Cogwheel Archive

Cogwheel | Thursday | 12.11.08

December 11, 2008

Today’s Program: Annual Club Meeting and Dairy Farmer Gene Bang (Braucher)

Birthdays: Ed Fox (12/11) and Dean Johnson (12/14)

Next Week: The Fabulous Troubadours (Maestro Meidt)

Last Week:

Buckle up! It could be a rugged ride to the bottom of the financial crater unfolding before us.

That’s the advice of Dr. Heino Beckmann, a professor of International Finance at St. Thomas University in St. Paul and the honorary German Counsel to selected states in the Upper Midwest. He predicts more bad news before we see signs of a turn around. He estimates that full recovery could be five years off.

Dr. Beckmann said America’s financial crisis is in many ways “self-manufactured.” Our trade deficit is large and growing. And the philosophy of an ownership society is wobbling because individuals are ill-equipped to shoulder the risks inherent in today’s healthcare, pension and mortgage transactions.

The United States is at great risk, he said, because we are dependent on others both for energy and financing. Yet, major crises give birth to new philosophies and new relationships. He expects the United States to remain the most powerful actor on the world stage, but we will have to cede influence to China, Russia, Brazil and others as emerging countries compete for scarce resources. He suggests we may also have to adopt a more elastic understanding of capitalism.

The benefit might well be greater international stability, fueled in large part by the United States rejoining other major powers in multi-lateral discussions of critical global issues.

Dr. Beckmann said it is vital that we maintain the Atlantic relationship between the U.S. and Europe and not force the Europeans to look to the east for support.

New Members: Therese Whitesong, insurance, (Cashman) and Matt Rich, law, (Ophaug). Welcome to you both. We always appreciate new energy.

Guests: Mark Thacher (Bollinger), Harry Williams and Deithelm Prowe (Prowe), Erin Bank (Bank), Erika Staub (Rasmussen), Jerry Olszewski (Meidt).

Scholarship Enhancement: Richard Maus and the runner-up – eligible for a gift certificate to Tiny’s – Scott Davis.

Announcements:

Rob Bierman estimates the Thanksgiving Turkey Run will net $7,000. Not bad for a three-hour event. Nice going Rob, committee and helpers.

The Rotary Basketball Tournament will be this Saturday at Carleton’s Rec Center. There may be a few jobs yet unfilled. See Mark Cashman if you can help.

Coming Up:

Dec. 25 – Merry Christmas. No meeting.

Jan. 1 – Football to watch; resolutions to break.

Jan. 8 – Healthy Community Initiative update on drug use among Northfield youth. Yvette Marthaler with Rice County Social Services and Sarah Shippy from Omada Behavioral Health Services (Abbot).