5:04 - Several panelists, including Tom Stinson, MN State Economist, are unable to attend due to the weather. It looks like the weather tonight will be as gloomy as the economic outlook for 2009. Still, and excellent panel of Economists.
5:10 - Remarks from the SCSU President: Yada Yada
5:15 - Rich MacDonald, Macro Prof at SCSU is speaking
5:19 - Unemployment expected to hit 9% by end of 2009 - Ouch...and I should note that this outlook "could deteriorate very rapidly"
5:25 - MacDonald asks "When will this thing (recession) end? He says if you ask 10 different economists, you will get 10 different answers. Either way, 2009 will be a rough year."
5:28 - Just to point out how economic forecasts can differ greatly, in January 2008, people predicted the U.E. rate would be 5.2% as of January 2009. Yeah, they were only off by over 2 million jobs, and the current U.E. rate is 7.6%.
5:30 - At least by 2010 should be better, (or check previous post at 5:28 to see how accurate predictions on the economy are).
5:32 - The AP syllabus and the McConnell text state that there are 3 tools of monetary policy... and MacDonald says now there are 11. So we will study 3 in class this year.
5:39 - Big banks created this financial crisis, and small banks who managed their businesses well are affected very much affected by the mistakes of the biggies.
5:50 - SCSU Prof and blogger King Banaian is now at the mic. Already cracking jokes -- about what he said last year and how wrong he was. See 5:25 above for how accurate forecasts are.
5:55 - St. Cloud has the worst economy since 1989, and King adds "it will get much worse"
6:02 - Minnesota went into a recession in February, 2008.
6:09 - The credit crisis has hit St. Cloud, just like pretty much everywhere else in the world. The average family in the St. Cloud area has seen their net worth go down over 30%. No wonder consumption (the biggest component of GDP) has fallen here and eslewhere.
6:13 - "It is raining outside for us economically" says King.
6:14 - While the Stimulus package will increase Aggregate Demand, citizens are very worried about the huge deficits, and 1.75 Trillion in 2009. So people may not spend and save, conteracting the fiscal stimulus goals... they know someone has to pay for this debt, a day of reckoning will come... and I see their point.
6:20 - Rocky and Bullwinkel are on the last slide
6:21 - Alright. I am out the reception, where the food is not free, but of no financial cost to me.