Each Sunday morning for the past seven years, I’ve hosted the “Ilyce Glink Show” on Newstalk 750 WSB/Atlanta.
Since the show’s inception, I’ve started each show discussing the economy. As we moved from boom to bust, my economic segments have focused on how today’s news affects investors and consumers.
The interesting thing about hosting a radio show is hearing what’s on my listener’s minds. They’re quick to call in and let me know whether they agree with what I’ve been saying or not. Their questions tell me what’s going on in their lives.
This week, I discussed how a new study is showing that homeowners who are underwater with their mortgages are defaulting at an even faster rate. I also regularly discuss the coming commercial real estate collapse, long-term unemployment and other news items.
So much of the economic news of the week (this week, it was the pending inability of countries like Greece,Spain, Portugal and others to pay back their debt, plus a “sneeze” from China) wreaks havoc in the stock markets – it’s tough to shrug it off and say, “Today’s news doesn’t matter.”
I think the economy and each week’s economic news matter quite a great deal – to consumers, to investors and to anyone else connected to business.
This week on the show, Wayne‘s call struck me the most. Wayne is an attorney with decades of experience. Even two years ago, attorneys were doing well. Today, there’s no work, and Wayne is considering finding another line of work. He told me that the Atlanta Bar Association has a networking meeting each month for unemployed lawyers. The number of attorneys who attend each month is growing.
My husband, Sam, is a real estate attorney and he sees the same thing going on in Chicago. More attorneys are finding there is less to do. Many firms have “de-equitized” their partners, cut their salary and benefits, and fired hundreds of attorneys and support staff. When the $150,000 to $500,000 attorney jobs go away, that’s a lot of lost income not being pumped into the economy.
Wayne can’t quite believe that he is at this point in his career – and his life.
I could sense the anguish as he asked me the real question on his mind: “Ilyce, how close do you think we were to another Great Depression?”
My answer: “We were on a knife’s edge. And, we’re still very close.”
It’s clear to me that the chasm between Wall Street and Main Street in increasing and is unsustainable.
The good news? This could mean another “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunity for investors.