Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Marquette University Economic Leadership Forum (video)

The Marquette University Economic Leadership Forum was held on January, 27. A WISN-TV news clip of the event can be viewed at:

Marquette's new James H. Keyes Dean of Business Administration, Dr. Linda M. Salchenberger, moderated a panel of industry and faculty leaders including:
  • Dr. Abdur Chowdhury, Professor, Economics
  • Dr. David Clark, Chair/Professor, Economics
  • Dr. David Krause, Director, Applied Investment Management Program
  • Jim Imhoff, Bus Ad '66, CEO, First Weber Group Inc.
  • Mary Ellen Stanek, Arts '78, Managing Director & Director of Asset Management, Robert W. Baird & Co.

The experts provided insights on the economic challenges and opportunities that face Americans in the year ahead - locally, nationally and globally. There was a considerable variation in the viewpoints of the panelists. Dr. Krause was more pessimistic than the others about the likelihood of an economic recovery in 2009.

Dr. Krause referred to Dan Fuss' metaphor about the U.S. economy experiencing a strong hurricane. He indicated that the second half of the storm will be felt in 2009 with the consumer spending well below recent levels.

He said, "Even with lower mortgage rates and softer housing prices, the tighter credit standards and loss of confidence suggest to me that home prices have further to fall in 2009 and that the consumer will be AWOL. I say this because I believe homeowners, on average, have used their houses as retirement accounts and as ATMs. Many Americans have taken out second mortgages and home equity lines of credit to finance excess consumption. They cannot do this because of tightened credit conditions and a deterioration of housing prices. With 401ks at 60% of where they were a year ago and the job uncertainty, I see the consumer cutting back dramatically."