New York Athletic Club event offers networking and economic forecast
By Steve Seepersaud
The U.S. economy has some positive signs, not-so-good news and a $10 trillion question. That's according to a Binghamton University graduate who is a chief economist and managing director of global research for J.P. Morgan.
Bruce Kasman '77 was the keynote speaker at an alumni gathering held March 3, at the New York Athletic Club in midtown Manhattan. Speaking to nearly 150 people, Kasman said that over the next year or two, we should see jobs and income grow, asset prices increase and perhaps housing prices stabilize. However, despite record-high profit margins in the U.S., he says the unemployment rate will probably not move from its current figure of around 9 percent very quickly.
"We're going to feel that the healing process, while still slow, is taking hold," Kasman said. "But, at the same time, we’re standing on tectonic plates and we had better build a good infrastructure to deal with it, because those plates are going to shift at some point."
The $10 trillion question, as Kasman called it, refers to what the U.S. will do from a policy standpoint to avoid adding that amount of money to the public sector debt in the next 15 to 20 years. He said the issue is extremely complicated, particularly in an aging society.
"Most people think about the aging problem as increasing government entitlement spending, which is true," Kasman said. "But, the worry is that aging populations make it really difficult to do things that need to get done. The second part of this is that we have enormous imbalances in income that are going to be a major thing politically in the coming years. Corporations are in great shape, while households are in relatively weak shape."
This alumni networking event was sponsored by Robert Eicher '81 (pictured with his wife Lauren, and SOM Dean Upinder Dhillon), the Alumni Association and the School of Management.
Hear Kasman's speech on the Binghamton University iTunesU site. Go to the iTunes Store, search for "Binghamton University", and you'll find the speech in the School of Management section. There is no cost to listen to the file.