and investments, have already paid off.
“When the government needs money, it buys back Treasury notes and bonds,” says Bustos, an account manager at a cybersecurity company. “That often makes it an optimum time to sell.”