February 8, 2011
Economic Forum President Rebel Cook with Russell Greene, CEO of Grand Bank (left) and speaker Charles White of Stern, Agee
From the President:
If you missed the opening of 2011 Economic Forum meetings, you missed one of the best
programs presented by the Economic Forum – also one of the highest in attendees. Our
speaker, Charles White from Stern Agee, presented a concise and thoughtful analysis
to the current economic conditions and what to anticipate for the year – assuming no
Special thanks to our longtime Corporate member, Russell Greene, CEO and President
of Grand Bank, who recommended and arranged for Mr. White to speak. Thanks also to
Russell who arranged for a repeat visit from the Leadership Class of the West Palm
August 27, 2010
Our August 2010 luncheon featuring Property Appraiser Gary Nikolits was featured in this report by the Palm Beach Post:
Property appraiser: Market values hitting bottom
By Jeff Ostrowski
WEST PALM BEACH — The plunge in Palm Beach County real estate values has slowed from free-fall to gradual downturn, Property Appraiser Gary Nikolits said Wednesday. Next year’s rate of decline likely will be about half this year’s 12.5 percent drop, Nikolits said.
The market value of the county’s 628,000 properties fell from $179.9 billion in 2009 to $157.4 billion in 2010. Property values peaked at $233 billion in 2006.
“We have pretty much hit the bottom of the market in many areas of the county,” Nikolits said during a speech to members of the Economic Forum of Palm Beach County.
Read more (PDF)
Presentation slides: PDF
August 19, 2010
Protecting the Beaches and Warding Off “Economic Topkill”
Attorney John L. Fiveash Jr. and Escambia County's Taylor “Chips” Kirschenfeld
By David F. Carr, webmaster
The worst environmental impact of the oil spill on Florida may be over, but the economic impact on the state will remain until perceptions of the problem change, emissaries from Northwest Florida told the Economic Forum of Palm Beach County at its July meeting.
John L. Fiveash Jr., an attorney Lewis Longman & Walker P.A. who represents the City of Pensacola and the Port of Pensacola, and Taylor “Chips” Kirschenfeld, Senior Environmental Programs Manager for Escambia County, were joined by phone by Edward Overton, professor emeritus at the Louisiana State University School of Environmental Sciences. The event came on the 100th day after the explosion at the Deepwater Horizon oil rig operated by British Petroleum.
Read on for the full story and photos from the event.
June 2, 2010
The Post quoted Rebel Cook on the concept that Abacoa Town Center would be a pedestrian friendly place for people to live, work, and play, following a concept called New Urbanism.
“It was based on a concept that if you put all the shopping in the middle of a residential community, everybody would walk to the town center,” said Rebel Cook, of Rebel Cook Real Estate of Jupiter. … “That concept looked great on paper,” Cook said, “but in reality it doesn’t work, particularly in South Florida. It’s too hot (for people to walk).” Cook says Abacoa Town Center also suffers from the lack of an anchor store, such as a grocery store.
Read More: Bank Sues Abacoa (pdf)
April 22, 2010
Phil Smith, National Political Director of the Concord Coalition, answers questions following his talk
For years, deficit hawks have complained that the federal government was papering over the difference between revenues and spending by dipping into the Social Security “trust fund” – the difference between retirement taxes collected and money paid out.
According to Phil Smith, National Political Director of the Concord Coalition, that cash cushion is in any case going away. “We’re entering cash deficit territory for Social Security,” Smith said, speaking at the April 20 meeting of the Economic Forum of Palm Beach County.
Although this day has been predicted for years, the previous official projection was that Social Security spending would exceed revenues for the first time in 2016. But when updated figures are published by the Social Security trustees, probably in June, Smith expects them to show that milestone has already been reached. (more…)
December 29, 2009
John Browne, former member of Parliament
Politicians and the media tell us our economy has tiptoed back from the brink of catastrophe and that a recovery is under way. They haven’t convinced John Browne, a former Conservative Member of Parliament under Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher who now writes and lectures on political, economic, financial and defense issues. A Palm Beach County resident and investment advisor, Browne was our November speaker.
“Things were really desperate, and now, suddenly, as if by magic, it seems that everything is all right,” Browne said. But this return to normal is an illusion, he said. “The same behemoth banks are still there, only now they’re larger. The same toxic assets are there, only now they’re hidden.” Meanwhile, consumer confidence has dropped to levels not seen since the 1930s. So to those paying attention, the facts don’t fit the rhetoric.
“In the 1960s, people took acid to make things look weird. Now, we take Prozac to make them look normal,” Browne observed. “So you have to ask yourself, are we being fed political and economic Prozac?”