Some soundbites from the keynote by Gene Stanaland, former head of the Auburn University economics department:
-The U.S. economy has been resilient through a tumultous period of several major events packed into a few years: a recession, terrorist attacks, war in Iraq, war in Afghanistan, stock market and accounting scandals, controversial elections that ended up in the Supreme Court, a hurricane, and more.
-Chances are good Democrats will take the White House.
-Campaign promises have no meaning whatsoever until they are passed into law. The American public has far outsized expectations about the president’s influence, mistakenly thinking a president can control the stock market or offer universal healthcare.
-“You don’t mess with the AARP. They’ve got nothing else to do.”
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-Increases in the rate of spending growth are often unfairly called “cuts.” If the government was planning on spending $60 million more than last year on a program, and tries to cut it down to $50 million in growth, opponents complain that it’s being “cut.”
-The Federal Reserve is now practicing “preemptive monetary policy” … a new phenomenon aimed at anticipating the state of the economy 8-12 months out.
-Greenspan seemed to be fixated on fighting inflation. Bernanke believes in a “target rate of inflation” … picking a rate and trying to achieve that rate. The Fed seems to be in panic mode.
-Says Moody’s predicts the recession will end around June, and 250,000 jobs will be lost. This would be about a mild recession of about seven months.