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DALLAS – The economy could do this. or it could do that. Such were the predictions of economists four years ago at Southwest Corporate Federal Credit Union’s Economic Forum. The November 2000 Presidential Elections were over, but the outcome was still hanging in the balance. An extremely close race and controversial voting procedures left the nation with no clue as to whom their next president would be and what his economic plan would look like. Barring a repeat of unusual circumstances such as these, credit unions attending Southwest Corporate’s Economic Forum 2004: Plotting a Future Course, Nov. 9-10 at the Westin Galleria Hotel should get economists’ first-blush predictions on what effects a continuing – or new – Administration will have on the U.S. economy. The event will showcase national, regional and credit union-oriented economists, outlining their expectations for the economic landscape over the next 12 months. Speakers include: Peter Richiutti, assistant dean at Tulane University’s Freeman School of Business; CUNA Chief Economist Bill Hampel; Jeff Thredgold, a nationally recognized economic consultant; Charles Idol, credit union-oriented economist and expert on asset/liability management; and Jay Bryson, vice president and global economist for Wachovia. Keynoting the event Nov. 9 will be retired four-star General Wesley Clark, who is no stranger to economics. As a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University, he received a Master’s Degree in politics and economics. He was a White House Fellow in the 1970s and served as an assistant to the Director of the Office of Management and Budget. Presumably, he sharpened his economic views during a brief bid to become the Democratic Party’s 2004 presidential candidate. NCUA Board Member Debbie Matz will share observations from her role on the board at the Nov. 9 Economic Forum luncheon. She will join Southwest Corporate’s CEO Francis Lee in making a special presentation to recognize the 70th anniversary of the nation’s first federally chartered credit union, Morris Sheppard Federal Credit Union in Texarkana, Texas. On Monday, Nov. 8 prior to the Economic Forum, Southwest Corporate Investment Services will hold a special one-day seminar for its clients.

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