It's a wild Wall Street ride, but market
will right itself
Special to GwinnettForum
(Editor's note: Emily Sanders is president and
CEO of Gwinnett-based Sanders Financial Management (www.sandersfinancial.com).
Founded in Norcross in 1994, the firm is a private, fee-only financial
advisory and investment management firm that provides comprehensive
financial planning and investment management services to emerging
affluent individuals and families.---eeb)
NORCROSS, Ga., Sept. 26, 2008 -- "$700 Billion Bail-Out,"
"Financial Industry in Crisis," "Stock Market Plummets."
We are being bombarded with headlines about the current market conditions.
While headlines sell newspapers, investors need to step back, take
a deep breath and understand exactly what is going on.
True, the U.S. financial system is being redefined right before
our eyes, and the violent shifts are painful to watch. As with many
panics, there is a herd mentality to "sell now and sell low,"
but it's important to remember that panic is never a good investment
strategy! Manipulation and speculation have also spread to the commodities
market (oil, metals, agriculture) that were bid up sharply earlier
this year and are now being "dumped" by the same players
who are rushing to de-leverage.
So, as we hang on for this wild ride, what will the impact be on
Main Street flowing from Wall Street's rout? It can't help but impact
average Americans, as the availability of credit is momentarily
drying up, causing corporations big and small to rein in expenses
that ultimately lead to rising unemployment and decreasing consumer
spending. The U.S. banking consolidation is long overdue, it's just
happening in a wrenching way. For those who have access to liquidity,
the time has come to cut exposure to excess leverage and be debt-free
in everything possible. This paradigm applies to individuals as
well as corporations, and it is prudent to focus on owning quality
assets, some of which have become undervalued in a hurry.
While the government implements a $700 billion purchase of distressed
mortgages held by ailing financial institutions, we are advising
our clients that the best defense is not to sell into weakness,
to have excess cash, to have as little debt as possible and to buy
quality assets. The direction of monetary policy is first coordinated
central bank actions (on interest rates and currencies) to stabilize
global systems, followed by putting the brightest heads together
to craft domestic and global regulations that make sense in today's
wired world without ham-stringing free enterprise.
In the long-run, the U.S. will continue to lead as a great world
economic power, albeit with a leaner balance sheet. However, the
role must be shared with other emerging players, like China and
India, whose standard of living will be rising while our standard
of "living large" will be cut back to something more prudent,
which still exceeds the vast majority of the world's population.
Our share of world Gross Domestic Product has gone from around 50
percent after World War II to 25 percent today, still disproportionate
to our five percent of the world's population. Even so, such statistics
don't make people who worked their entire lives to save for a comfortable
future for themselves and their family feel any better during these
uncertain economic times.
What is going on now is part of a seismic paradigm shift in the
world economic and power structure. Although ordinary Americans
are bearing the brunt of excess risk taken by big players in our
lightly regulated system, we are confident the market will right
itself in due course, if investors stay calm.
Hey, Senator John McCain: You're not the president
Editor and Publisher
SEPT. 26, 2008 -- The political maneuverings this week surprised
and perplexed us.
Before we get into that, let us say up front that we support Barack
Obama as our choice to be the next president. He brings a fresh
presence that enlivens the country, appeals to a wider audience
and electrifies new voters. And he's coming to the scene after eight
years of a failed Republican administration on many fronts, with
the prospect from his opponent of "more of the same" for
the next term.
Now back to the machinations of the week, as John McCain suddenly
pulled another of his maverick maneuvers, throwing the well-planned
campaigns into an uproar and in effect, going out on a limb of his
Senator McCain's decision to suspend his campaign some five weeks
before the election until the financial crisis is settled is not
a good move for him. He says he wants to return to the Senate to
help resolve a financial crisis as if the other 98 senators alone
could not do their jobs as they should. Granted, his ideas could
add to the discussion. However, the way we see it, his job now is
to campaign for the presidency, and give Americans a chance to know
what he stands for, examine his words and policies, in order for
voters to make up their minds. Granted, he is a member of the Senate,
but more than that now, he is he candidate for president. It's more
important now for him on the stump, being scrutinized by voters,
not in some room adding his two cents to a discussion.
If anyone is supposed to "take charge" in Washington,
certainly it should be the current president of the United States,
not someone who wants to be president. Time for one of the two contenders
for the office will come in a few months. Senator McCain doesn't
seem to understand that. He's not the president yet.
Senator McCain's move to forestall this week's long-planned debate
makes him seem to act like his running mate, Sarah Palin, who seems
to want to avoid scrutiny of the press and people. When Senator
Obama correctly disagreed with him on whether to have the debate,
it took away McCain's ploy. The GOP nominee could suffer should
the planned debate go ahead, with Senator Obama laying out his program,
with no rebuttal from the other side. The American people want debates
to size up the two men together. We want to see how they would act
in this controlled atmosphere, trying to determine if we see flaws
in their presentations, or in them.
It makes you wonder if Senator McCain is a person who can only
concentrate on one problem at a time. Certainly a president must
handle multiple situations every day in office.
So John McCain opts to suspend his campaign to be in Washington,
rather than act as one of two candidates seeking the presidency
before the American people. And with that, he throws a monkey wrench
into the fray, and raises questions about his campaign and his choices.
We've already seen Senator McCain's first major decision to be
a questionable one, that of his choice of his running mate. Now
comes his choice to scuttle the debate. It raises even more serious
issues about the McCain candidacy, and seems to us at this point
to give an even bigger edge to Senator Obama.
Now, let's hear another view on this development. What's yours?
The public spiritedness of our sponsors allows us to bring GwinnettForum.com
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over letter concerning new waste hauling plan
Editor, the Forum:
Well, again, it appears that the county has made a decision on
our part without our knowledge.
I received a letter in the mail yesterday from my current waste
removal company that I hired to pick up my trash and recycle products.
They have informed me that Gwinnett County has decided to handle
this utility themselves and they are going to chose who we have
to pick-up our weekly (hopefully) trash and recyclables.
Where was this ever disclosed or asked our opinion? I am sure that
the county will get a kickback on this new contract with whomever
they chose to handle this and that is why this decision was made.
But since it directly affects us, shouldn't we have been given notice
or say so in this decision?
And to add further insult, the company that I have had for several
years handling this service for me notified me that they were adding
on an additional $30 to my bill this quarter to cover the expenses
of picking up their trash containers and for the loss of their income.
If this was not my decision, why should I have to pay a fee for
something I had no control over?
If they want to help cover the cost of the loss of business, then
the county should pay them $30 for every customer the county is
stealing from them, not me! In these times, this is just ludicrous
to even bill me this additional fee. Who has additional money? Not
with these gas prices!
This is just further proof that Gwinnett County does not really
care about who or why anyone lives here. They just want the numbers
so that they can make more and more money off of us! Oh yeah, so
that they can continue to allow more developers to cut down trees
and build even more "empty" strip malls. Open your eyes,
-- Lila McCarty, Duluth
Dear Ms. McCarty: Ooops, you missed something.
There have been alerts from the county that they were studying,
for the last two years, the waste-hauling situation, and would
issue new rules governing it. They even had public meetings on
the matter, which were well publicized, I thought. In 2009, a
new Solid Waste Plan will be implemented. The new plan will expand
recycling opportunities, improve waste collection efficiencies,
save energy, reduce greenhouse gases, and enhance the environment
and quality of life for residents of the unincorporated areas
of Gwinnett County. About that $30 fee: it's a private contract
between you and the hauler. Come January 1, under the new rules,
the haulers cannot impose such as fee, and will be far more highly
regulated than they are now. Under the rules beginning January
1, those in unincorporated areas of Gwinnett will pay a fee for
garbage service to the hauler until July 30, 2009. After that
time, your fee will be annualized, and on your county tax bill
as a service fee. Full particulars of the new waste disposal plan
should be available about November 1. Learn more here.
The latest from Bill McLemore:
Duluth Fall Festival to be held this weekend
The 26th Duluth Fall Festival will be this weekend, as it is held
each last weekend in September. Crowds in excess of 80,000 have
attended the Festival in previous years. The Festival begins on
Saturday morning with a huge parade through the streets of Duluth
with over 400 participants.
A scene from a recent fall festival
The opening ceremony follows on the stage of the Festival Center
on the Town Green. Entertainment then takes over the main stage,
plus a second 'Gazebo Stage', for the rest of the day. A huge free
concert at the Festival Center is set for Saturday night.
Sunday morning kicks off with a 5K Road Race through Downtown Duluth.
This is followed by an outdoor community worship service on the
Town Green, under the direction of Duluth First United Methodist
Church. Entertainment follows the rest of Sunday.
The life of the festival is found in the streets of Duluth with
the almost 400 booths of select arts, crafts and food vendors. Around
50 food booths will be selling everything from barbecue and hot
dogs to funnel cakes and ice cream, plus many new taste-tempting
The Festival is open from 9 a.m. until 8 p.m. on Saturday and following
the race on Sunday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Shuttle service to downtown
is provided from three locations. For more information visit www.duluthfallfestival.com.
Fourth annual Rice
Festival at Carter Oaks Center Oct. 4
The Asian American Resource Center will present the fourth annual
Rice Festival at Carter Oaks Shopping Center at 5495 Jimmy Carter
Boulevard, Norcross on Saturday October 4. Activities begin at 11
a.m. and continue to 5 p.m.
The event is a celebration of the diversity of Atlanta's Asian
community. Visitors will get to experience the sights, sounds, and
tastes of Asia without ever leaving Gwinnett County.
Proceeds from the Festival go to the Asian American Resource Center,
a non-profit organization whose mission is to strengthen the Asian
American community by encouraging self-sufficiency through educational,
housing, and health-related services. Other goals are to increase
cultural awareness and encourage communication and cooperation within
the diverse Atlanta Asian-American community. For more information
about the Rice Festival, visit www.aarc-atlanta.org.
Georgia Gwinnett College
offers Children's Story Sunday
As part of Hispanic Heritage Month, Georgia Gwinnett College will
host a children's Story Hour and college students and faculty will
read to children in both English and Spanish to awaken in children,
the joy of reading and expand their interest in books. The event
will be held in the GGC Library in Building B on the GGC campus
from 2-3:30 p.m. on Sunday, September 28. A second Story Hour will
be held at the college on October 12.
Dr. Paula Mellom, an assistant professor of English at Georgia Gwinnett
College, says: "It is important to develop in children, the
pleasure of reading. We have found students and staff who will read
books to the children expressively, so that they can live and feel
Dr. Jessica Damián, GGC assistant professor of English, adds:
"The goal is to spark children's' interest in reading so that
they will become great readers themselves."
The bilingual professors and students participating in the events
also will offer a workshop to parents, whether they speak English
or not, that will recommend different strategies they can use to
read with their children to help them to excel in school. In addition,
they will assist parents as they choose age-appropriate literature
for their children. Other activities related to reading also will
be available to the children.
The program is open to all families and there is no charge.
Medical College offers
classes at Georgia Perimeter College
Georgia Perimeter College has formed a partnership with the Medical
College of Georgia that will allow students to earn associate of
science degree in any one of six concentrations and then transfer
to MCG for a bachelor's degree.
The six health science programs offered through this partnership
are Health Information Administration; Medical Technology; Radiologic
Sciences-Diagnostic Medical Sonography; Radiologic Sciences-Nuclear
Medicine Technology; Radiologic Sciences-Radiation Therapy; and
Most of the programs start in the fall. GPC graduates will be able
to take MCG classes online or at partnering sites around Atlanta.
"It's truly a win-win situation for both institutions, for
the state and, most importantly, for students who wish to become
health professionals," she says.
For more information, call Georgia Perimeter College at 678-891-2448.
You can also call the Medical College of Georgia at 706-721-2725
County studying ways
to cut costs, improve efficiencies
Gwinnett County is beginning a comprehensive services review and
cost management project that will initially study all county departments
except those headed by independently elected officials. This study
is being dubbed the Service-Value-Responsibility project.
More than 70 employees on nine evaluation teams are being led by
senior management and facilitated by a consultant, David Cowan of
Management Systems Consultants. Teams will review departmental budgets
and operations and make recommendations by late November on ways
to cut costs and improve efficiency. The final 2009 budget will
be approved in January. Some recommendations that are not implemented
in the 2009 budget year could take effect in subsequent years.
Examples of costs to be examined include: non-core services, administrative
functions, rates and fees, productivity, facility operations and
maintenance, equipment, inventories, supplies, and personnel costs
including overtime and benefits.
Gwinnett County has held the line or reduced its county tax rate
every year since 1992 for a total reduction of 27 percent and has
maintained the highest possible credit ratings. But since 2000,
forecasts have projected slower revenue growth and increasing costs.
This year's budget allocated $32 million in reserve funds to help
cover operating costs.
- An invitation: What
Web sites, books or restaurants have you enjoyed? Send us your
best recent visit to a restaurant or most recent book you have
read along with a short paragraph as to why you liked it, plus
what book you plan to read next. --eeb
on display at downtown Atlanta museum
of Contemporary Art of Georgia, located at 75 Bennett Street
in Atlanta, is dedicated to contemporary Georgia art created by
artists who were either born in the state or who have made the state
their home. The focus of the collection is primarily mid-20th century
to the present and includes works by nationally renowned artists
Benny Andrews, Radcliffe Bailey, Beverly Buchanan, Harry Callahan,
Howard Finster, and Nellie Mae Rowe. The museum was founded in 2002
by David Golden, president of CGR Advisors, a real estate advisory
In Atlanta, and Annette Cone-Skelton, an artist and art consultant.
CGR Advisors donated its art collection, which had been curated
by Cone-Skelton, to the fledgling private, nonprofit institution.
As of 2005 the museum housed a permanent collection of more than
250 works by 113 artists in a variety of media, including mixed
media, paintings, photographs, prints, and sculptures. From bold
color lithographs made by Trena Banks, Joni Mabe, and others for
Rolling Stone Press in Atlanta to elegantly composed photographs
by John McWilliams, Virginia Warren Smith, and others, the Museum
of Contemporary Art embraces diverse media and aesthetics in the
works of its permanent collection.
Previous exhibitions include the grand opening exhibition of new
sculpture by Martin Emanuel; Artists of the Heath Gallery: 1965-1998,
comprising solo exhibitions of works by Herbert Creecy, Cheryl Goldsleger,
Kojo Griffin, and Hope Hilton; and special exhibitions from the
permanent collection, which is accessible online through the museum's
Web site. In November 2002 the museum mounted Color, Culture, Complexity,
an exhibition curated by Ed Spriggs, of the Hammonds House Galleries
in Atlanta, and Dan Talley, cofounder of Art Papers magazine and
former director of Nexus
Contemporary Art Center in Atlanta.
The exhibition, an exploration of the history and current conditions
of race relations in America, spotlighted the works of artists from
around the country and included digital photographs by Amalia Amaki
(of Atlanta and Delaware), computer-generated images by Marcia Cohen
(of Atlanta), a triptych painting by Harry DeLorme (of Savannah),
iris prints by Robert B. Stewart (of Atlanta), and conceptually
derived digital prints by Lisa McGaughey Tuttle (of Atlanta).
In addition to its exhibitions, the museum also sponsors ShedSpace,
a community-oriented program to support local arts, and the Artist
Resource Council (ARC), which serves as a conduit between artists
and museums throughout Georgia
Now you know why some
people think things are funny
"Where humor is concerned there are no standards -- no one
can say what is good or bad, although you can be sure that everyone
-- Economist John Kenneth Galbraith (1908 - 2006).
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