Tuesday September 30 | Wachovia Bank Sale

September 29, 2008 at 9:39 am | Posted in Coming Up | 3 Comments

We examine the impending sale of Wachovia to CitiGroup on today’s Charlotte Talks. Wachovia is the nation’s 4th largest bank and a corporate institution in our region. We’ll look at the sale and what it means to the economy and also what the repercussions may mean in the sectors of our workforce, uptown development, real estate and the identity of Charlotte as Banktown, USA.
Guests
Tony Plath – Assoc. Professor, Dept. of Banking and Finance, UNC Charlotte
Michael Smith – Center City Partners
Dot Munson – President, Charlotte Regional Realtors Association

Listen to Show

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  1. Okay, from the AP 9.29 appox. 4:20 pm:

    Moreover, the Fed made an extra $330 billion available to other central banks. That boosted to $620 billion the total amount available to the central bank through currency “swap” arrangements, where dollars are traded for their currencies. That total is up from $290 billion previously being made available through such arrangements.

    Can your guest please explain; if the Fed can do this, why was it that Congress needed to approve the $700 bailout?

  2. Again, good show. Certainly not the ideal news. However, I hope local leadership does not try to frame this. They should focus on the future. We have talked about the dependency on the banking industry in Charlotte for some time now. I think we have a very strong start in diversifying the business type. Examples of this are Ballantyne, Kannapolis, and Mooresville. These are driven by businesses other than banking. We need to also focus on diversifying size. We need to strongly recruit small business. Have an integrated plan. Identify those sectors that are the future of the economy (i.e. energy). Attract major players from that sector. Parallel that with a focus on peripheral business that is integral to those larger business. That will give us diversification in both market sector and business size (small, medium, large). I called in and spoke of the need to focus on science. THIS IS CRITICAL. Charlotte has an Arts and Science council. It really should be called the Arts Council because the science component is virtually non-existent. At a minimum there is no equality in effort between the two. The wealth of the U.S has been built on our focus and advancements in engineering and technology. Our ability to pull out of this crisis will depend on our ability to REGAIN that edge. The U.S. isn’t even number one in terms of the country of origin for U.S. patent applications! The long term effect of this economically is immense. Without question the biggest sector and most upside in the future is energy. Duke can be a leader in this endeavor. Charlotte and North Carolina should develop a strong partnership with Duke to work on developing this. To further that – leverage NC’s strong university system (UNCC and NC St) in developing specific engineering programs to meet the demand of companies at the forefront of energy technology. Attract the mid and small size companies that can partner with Duke in this initiative. Partner this with the biotech work that is going to happen in Kannapolis to form a comprehensive coalition working toward sustainability concepts. We could brand this area similar to what Raleigh did with the RTP 20 years ago. This is the future. Word of caution – as we work to attract companies – also focus on retaining existing companies. The City will need to exert more pressure on the State to lower taxes and work more efficiently. This is a real opportunity and Charlotte is uniquely positioned to pursue this TODAY!

  3. One other quick note. We need to manage the process and measure the results. The housing market is a result. If we manage the process of growing the economy the housing will follow. We are allowing the tail to wag the dog when the housing market is the focus. The economy needs to be the focus. Jobs will follow. Incomes will go up. Housing will then recover.


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