First, Let’s Put
the Fire OutIn the struggle to determine how best to address our financial crisis, the “fairness” question tugs at us – but pulls attention away from the real task at hand. Keeping things fair suggests we must avoid rewarding the players who created this global economic difficulty as we straighten it out.
You’ve at least heard it if not said it yourself: Folks who took out mortgages beyond their means shouldn’t get our hard-earned money to fix their materialistic mistake. Help, instead, those who played by the rules and acted responsibly. A CNBC cable TV reporter who vented on the subject in mid-February won his 15 minutes of fame for doing so.
There is no reasonably practical mechanism, though, by which to conduct any such sorting. No Solomon is going to step from the pages of the Bible and present an option that gives everyone their just desserts. There are too many millions of players, and our need for action is immediate.
That means some of the bad players will make out. It’s regrettable but apparently necessary. The goal we must accomplish is restabilization of the marketplace, especially real estate. The apt analogy being presented by policymakers is that the fire department doesn’t analyze whose fault the fire is before they put it out.
When the marketplace again functions, we all will be bailed out.
The world is not perfect and it is not fair. Acknowledge it, deal with it, move past it.
The problem of bad players has always been with us, and it always will be. That is why some degree of regulation is essential in the financial markets. For now, first things first: Pursue policy that restabilizes the real estate market and business confidence. There then will be plenty of time to balance the scales for the deserving.
— Mark Green
Louisville Arena Site Is Live on Web
Ever wonder how work is progressing on that new riverfront Louisville Arena project? See for yourself right now: Visit arenaauthority.com and click on the arena cam for a continuous bird’s eye view of the worksite.
It’s an amazing tool. You can zoom in for a 600 percent magnification view of high-resolution photos and scan the entire area in detail. Construction machinery recently has been creating the foundation for the arena and its parking garage. The cam site also allows visitors to look at the progression of work by using calendar and time-lapse features.
The $238 million multiuse facility includes a 760-space onsite parking garage. The arena will seat 22,000 for basketball and more than 11,000 for lower level only events. Arena-generated revenues are projected at $1.16 billion over the 30-year life of debt service on the $349 million in bonds sold to finance the project.
The arena is scheduled to open in November 2010.
Farm Machinery Show Pulls Large Crowds
Here’s an encouraging word. Despite the economic downturn and another windstorm with regional power outages, the 44th National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville had strong attendance totals again. The show attracted 306,706 people – its second highest total ever – during a four-day run Feb. 11-14 at the Kentucky Exposition Center.
More than 800 exhibitors filled 27 acres of floor space at KEC, furthering the National Farm Machinery Show’s reputation as the largest indoor agricultural exposition in the nation. It drew national and international attendees and exhibitors, generating nearly $21.5 million in economic impact here.
“It was quite satisfying to see the show’s exhibitors and attendees filling more than 1.2 million s.f. of agricultural displays,” said Harold Workman, president & CEO of the Kentucky State Fair Board, which produces the show. “Even with the additional space of the North Wing, which opened in 2007, we sold out of exhibit space more than two months ago.”
The 45th National Farm Machinery Show and the 42nd Championship Tractor Pull will be Feb. 10-13, 2010, in the same location. The show’s biggest attendance was 2006 when 312,206 came.
Top 1,000 Financial Advisors: A Positive Force for Investors
In Kentucky, these are the top 10 financial advisers selected by Barron’s as the best in the state:
A recent issue of Barron’s shined a positive light on U.S. financial services when it selected the best 1,000 financial advisers at Wall Street’s houses, banks and other firms.
Obviously, the recent financial meltdown has been a highly stressful period for financial advisers and investors. The decline of the stock market and the failures of blue chip firms – including leading manufacturing, retail, insurance, banking and financial services companies – have been disappointing and frustrating to all.
Barron’s said its top 1,000 advisers are facing the challenge of their lifetimes. Many, however, have been faring much better than their employers. According to Barron’s, many of the pros surveyed recommend buying beaten-down corporate and municipal bonds, some with yields approaching double digits.
When the economic environment is tough, it’s great to know that some of America’s brightest advisers are a local phone call away and available to help investors in the Bluegrass. Perhaps during times of adversity, winners (stocks, bonds and advisers) stand out in the crowd.
Nationwide here’s the ranking for the top 10 firms with financial advisers in Barron’s top 1,000:
Firm No. of Top advisers
Merrill Lynch 239
Wachovia Securities 135
Smith Barney 122
Morgan Stanley 121
Raymond James 24
Deutsche Bank 22
For more information visit barrons.com