Symposium 2010: Is more economic stimulus needed and what form must it take to get the economy back on track?

We’ve seen that the economic stimulus that has cost taxpayers trillions of dollars has had little to no effect on getting the economy back on track. We need to wake up to a few realities before we start talking about stimulus. First, a lot of jobs that have been lost over the last few years aren’t coming back. A lot of corporations had gotten top heavy in terms of labor.  Continue reading

Symposium 2010: In the aftermath of sweeping Congressional losses in November, what is your outlook for the Democratic party?

They are in much the same situation that the Republicans were in when they lost the majority in the House in 2006. They need to reassess what is important to them and what caused them to get trounced. I think they squandered a lot of political capital in the healthcare fiasco, and I think the voters were turned off by their handling of it and the whole Obama/Pelosi/Reid agenda. Continue reading

Symposium 2010: What is your outlook for the 2012 presidential election? Any frontrunners in the Republican party?

I’ve always been a big supporter of Newt Gingrich. He’s probably the most articulate Republican in the field. He’s a great scholar, and he’s the only candidate that can say I balanced the budget of the United States when I was Speaker of the House. He’s got some great ideas, and he tells it like it is. I also like Herman Cain. He’s a successful businessman with a great personal story. I do think we need a businessman in the White House. I’d love for Donald Trump to run; I think a debate between him and President Obama would be outstanding. Continue reading

Symposium 2010: What do you perceive to be the biggest threat to the U.S. economy—inflation, interest rates, oil prices, etc.?

Oil prices are obviously that great unknown factor that can dramatically impact economic performance. Interest rates are at historic lows and will likely remain that way for the foreseeable future. Of course, having said that, there is only one way for rate to go at this point and that is up, so we need to be cognizant that cheap money is a transitory factor that is going to go away in the future.  Continue reading

Symposium 2010: Iran and North Korea continue their pursuit of nuclear programmes. Is it time to give up on diplomacy?

Diplomacy can only go so far. The Europeans have been trying, unsuccessfully, to deal with Iran for years now. Have they accomplished anything? Not at all. Iran is continuing to move forward with its nuclear programme with the help of Russia and possibly China. The talks haven’t stopped their programme. Sanctions haven’t done anything either. This song and dance isn’t working. Continue reading

Symposium 2010: Do you feel the stock market is overvalued, undervalued, or fairly valued?

I don’t believe that the market at this time truly reflects the fundamental risks of the overall economy and how those risks translate long-term into negative business conditions. What I think is happening is that investors are looking for a place to put their money where they can get a better return than on Treasury bonds that aren’t yielding too much. I don’t think it is a reflection of investor sentiment towards the market overall. I think it’s just a matter of opportunity and where they’re seeing a better prospective return on their investment. We’ve seen a tremendous rise in some commodity prices which is usually associated with investors hedging against inflation or other factors. Continue reading

Symposium 2010: What is your outlook for the economy and interest rates and what risk does the federal deficit and federal debt have in the outlook for the economy and business long-term?

I think the economy is going to be stagnant this year. We’ll probably have very low growth, if any. Interest rates will be kept low by the Federal Reserve in an effort to boost the housing markets, but I think largely it’s all reflective of failed economic policies by the Obama Administration and the Congress. Continue reading

Symposium 2010: What is your assessment of the economy and general business conditions?

The economic outlook is pretty bleak at this point. Unemployment isn’t going to go down, because businesses aren’t hiring. Why? There’s not enough demand because a lot of people are out of work and others are fearing they too may be in the unemployment line. Businesses aren’t going to hire if they have this massive liability known as Obamacare thrust upon them. Continue reading