August 2011

Wednesday, August 24, 2011
“Remain Seated: We’re Experiencing Turbulence”


  • Rajeev Dhawan, Economic Forecasting Center, Georgia State University
  • Paul Thomas, Chief Economist, Intel Corporation,Santa Clara,CA
  • Conrad S. Ciccotello, Associate Professor, Robinson College of Business, Georgia State University
  • Steve Palm, President, Smartnumbers

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. The PC Market Downturn: Structural, Cyclical, or Fictional?
For the past two or three quarters, PC industry observers have chased each others’ five year PC market forecasts down to from earlier double-digit projected growth rates to single-digit and even to flat or declining levels. In this talk, I will examine three possibilities: (i)true long-term damaged prospects due to market saturation and new competition from media tablets and smart phones after a great thirty year run of the personal computer; (ii)a short-term cyclical downturn that will pass as the economy improves and recently refreshed PCs age and become obsolete; and (iii)a misreading of industry data. I will also ask how industry forecasts do or do not matter.Is a mistaken consensus self-fulfilling or do fundamentals eventually win out in spite of our possibly mistaken expectations?
Paul Thomas
Chief Economist
and Manager of Market Sizing
and Forecasting
Intel Corporation
Santa Clara, California
9:00 a.m. Understand Reluctant Retirees: Money and Meaning
The decision to retire often involves both technical and behavioral considerations. Technical issues involve money; behavioral issues involve meaning. This session will explore three reluctant retiree prototypes: (1) the business owner; (2) the executive/employee with a defined contribution (401k-type) retirement plan; and (3) the executive/ employee with a defined benefit (pension) retirement plan. While the technical issues related to retirement can be quite complex, especially for the business owner and the “401k” retiree, understanding identity in retirement is of equal or even greater importance for good decision making.
Conrad S. Ciccotello
Associate Professor and
Director of Personal Financial Planning Programs,
Robinson College of Business
Georgia State University
9:25 a.m. How low can we go?
Housing continues to make new bottoms. Are there any positive trends amonst the negatives?
Steve Palm
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 & Substitution Policies

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

Paul Thomas
Chief Economist and Manager of Market Sizing and Forecasting
Intel Corporation
Santa Clara, CaliforniaPaul Thomas
Paul Thomas is Chief Economist and Manager of Market Sizing and Forecasting at Intel Corporation in Santa Clara, California. He joined Intel in December, 2004, after working at Continental Airlines in Houston, Texas, from 1997 to 2004 and as Chief Economist from 2001 to 2004. Paul was Senior Economist at Douglas Aircraft Company in Long Beach, California from 1988 to 1997. Prior to that, he served on the economics faculties of Lake Forest College in Lake Forest, Illinois, and of Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana.

Paul holds a Ph.D. in Business Economics from the Olin School of Business at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. He holds an M.S. in Social Science and a B.S. in Biology from the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California. Paul was a National Science Foundation Fellow in Economics. He also served as a Research Fellow in Economics Studies at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C.

Paul and his wife, Kim, who is also an economist, live in San Jose, California. Paul is a member of the National Business Economics Issue Council, the Conference of Business Economists, the Harvard Industrial Economics Group, and the European Council of Economists. Paul has served on an AEA advisory committee for the US Census Bureau and on an NSF advisory committee for research on Census data. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Global Interdependence Center.

Paul has published papers on regulation of scientific research, on social choice and organizational theory, and on the airline industry. He has given recent presentations on the PC and semiconductor industries, the recession of 2008-2009, international trade, and economic geography, and the role of ICT in productivity growth. His current research interests include the PC industry, economic geography, and economic growth.

Conrad S. Ciccotello
Associate Professor and Director of Personal
Financial Planning Programs
Robinson College of Business
Georgia State University

Conrad S. Ciccotello

Conrad S. Ciccotello is an Associate Professor and Director of Personal Financial Planning Programs in the Robinson College of Business at Georgia State University. He earned his Ph.D. in Finance in 1993 from the Pennsylvania State University.Dr. Ciccotello’s primary research interests are in financial intermediation. His 45 publications include articles in a number of leading journals, including the Journal of Financial Economics and the Journal of Law and Economics. Dr. Ciccotello has received research grants from TIAA-CREF Institute, Kauffman Foundation, the Foundation for Financial Planning, and William Davidson Institute. He is the author of the first two chapters in Mutual Funds: The Blackwell Series in Finance. Dr. Ciccotello’s research on the financial planning profession is cited in the Federal Register and his paper on market timing of mutual funds is entered into the Congressional Record as Senate Banking Committee testimony.

Dr. Ciccotello’s currently serves as a Reseach Fellow in the TIAA-CREF Institute. From 2001-2007, he was Editor of Financial Services Review, the premier academic journal dedicated to individual financial management. Well known in the Atlanta area for his appearances on various business news programs, Dr. Ciccotello has also provided expert testimony to the Retirement Committee of the Georgia Senate. He currently serves as the investment consultant to the University System of Georgia for its defined contribution retirement plan. Dr. Ciccotello has been quoted in publications such as the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, New York Times, USA Today, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, Consumer Reports, Investment Advisor, Smart Money, and Financial Planning. He has also commented on financial matters on both National Public Radio and on the Weather Channel.

Dr. Ciccotello was voted an “outstanding instructor” by Robinson College students in 2010 and was also recognized by his peers with a faculty teaching award in 2006. Prior to his arrival at Georgia State in 1999, Dr. Ciccotello held faculty positions as the Pennsylvania State University and at the U.S. Air Force Academy, where he was named an Outstanding Academy Educator in 1994. An undergraduate engineer (Lehigh University, 1981), Dr. Ciccotello has seven years of professional experience in project engineering and management.

Steve Palm
President and CEO
Steve Palm
Steve Palm is the President and CEO of Smartnumbers, a residential housing research and consulting firm specializing in tracking and analyzing statistical data on home, lot and land sales in the Southeast. Smartnumbers data and studies are utilized to evaluate and optimize the feasibility and marketability of proposed or current real estate development projects. Major past projects include the Mall of Georgia Growth Analysis and Atlantic Station Marketing Analysis. Smartnumbers clientele include major builders, developers, financial institutions, utilities and governmental agencies.

Steve is regularly sought out for his views on real estate topics and trends by many publications including the Wall Street Journal, Atlanta Journal and Constitution and Atlanta Business Chronicle and has appeared on CNN and Atlanta affiliates of CBS, NBC, ABC and FOX television. Steve is the keynote speaker at Smartnumber’s very popular “Housing Market Summit” presented twice a year for Atlanta’s real estate, developer and banking professionals.

Steve earned a BS in Management from Northern Illinois University and an MBA in Marketing from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.