Marin Economic Forum
San Rafael, CA (February 23, 2018) – Marin Economic Forum Chief Executive Officer Robin Sternberg announced today a slate of new directors for the economic advocacy organization’s non-executive board.
New Board Directors are:
- Karah Parschauer, Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Ultragenyx
- Steve Fox, Chief Financial Officer of EO Products
- Kevin Kearney, Real Estate Consultant, Vanguard Properties
- Sherie Hickman, Administrator at Novato Community Hospital
- Christian Thwaites, Chief Strategist at Brouwer & Janachowski
Marin Independent Journal
Transportation planners need more funds to complete the Novato Narrows widening project on Highway 101 between northern Marin and Petaluma. (IJ photo/Alan Dep)
Marin business leaders say completing the Novato Narrows widening is crucial for the economy of the North Bay and they hope new funding sources can see the project through.
Sources of cash from a state gas tax increase and possible bridge toll increase made getting $250 million to finish the work a possibility.
And Marin transportation officials are speeding up the design of Novato Narrows widening to make sure they are ready to go to construction if money becomes available.
Marin Independent Journal
By Adrian Rodriguez
Financial advisers in Marin say it’s a good time to review investments, as Donald Trump’s victory in the U.S. presidential election appears to be signaling a strong stock market.
“If you’re not investing, you should be putting your toe in,” said Neil Hennessy, CIO of Hennessy Funds in Novato.
Since Nov. 8, the stock market has seen some ups and downs, rising to record numbers last week. Investors nationwide have been betting that with Trump in office, and with a Republican-led Congress, there will be a push to deregulate energy and banking, cut taxes and increase government spending on infrastructure, making it the opportune time to invest and buy stock in the financial and commodities sectors.
However, Hennessy said investors should pay less attention to what might happen in a Trump administration and focus on the fact that “business is very resilient,” and that “everything points to a higher market” because of that.
By Robert Eyler
Marin Independent Journal
The recent passage of Brexit by voters in the United Kingdom raised many questions and had far-reaching consequences. And despite our small footprint, Marin County potentially will feel the repercussions.
Some good; some not so good.
Nonetheless, whatever the local outcomes, they should make us realize that this is an interdependent financial world that we live in.
And all the more reason that such organizations as the Marin Economic Forum continue to be an important informational, networking and idea exchange.
Because we (and the North Bay region) have several companies that compete on a global basis, there are three immediate issues to contemplate: housing and financial market performance, shifts in tourism flows, and trade links to the UK as either a marketplace or a gateway to mainland Europe.
The Brexit decision assures that we are likely to remember 2016 as one of the most politically intense years of the century.
While our presidential election is slowly building to a crescendo in November, the UK vote to leave the European Union has already changed the scenario that whomever we elect will have to face.
Because the UK’s currency is the pound sterling and not the Euro used in EU countries, the unwind will be more about how currencies are trading for each other and less about compliance.
But the disconnect from trade and financial infrastructure based on EU membership will be a large enough headache.
Marin County, housing may be positively affected for two reasons.
First, the outflow of capital toward the United States from the UK will further reduce pressure on interest rates; the Federal Reserve knows this and may now further delay interest rate increases to prevent the U.S. from becoming a magnet for UK wealth seeking the slightest of interest rate gains.
Mortgage rates should remain stable and low, and housing demand will remain supported.
Those residents with global investments may find losses from emerging markets that have ties to the UK (e.g., Indonesia and Malaysia); countries like Japan may be financial beneficiaries although auto sales to the UK (and wine sales there for the North Bay region) may suffer.
For Marin County businesses, trade and labor connections to the UK may be delayed or hampered.
U.S. trade relations otherwise should be little affected.
Businesses such as Autodesk and BioMarin may need to consider the size and scope of offices and business branches in the UK if they are utilized to service Europe more completely.
This may slow progress in life sciences generally, especially if global uncertainty is exacerbated by this situation.
For tourism, we may see a flip of British tourism for Americans.
Marin County residents may now plan trips to London that they have delayed if the pound’s value falls significantly. For UK travelers, the opposite might be the case, reducing their visits to Marin County, wine country and the greater Bay Area.
Businesses in Marin County, such as hotels and B&Bs and restaurants, may hear fewer UK accents.
Under the assumption that global uncertainty ebbs a bit after the tidal wave of opinions and concerns is done crashing over news channels, Marin County should be economically good after this is all said and done.
The UK has multiple reasons to sort the aftermath out quickly, and allow us to prepare for November and more political zaniness.
Robert Eyler is dean of the School of Extended and International Education at Sonoma State University as well as the chief economist for the Marin Economic Forum.