The M&A East Conference, hosted by ACG Philadelphia, delivered a mix of stimulating keynote addresses from Moody’s Analytics chief economist Mark Zandi, presidential adviser David Gergen and ABC News’ Bob Woodruff.

Moody’s Analytics chief economist Mark Zandi offered middle-market dealmakers the best news, forecasting sunny skies for the economy, beginning in 2013, regardless of who wins the presidential election. Watch our video conversation with Zandi, in which he advises dealmakers to get aggressive, and read our coverage of his keynote.

David Gergen has served as an adviser to four U.S. presidents (Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton) and currently appears as a senior political analyst for CNN. At M&A East, he described his dream presidential candidate as one with a moderate-liberal social policy and an economic policy like former Governor Mitt Romney’s (R-Mass.).

ABC News broadcast reporter Bob Woodruff shared with the audience his experiences suffering and recovering from injuries caused by an improvised explosive device while embedded with the U.S. 4th Infantry Division in Iraq in 2006. He explained how countries including North Korea and Myanmar (Burma), while historically hostile, are transitioning into nations with more investment opportunities now that they've become more open to business and commerce with Western countries.

Woodruff also predicted that economic conditions in Iran, such as hyperinflation, are likely to spur an uprising. He also talked about how technology is making warfare symmetrical and warned of the potential for other countries to manipulate economic conditions in the U.S.

For more coverage of the conference, watch assistant managing editor Anthony Noto’s video interview with ACG Philadelphia president John Lee.

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