1 - Here's a reminder about an important event coming up in just two weeks. We have an outstanding panel lined up for the second in our New Realities series. The topic for this session is the Global Economy. As panelists, we have an economist (Dr. Jody Lipford of Presbyterian College), an expert in Western North Carolina (Scott Hamilton, CEO of Advantage West), and an international businessman (Bob Quattlebaum, former VP of Cryovac who has done extensive business in South America, Europe, and especially China, where he travels frequently for his current business). It promises to be an event you won't want to miss. No reservations are necessary, but mark your calendar.
2 - 2012 started out well for the stock market, with the S&P 500 gaining more in four days than it did for the entire year of 2011. The rub, of course, is that we have another 51 weeks before the tale is finally told on 2012, and there are still a passel of issues to be sorted out in this rapidly changing world. We need to keep a steady hand on the tiller as we steer through these uncharted waters.
3 - In a recent article in Bloomberg Businessweek, MIT economist and Nobel Prize winner Peter Diamond contends that federal policymakers should tackle unemployment before fixing the deficit. As Diamond puts it in the article, "We have an unemployment crisis and a debt problem, and Washington is behaving as if we have a debt crisis and an unemployment problem." Diamond's suggestion for increasing economic activity and reducing unemployment? Government spending on infrastructure and research and development. He reasons that unemployed young people are unable to get the experience they need for long-term meaningful employment, which reduces their income for many years to come, thus hurting the entire economy over the long haul. Putting them to work now would remedy that situation, he claims.
Have an outstanding week!