Friday, October 23, 2009

Morgan: Charlotte faces a 'reset'

Chamber president and self-described city cheerleader Bob Morgan this week gave a candid appraisal of Charlotte's post-boom economy.

Local stockholders suffered from declines in share prices at Bank of America and Wachovia (now Wells Fargo), but the accompanying loss of dividends, Morgan said, has been "absolutely devastating."

"There is a tremendous amount of wealth - here yesterday, gone today - and we, the community, are still dealing with that reset," he says in a SNL Financial report released Tuesday.

"You have a lot of shareholders that are employees, retirees, investors, foundations and trust funds, and nonprofits and for-profits who have invested in these two organizations and the dividends are basically gone as part of the TARP."

The report, entitled "Rattling the Hornet's Nest," lays out in stark terms what Charlotte has working in its favor, and against it.

The pros:

  • Lack of speculative run-up in home prices.
  • Favorable demographics.
  • A history of well-performing banks.

The cons:
  • Increasing bad loans at Charlotte-based banks and thrifts.
  • Decline in local wealth from hits to bank stocks.
  • High unemployment.

  • High office vacancy rate.

In a separate story published the following day, Morgan offered another sober assessment.
Under the headline "This is the bust in the boomtown that banks built," the Washington Post quotes Morgan this way:
"I think there's a new humility to Charlotte," said Bob Morgan, president of the city's Chamber of Commerce. "We didn't worry too much about the things being done in Dallas, Atlanta, San Francisco," he said, when banks in those cities were swallowed by Charlotte's giants. "We are now living it ourselves."
- Doug Miller


Anonymous said...

These circumstances ought to spark a local conversation about what we do next, rather than the hand-wringing over charities. If our local economy is healthy, charitable giving will take care of itself.

Anonymous said...

dat mayor better not talk bad bout mi side of town again. we da reason charlotte is mad hot!!!

Anonymous said...

Add to the "cons" list: Highest taxed state and county in the southeast

Anonymous said...

also add to many minorities to the con list.

king of charlotte said...

so did that wachovia manager girl try and drink herself to death or what? where is some facts and not facebook updates

Anonymous said...

This financial debacle that is stealing away Charlotte's banking assets (which is largly being perpetrated by vengeful New York interests, including former Goldman Sachs CEO Hank Paulson)is in no way similar to our banks prior purchases of other banks in years past. Those deals were done with local expertise. Today's weakening of BofA was done by Paulson and the Feds forcing Ken Lewis to buy Merrill, and now replacing BofA's Board members with Wall Street cronies. Now that Lewis did Paulson and Geitners bidding to "save the financial system", Lewis is being punished for doing exactly what he was forced to do. Before Merril, BofA was a "good bank" that was strong and well managed--which is why Wall Street set out to steal its assets. Charlotteans and their elected representatives (and the Charlotte Chamber) should now be mad as hell, and refuse to take it any more -- before it is too late to save BofA and keep it here.
Let's get busy!

Anonymous said...

Looks like it's time head back up north on I-77!

Anonymous said...

I got another pro: Giant corn maze in huntersville. We could market ourselves as the corn maze capital of the country. Look out vegas

Anonymous said...

Also add: TOO many honkies that can't spell.

white woman said...

that is a racial slur, say that to my face and see if your order comes out right

Anonymous said...

A listed pro was a low run-up in home prices. That's also a Con since not nearly as much $ was made circa 2003-2007 as in some other places.

The recent history of BB&T and Centura explains alot when compared to Wachovia and BoA. BB&T and Centura and others let the 2 dumb Charlotte-based giants play 'keep up with the Jones'' and get into pro sports and arenas and stadiums - as they just remained smaller, steadier and more profitable - as they probably laugh at daily today. And Charlotte bought into the 'we're bigtime and a major city (as Wachovia and BoA also bought the same hype).

Another con: forgetting its roots (local influence and SC influence -not statewide, national or worldwide influence).

Anonymous said...

Maybee some facts will start to emerge. The White house attempt to contol the media just suffered a major setback today. All major news teams just walked out of a press conf. @ the White House when they discovered the White House had excluded Fox News. The Honeymoon just ended?

Anonymous said...

please tell me the president of our chamber could have done a better job outlining the "pro's and con's" of charlotte right now?!
As a self-described cheerleader, this is a pathetic attempt at informing us of the 'state of the union'.
This cheerleader needs a time out to work on new drills.

Anonymous said...

McCain/Palin lost.
President Obama is still the president, your Nobel Peace winning president.
Sorry to inform you of reality 101. This article wasn't about him.

Anonymous said...

Funny, Bob Morgan shunned small business when he took over the chamber. All he cared about were the big banks, I imagine the chamber will be trying to run up small biz memberships now. Too little, too late.

Linnea said...

Con: Charlotte's been marketing itself ("Charlotte USA" and "World-Class City") for so long that it forgot to actually become those things. But there's still hope. I'd like to see Charlotte become more than a starchy Banktown (and I hope Morgan and his ilk will pay more attention to small business), but I'd also hate to see BofA leave. These banks do a lot more behind the scenes than most people realize.

Anonymous said...

Ahh Charlotte, the debate goes on. Such a weak city. There is nothing here, and now even the bankers are leaving. hah . Cons: We have no major park, zoo, entertainement the highway lights still do not work and a terrible highway/blvd system. It feels like the 'the country' as my south carolina friends put it. Pros: Location.

Anonymous said...

The little sister of Atlanta has been burned by the ghost of Lincoln and Sherman at the orders of Bush and Bama who felt the south was getting too big for its pants again.
The Illinois mafia has taken over again 150 yrs later and the south must be turned to ashes. Wachovia was axed and now BOA.
The has been north with its delapidated overgrown diseased debt crime riddled giant frozen concrete jungles are being ressurected by the mutt messiah thanks to his Bush the baptist. Bama says the south must be destroyed for good this time around.
The envious north trying to stop its traitorus population shift to its southern enemy will never stop fighting its pre-emptive uncivil war against the superior south it as long as Lincolns ghost lingers in DC.

friend of charlotte said...

If some of you hate Charlotte so much, let me help you pack your bags so you can leave it to those of us who love this city.