February 2010

Wednesday, February 24, 2010
“The Day After Tomorrow”


  • Rajeev Dhawan, Economic Forecasting Center, Georgia State University
  • William Strauss, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago
  • Alfred Mettler, Robinson College of Business at GSU
  • Ken Simonson, Associated General Contractors of America

Conference Program

8:00 a.m. Registration & Breakfast
8:30 a.m. Words of Welcome Irene Duhaime
Senior Associate Dean
J. Mack Robinson College of
Georgia State University
8:35 a.m. Outlook for U.S. Manufacturing and the Automotive Industry »
The U.S. manufacturing sector and the automotive industry have struggled over the past several years. Manufacturing output fell by the largest amount in more than 50 years. The automotive industry witnessed two of the largest players go in and out of bankruptcy with large federal support. William Strauss from the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago will help chart the course for these important sectors over the coming year.
William Strauss
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago
9:00 a.m. Banking, Regulation, and Politics:
Recent Developments from a Global Perspective »
Global Banking and the regulation of the underlying Financial System have been in the headlines for the last two years. The presentation addresses selected topics of interest and discusses the positions of and strategies used by the different involved parties.
Alfred Mettler
Associate Professor
Robinson College of Business
Georgia State University
9:25 a.m. Construction Outlook for This Year:
Far from a Perfect ’10 »

After a lousy year for all types of construction in 2009, single-family homebuilding should post large percentage gains in 2010. But multi-family and nonresidential construction will continue to slump, except for a few niches. But there will be significant differences by region. Meanwhile, materials costs, which finally took a breather in 2009 after years of rapid increases, are at risk of spiking again.
Ken Simonson
Chief Economist
Associated General Contractors of America
9:50 a.m. Q & A
10:05 a.m. Refreshments Break
10:30 a.m. Forecast of the Nation, State and Region Rajeev Dhawan
Economic Forecasting Center
J. Mack Robinson College of Business
Georgia State University
11:40 a.m. Q & A Conclusion
11:50 a.m. Light lunch & Networking

Cancellation Policy

To cancel your registration and be eligible for a refund, call the Economic Forecasting Center at 404-413-7260 before 4pm the day before the conference. A stop payment of a check does not constitute a formal cancellation. Registrants who do not attend the conference and have not cancelled one day prior to the conference are liable for the entire registration fee but will be mailed conference materials.

Substitution Policy

If an annual subscriber cannot attend the conference, another person from the same company can substitute in the subscriber’s place.

Industry Speakers

William Strauss
Senior Economist and Economic Advisor
Economic Research Department
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

William A. Strauss is a senior economist and economic advisor in the economic research department at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, which he joined in 1982. His chief responsibilities include analyzing the current performance of both the Midwest economy and the manufacturing sector for use in monetary policy. He also produces the monthly Chicago Fed Midwest Manufacturing Index and organizes the Bank’s annual Economic Outlook Symposium and annual Auto Outlook Symposium. He also conducts several economic workshops and industrial roundtables throughout the year.

Strauss has taught as an adjunct faculty member at both Loyola University Chicago and Webster University, Chicago. He currently teaches at the University of Chicago, Graham School of General Studies and at DePaul University, Kellstadt Graduate School of Business. His research paper topics include analysis of the manufacturing sector, the auto sector, the Midwest regional economy, the trade-weighted dollar, business cycles and Federal Reserve payments operations.

Strauss has been interviewed on numerous television and radio shows and quoted in the major business magazines and newspapers. He is a past president of the Chicago Association of Business Economists and currently serves as a board member for the National Association for Business Economics and as a member of the Advisory Council for the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Center for Economic Education. Strauss earned a B.A. in economics and geography from the State University of New York at Buffalo and an M.A. in economics from Northwestern University.

Alfred Mettler
Associate Professor of Finance
J. Mack Robinson College of Business
Georgia State University

Alfred Mettler is an Associate Professor of Finance at the J. Mack Robinson College of Business (RCB), Georgia State University, Atlanta (USA), and the former director of CERMAS, the College’s Center for Enterprise Risk Management and Assurance Services. He has an undergraduate degree in Education/Pedagogy and received his Bachelor, MBA and Ph.D. in Finance from the University of Zurich (Switzerland). Before joining Georgia State University in 1998, Alfred was a faculty member of the Swiss Banking Institute (University of Zurich/Switzerland). Also, he has held visiting appointments at Thunderbird (The Garvin School of International Management), and New York University (Stern School of Business).

Professor Mettler’s principal interests are in International Banking and Finance, Risk Management of Financial Institutions, and Financial Education. He has won several teaching awards, including the faculty recognition award for teaching and the students’ Crystal Apple award for excellence in teaching at Georgia State University. His research focuses among other things on equity/debt financing of corporations, risk management applications, and the management of credit risk exposures.

Alfred Mettler has leading roles in several Executive Education Programs in Europe and the U.S. He is a permanent faculty member of the Swiss Finance Institute (Switzerland), and he regularly teaches in the Executive MBA in ICT/Utility Management of the University of Fribourg (Switzerland), and in Georgia State University’s Executive Education programs. Also, he has consulted for numerous organizations, including the Swiss Government, UBS, Morgan Stanley, KPMG, Lucent, Nestle, Roche, Swiss Bank Corp., Canton of Zurich (Switzerland), and others.

Ken Simonson
Chief Economist
Associated General Contractors of America

Ken Simonson joined AGC of America on September 10, 2001. Ever since Day 2 he has provided insight into the economy and what it implies for construction and related industries. Ken’s weekly one-page email newsletter for AGC, The Data DIGest, provides 12,000 readers with the latest economic news relevant to construction. He is interviewed and quoted almost daily by local and national media, including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today and CNBC. In addition, he contributes frequently to a variety of business and professional publications and conferences. Ken has 35 years of experience analyzing, advocating and communicating about economic and tax issues. Before joining AGC, he was senior economic advisor in the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy. Earlier, he was vice president and chief economist for the American Trucking Associations. He also worked with the President’s Commission on Industrial Competitiveness, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Federal Home Loan Bank Board, and an economic consulting firm. Ken served on the Blue Ribbon Panel of experts advising the National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission. Ken is a board member of the National Tax Association and is active in the National Association for Business Economics. Since 1982, he has co-chaired the Tax Economists Forum, a professional meeting group he co-founded for leading researchers and policy makers among tax economists. He is also on the board of Community Tax Aid, an organization that prepares returns for free for low-income taxpayers, and the Jewish Council for the Aging of Greater Washington. Ken has a BA in economics from the University of Chicago, an MA in economics from Northwestern University, and has taken advanced graduate economics courses at the Université de Paris, Johns Hopkins and Georgetown Universities.