Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Special Forum Explores Economy and Defense

The Special Forum with former Congressman and Vice-Admiral (ret.) Joe Sestak drew a full-house, cosmopolitan mix of business and civic leaders.

Sestak focused on both the economy and the defense community as he explored the nation’s issues in this roundtable discussion.  He observed, that a majority (estimated at 70%) of people who lost their jobs in this recession were small business (less than 20 employees) employees. Sestak said the stimulus was too small, missed the target and lacked accountability.  That target should have been the “star player” in the economy, small business, he said.

Other noteworthy comments by Sestak are:
  • The Federal Reserve has given a star performance.
  • Europe needs to go “all in” and may not.
  • This is the first recession that the housing market has not lead the recovery.
  • People can’t move to jobs because of they are underwater on their mortgages.
  • He is pessimistic about the Super Committee achieving a debt deal.
  • The military has been charged with meeting two major actions, and may become no longer able to meet that standard.
  • The military doesn’t always tell Congress the most-likely costs.

Sestak’s recommendations for a recovery program:
  • Guarantee community banks loans, the source of small business lending, at 98%.
  • Raise the interest rate cap so higher risks will be taken by lenders.
  • Increase 504(c) loans.
  • Increase micro-loans.

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