The Kodiak Chamber of Commerce Monday assembled a panel of local experts on the economy to discuss how the nation's current financial crisis and the recent Wall Street bailout passed by Congress and signed by President Bush is affecting Kodiak. (Photo by Casey Kelly/KMXT).
barely begins to describe the stock market lately. Take for example Monday
(yesterday), when the Dow Jones industrial average dipped as much as 800 points
before recovering somewhat to close with a loss of 370 points on the day. While
that was going on, a group of local financial experts got together to discuss
what the current situation on Wall Street means to the average resident of
Kodiak. KMXT’s Casey Kelly has more.
Chamber of Commerce sponsored the panel for its monthly Membership Monday’s
lunch. The overwhelming consensus amongst members of the panel was that people
in Kodiak are in a good position to ride out the current financial crisis. Greg
Deal from Wells Fargo Bank in Kodiak is a member of the chamber’s board of
directors. He says Wells Fargo’s local branches have experienced strong growth
in the past ten years.
(Deal 1 :30s “…it’s,
um, very favorable.”)
Johnson, a financial advisor with Edward Jones Investments, points to two
indicators as proof of Kodiak’s economic health: unemployment and sales tax
revenue. Unemployment in town, he says, is up slightly from last year at about
6.75 percent, but is still below the national average. Johnson says the sales
tax numbers surprised him.
1 :16s “…sales
tax revenue is higher.”)
that even the fishing industry, which drives Kodiak’s economy and is used to
seeing boom and bust years, has been relatively stable recently.
2 :37s “…for
the local economy.”)
Panelists were split over whether
the 700-billion dollar Wall Street bailout bill, passed by Congress and signed
by President Bush last week, was a good thing. Deal thinks it was.
(Deal 2 :19s “…will
be some recoveries.”)
Anderson with First National Bank in Kodiak isn’t so sure.
1 :12s “…kids
and my grandkids.”)
the panel agreed that there’s no reason to panic and pull your money out of
banks. One reason cited was that the bailout bill includes an increase in the
amount that bank accounts are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance
Corporation, from 100-thousand dollars to 250-thousand per account. However,
Anderson pointed out that it wasn’t like any one of the bankers on the panel was
going to say it’s a bad idea to keep your money with them.
2 :18s “…probably
from most bankers.”)
Johnson even said that now might be
a good time to invest in the stock market.
(Johnson 3 :29s “…right
now, at today’s prices.”)
Everyone agreed that the smart
thing to do is to invest strategically and diversely. They also said that if
you’re willing or able to ride out the current dip in the market, things will
I’m Casey Kelly.