Lumina chair Mutz preps for a W downturn

August 31, 2009
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A growing number of indicators, both official and anecdotal, suggest the recession that began in late 2007 is over. Industrial production is up, consumer confidence is rising, and so on.

All well and good. But the chairman of Lumina Foundation, the Indianapolis group that focuses on improving college education levels, is digging in for another downturn before things improve for the long haul.

John Mutz, who remains active in a number of roles including a board seat on the Indiana Economic Development Corp., says Lumina Foundation in the past couple of months has shifted part of its investment portfolio to cash, corporate bonds and other safe harbors despite recent improvement in the stock market.

And the former lieutenant governor has enough confidence in the strategy to follow suit with his personal investments.

Why? Because the U.S. still faces two major headwinds, he says.

Consumers, who drive the lion’s share of the economy, won’t be spending much for a long time. The home equity that fueled much of the pre-recession bubble is gone, so consumers wouldn’t be able to go on another spending binge by borrowing against their homes if they wanted to. Consumers also have learned a painful lesson about spending beyond their means. “Frugality is going to be with us for a while,” he says.

The second headwind is education levels. One of the most under-reported stories is that the U.S. is falling behind other industrialized countries in college attainment, Mutz cautions. He warns the erosion of the country’s competitive position doesn’t bode well for a lasting economic recovery.

Add it up, and the U.S. economy probably won’t emerge in reasonably strong condition for another three years, Mutz says.

A sobering assessment, to be sure. What do you think about it?
 

 

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  1. How is the private developer going to repay the bonds. Is this going to be a toll road?

  2. As well as a Portillio'S!!!!!!

  3. A Lou Malnati's would be awesome!!!!!!!!

  4. We aren't broke. We just aren't willing to raise revenues for this that we should be raising them.

  5. OK. now that the state is taking illegal immigrants, willing or not. There is a major concern that needs to be addressed. First: School starts here in 3 weeks in most parts of the country and probably in Indiana. So is the state going to vaccinate these kids before they intermingle with our kids in school? The problem we are going to have here in the US and possibly in Indiana is that some of these kids could be carrying health issues or diseases that are pretty much eradicated in the US. This could cause a major health issue in the US. Second: Who is going to pay for this building disaster? We are flat out broke….. Down here in Texas, we have 14 counties that have been so swamped with kids, (numerous thousands of them), they are on the verge of financial collapse. Now this is happening in counties in New Mexico, Arizona and California. The system is massively overloaded. Swine flu has started back up in San Antonio since they have nearly 2500 kids that have been placed there and lice is rampant. Not to be insensitive, but we need to stop this madness. I find it amazing that we cannot take care of our veterans and yet give carte blanche to illegals entering the country. Recently an article mentioned that these kids and teenagers can get on planes without TSA screening? What? What the Hell???? Keep in mind this about protecting our national sovereignty as a nation and also living under the rule of law. Not only the terrorist threat that can come over the border. This is a deliberate and irresponsible and illegal act from administration ignoring the constitutional duty of protecting the borders and also upholding the supreme law of the land. This is a classic Cloward and Piven strategy to overload the system until it collapses.

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