■ BY SUE ERWIN
Everyone is invited to attend a financial discussion at the 2019 “Economic Summit” planned for Thursday, Feb. 28 at 3:30 p.m. in the Boca Grande Community Center auditorium.
John Kissinger will be moderating the annual event. Jim Runde, Marty McFadden and Mike Giobbe, will join the panel again this year, along with Jeff Swift and Michael Alexander.
Kissinger and Giobbe formed the Boca Grande Economics Group more than 10 years ago, along with several like-minded residents interested in studying macroeconomic issues. This is the seventh Summit since 2013.
This season’s Summit will focus on the following: U.S. economic progress over the past two years and how has this “set the table” going forward; What are the critical challenges from an economic and social perspective? Can we achieve a sustainable fiscal policy? How will all of this be impacted by the cost of healthcare, debt and trade? Finally, we will review the U.S. capital markets, the challenges therein and how things may play out in 2019.
Runde will lead the discussion. He’ll be describing some of the most important economic issues we’ve faced over the past two years, and what we should be focused on going forward.
Runde said we are at a fork in the road when it comes to issues like income inequality, and there is a true concern about the credit-worthiness of our country.
“There are two fundamental ways to deal with income inequality: one is to raise taxes and redistribute the money to people who are the ‘unequals’ or less than one percent, and the other is to create more jobs so the people who have less can rise up,” he said further. “I’ll be sharing insights, not data, about current economic issues. I want to give the audience news they can use when thinking about the future economic choices of our country.”
Kissinger will follow Runde and will speak about fiscal policy and the fact that the United States is still on an unsustainable path. He’ll talk about economic growth and ways we can put ourselves on a better path.
Kissinger will follow Runde and will speak about the challenges we face with our accelerating national debt levels. “We have been on an unsustainable path with our fiscal policy for some time, and the latest 10-year forecast by the CBO is not encouraging,” Kissinger said. “In the not-too- distant past, we have tried to achieve a bipartisan agreement to moderate our debt growth but failed to do so. Can economic growth solve the problem? We have significant issues there also, and by itself economic growth may not be enough. Will the fourth industrial revolution save the day?”
Marty McFadden will address major issues in healthcare and what we may be facing in the future.
“Spending on U.S. healthcare right now is about $3.6 trillion annually, which is about the size of the German economy,” McFadden said. “And it’s expected to go up to $5.5 trillion in another five years. We will discuss a number of issues that are going to be hot in the media and in public discussion over the next two years.”
As part of the discussion, McFadden will talk about how U.S. healthcare is delivered right now, and discuss alternatives that will be a focal point in the next election.
“We’ll also talk about ways to better manage our health costs as a country, and we’ll look at what the system might be like in the future.”
Jeff Swift will talk about the very significant growth of debt around the world, and what the implications for that may be with regard to the economic health of our nation.
Swift will talk about how debt in the U.S. has grown to a point where regional instabilities have now become a key driver of economic recessions. Gone are the normal business cycles we grew up with, replaced instead with debt-driven cycles. “Who are the key players, where are the key re’gions of debt instability, and how is all this playing into a very long-term debt cycle?”
Michael Alexander will describe why our current view of trade and its negotiations deserves to be put in proper perspective. “There is a global transformation happening in trade, but it is not about merchandise, steel or agriculture. The world map of demand, consumption and production is rapidly shifting toward emerging economies, and the amazing growth in cross-border digital flows is driving world service trade and GDP to potentially new levels, with huge implications that are seldom discussed or understood by the media.”
Mike Giobbe will discuss what is happening in the domestic U.S. capital markets. He’ll also discuss the forecast of major earnings of U.S. companies.
“I’ll briefly review the capital markets equity and fixed income in 2018 and give a forecast of S&P earnings in 2019,” Giobbe said. “I’ll also provide a commentary on the direction of interest rates,and share information on the federal reserve policy and how their actions impact capital markets.”
Lastly, Giobbe will discuss markets that are impacted by algorithmic trading (machine or high-frequency trading) which is now dominating changes in the markets. As in the past, a forecast of market indexes and interest rates will be offered.
A Q&A session will be held after the presentation. The entire program will be about 90 minutes.
Kissinger and Giobbe formed the Boca Grande Economics Group more than 10 years ago, along with several like-minded residents interested in studying macroeconomic issues. Members have since met on a monthly basis, and seven years ago they decided to put together an annual economic summit and invite the community to attend the event.
Tickets are $20 and can be purchased online at friendsofbocagrande.org or by calling 964-0827.