Monday, February 7, 2011

Here's a forecast you can count (money) on

Whew! I am so relieved to have survived the second snowstorm of the century in the past three years. And thank goodness for that rogue “dry air pocket” that saved southeast Michigan from sure Armageddon, at least according to the (again) red-faced television weather “forecasters.”

It continues to amaze me just how unpredictable our weather can be, given the arsenal of technology available to today's meteorologists. Maybe that's why we still rely on the Farmer's Almanac and a groundhog to predict our weather.

Speaking of forecasts, the Birmingham Bloomfield Chamber kicks off our 2011 Forecast Series on Thursday, Feb. 10, with our Economic Forecast featuring two experts who really know their stuff. Our featured speakers are Paul Traub from the Federal Reserve Bank and Huntington Bank's George Mokrzan. They are noted experts in their respective fields in analyzing and predicting local, regional and national economic trends.

Traub is a business economist for the Federal Reserve of Chicago's Detroit Branch. Traub retired in 2008 as corporate economist for Chrysler. A good part of his job was tracking the economy and forecasting its impact on Chrysler's North American auto sales.

Mokrzan is a vice president and senior economist for Huntington Bancshares Inc.'s Private Financial and Capital Markets group. In his position, he performs macroeconomic analyses of the U.S. and world economies, and developed his own forecasting model to successfully predict major turning points in the economy, and relative industry and sector stock price probabilities.

The forecast luncheon is at 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. at the Townsend Hotel in downtown Birmingham. Register at

Joe Bauman is president of the Birmingham Bloomfield Chamber. He welcomes feedback at

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