November 2012

Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Post Election: What and What Not to Expect


  • Rajeev Dhawan, Director and Professor, Economic Forecasting Center, Georgia State University
  • Thomas Kevin Swift, Chief Economist and Managing Director, American Chemistry Council
  • Kevin L. Kliesen, Business Economist and Research Officer, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
  • Stewart Calhoun, Executive Director, Southeast Capital Markets Group, Cushman & Wakefield

Conference Program

8:00 a.m. Registration & Breakfast
8:30 a.m. Words of Welcome H.Fenwick Huss
J. Mack Robinson College of Business
Georgia State University
8:35 a.m The Oil and Gas Boom: What it means for the Manufacturing Outlook
An oil and gas boom (led by developments in horizontal drilling, computational technologies, and hydraulic fracturing) is underway. Natural gas from shale is possibly the most important energy development in 50 years. It has huge potential for the United States and could also help revive American manufacturing. After a decade of highly volatile natural gas prices, the new economics of shale gas create a long term cost advantage for US manufacturers, which will lead to greater investment, job creation and industry (and economic) growth. Dr. Swift will discuss how this important abundant energy source is altering the outlook for US manufacturing from both the demand side (steel, oilfield machinery, etc.) and from the supply-side as US manufacturers in chemicals, tires and plastic products, iron & steel, foundries, and other manufacturing industries gain competitive advantage.
Thomas Kevin Swift
Chief Economist and Managing Director
American Chemistry Council
9:00 a.m. U.S. Fiscal Policy: Confronting the Lessons of Europe and the Impossibility Theorem
According to many economists and the majority of the President’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, U.S. fiscal policy is nearing the proverbial fork in the road. One direction promises sharply smaller government deficits and a stable debt-to-GDP ratio. However, another path is possible. In this direction, federal fiscal policy remains on an unsustainable trajectory. The eventual outcome is sharply lower living standards and/or much higher inflation. This difficulty also confronts many other countries and their political institutions, as they grapple with the fall-out from aging populations and an inability to more closely match spending and revenues. Will the outcome of the 2012 general election provide some clarity on which direction the United States decides to embark upon? More important, are our political institutions capable of avoiding the calamity that, in particular, European policymakers are desperately trying to avoid?
Kevin L. Kliesen
Business Economist and Research Officer
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
9:25 a.m. Real Estate Capital Markets – Are the Wheels Back on the Track?
This session will offer an overview of the most current trends in the real estate capital markets. The ongoing recovery in commercial asset values and liquidity, as well as how borrowers and lenders are working through the onslaught of loan defaults, workouts and foreclosures, will be examined. A selection of recent case studies showcasing real-world examples of capital markets trends will be utilized.
Stewart Calhoun
Executive Director,
Southeast Capital Markets Group
Cushman & Wakefield
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
Director and Professor
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

Industry Speakers

Thomas Kevin Swift
Chief Economist and Managing Director
American Chemistry Council
Thomas Swift
Dr. Swift is the chief economist at the American Chemistry Council (ACC) where he is responsible for economic and other analyses dealing with markets, raw materials, trade, tax, energy, and competition and innovation, as well as monitoring business conditions and identifying emerging trends for the domestic and global chemical sector. Dr. Swift disseminates economic and societal contributions of the business of chemistry and general information about the industry to ACC member companies, the media, Wall Street analysts, the academic community and the public in general. Prior to joining the ACC, Dr. Swift held executive and senior level positions at several business research companies. He started his career at Dow Chemical USA.

Dr. Swift is a member of the National Association for Business Economics (NABE) and is a member of NABE’s panel of 40 professional forecasters and currently serves on the NABE board of directors. He is also a member of the Harvard Discussion Group of Industrial Economists and is a participant in the Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank’s forecasters’ survey. Dr. Swift is also a member of the Association of Christian Economists, National Economists Club, Strategic and Competitive Intelligence Professionals, and the United States Association for Energy Economics.

Mr. Swift has authored articles in such diverse journals as: Business Economics, Chemistry Business, Chemical Engineering Progress, Chimica Oggi, Cost Engineering, and Hydrocarbon Processing and has appeared on Bloomberg TV and Nightly Business Report. Dr. Swift is a graduate of Ashland University with a BA degree and a graduate of Case Western Reserve University with an MA degree in Economics. He is also a graduate of Anglia Polytechnic University with a doctorate in business administration (DBA) degree and has completed the Tax Analysis and Revenue Forecasting Program and other studies at Harvard University as well as studies at the University of Oxford. Dr. Swift is an adjunct professor of business economics for the MBA program at the University of Mary Washington. He is also a member of the Heritage Council of the Chemical Heritage Foundation.

Kevin L. Kliesen
Business Economist and Research Officer

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis Kevin Kliesen
Kevin L. Kliesen is a business economist and Bank Officer in the Research Division at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. He joined the Bank in 1988. From mid-2010 to mid-2012, he was part of the Supervisory Policy and Risk Analysis Unit, which is housed in the Bank’s Supervision and Regulation Division. He holds an M.A. in Economics from Colorado State University.

In his position as a business economist, he analyzes current U.S. macroeconomic and financial market developments and trends for the Bank president and staff economists prior to each Federal Open Market Committee meeting.

He also reports on and analyzes economic conditions in the seven states of the Eighth Federal Reserve District. In this capacity, he manages the District’s economic outreach activities. An important aspect of this responsibility involves managing the Bank’s Burgundy Books and developing various materials and information sources for the Bank’s outreach efforts. Another important aspect of this position involves speaking to the general public and professional groups about U.S. and Eighth District economic and developments. He has written and published extensively and developed (with his former colleague, Doug Smith) the St. Louis Financial Stress Index.

In addition to his responsibilities at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, he has taught part-time for the Department of Economics at Washington University in St. Louis since 2006. Professionally, he is a member of the American Economic Association, the National Association for Business Economics (NABE), and the Association of Christian Economists. In September 2011, he was recognized as a NABE Fellow, one of the organization’s highest honors.

Stewart Calhoun
Executive Director
Southeast Capital Markets Group

Cushman & WakefieldStewart Calhoun
Stewart Calhoun is an Executive Director in Cushman & Wakefield’s Capital Markets Group, the firm’s nationwide investment sales division. With his partner David Meline, Mr. Calhoun is a principal with the Southeast Capital Market Group and specializes in the disposition of office and industrial investment properties throughout the seven-state southeastern United States region. Mr. Calhoun has 17 years of real estate experience in investment sales, development and law and has been involved in disposition assignments of commercial investment properties valued in excess of $10 billion and totaling more than 100 MSF for such clients as Apollo, Blackstone, Duke, Equity Office Properties, First Industrial, GE, ING,JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, ProLogis, Panattoni, Prudential, RREEF, TIAA-CREF, and USAA.

Prior to joining Cushman & Wakefield, Mr. Calhoun was a commercial developer with Carter & Associates in Atlanta from 1994 through 1999. At Carter, Mr. Calhoun directed the development of properties throughout the eastern United States, including speculative office and mixed-use properties,
build-to-suit office properties for such clients as SunTrust Bank and BellSouth, and hotel properties in joint venture with such clients as Bass Hotels & Resorts.

From 1992 to 1994, Mr. Calhoun was associated with the Atlanta-based law firm of Lokey & Bowden,where he worked extensively with commercial real estate matters. Mr. Calhoun earned his Juris Doctor from the University of Georgia School of Law in 1994 with a concentration in transactional and commercial law. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa and Cum Laude from the University of Georgia Honors Program with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1990.