Monday, October 20, 2008

Georgia Southern University Hosting Economic Forum on Oct. 22

News in recent weeks has painted a bleak future for the financial stability of the United States. Some analysts suggest that the United States’ economic situation could become the worst in history since the Great Depression. This onslaught of bad news has created many questions in the minds of “Main Street America” about what is going on and how it affects the average person.

Georgia Southern University’s College of Business Administration, along with WTOC-TV (Channel 11, Savannah), will host an Economic Forum on Oct. 22 from 6-8 p.m. in the Nessmith-Lane Continuing Education Assembly Hall to help the public make sense of the current economic situation.

An expert faculty panel will be moderated by Mike Manhatton of WTOC-TV and will include renowned authorities in their respective fields: Ronald Shiffler, Michael Reksulak, William H. Wells and Edward Sibbald. The forum will begin at 6 p.m. and includes a question-and-answer session. The panel will delve into the daily headlines of the current financial crisis: the dissolution of Lehman Brothers; the bailout of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and AIG; the sale of Merrill Lynch; and the latest details of the federal bailout package.

The panel will seek to bring clarity to the reasons for the crisis, the severity of the current situation, how it will affect the local, national and global economies, and perspectives on building a stronger foundation for the future. Audience members will also be encouraged to ask the questions they want answered about the current crisis and future outlook of our nation’s economy.

This event is free and open to the public. Anyone who would like a deeper understanding of the current economic climate is encouraged to attend. For more information or directions to the Nessmith-Lane Building please call the Georgia Southern College of Business Administration at (912) 478-2622.


Michael Reksulak is an Assistant Professor of Economics at Georgia Southern University. He earned his Ph.D. (2002) and his M.A. in Economics (1998) from the University of Mississippi. Prior to coming to Georgia Southern, he was a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Mississippi (2002-03) and a Research Fellow at the Max-Planck-Institute for Research into Economic Systems (1998-99) in Jena, Germany. His current research analyzes the efficiency properties of various cost-sharing mechanisms and the effectiveness of industrial regulation. Capt. Reksulak is also active in the Army Reserves and has completed several tours of duty with the NATO-peacekeeping forces in Bosnia-Herzegovina. In addition to his research he currently writes a bi-weekly column for the Savannah Morning News on economic issues.

William H. Wells is Chair of the Department of Finance and Quantitative Analysis in the College of Business Administration at Georgia Southern University. He earned his Ph.D. in Finance (1999) from the University of Mississippi and was a faculty member at Merrimack College for six years prior to coming to GSU. Wells received the M. Albert Burke Award in 2003 and 2006, and received the Bank of America Faculty Award in 2005. He conducts scholarly research in the areas of Corporate Governance, Real Estate Finance and Financial Institutions. His latest paper is entitled, “Making the Mortgage Insurance Purchase Decision When Premiums Are Tax Deductible.” Dr. Wells teaches in the undergraduate and MBA programs.

Edward H. Sibbald is the BB&T Executive in Residence in Banking in College of Business Administration at Georgia Southern University and he is the Director of the College’s Center for Excellence in Financial Services. He has more than 30 years experience in commercial and community banking and related financial services. Sibbald has more than 20 years as a board member of several community banks, and served as Chief Financial Officer and Division Executive for retail banking of a $2.2 billion community bank in Illinois. He recently completed a three-part series on the “Federal Reserve Policy: Its Impact on Banks and their Customers” for the Savannah Business Report and Journal and his most recent article, "Beyond the Bailout ...What’s Next," was featured in this week's edition.

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