Town Column : Edgartown
Robert Solow, who calls himself "the friendly up-Island economist," spoke at the Old Whaling Church early last week. Mr. Solow is a 1987 Nobel Prize winner and has been a professor of economics at MIT for the past 40 years. He talked about how the highly leveraged financial sector contributed to the financial crisis, with resulting declines in wealth and consumer spending leading to a downturn in the real economy. He praised his former student Ben Bernanke, Chairman of the Federal Reserve, for his unorthodox approach of lending to the commercial markets to mitigate the crisis. Mr. Solow jokingly compared Mr. Bernanke to Captain Kirk, "Daring to loan where no man has loaned before."
Mr. Solow spoke about improving financial regulations to prevent a financial crisis from happening again. He said for the most part he likes the Obama Administration's regulatory reform policies, although he would go further and give regulators discretion in setting policies. He suggests this because "financial engineers" and their lawyers continually find ways to circumvent existing regulations. Mr. Solow, known for his theories of economic growth, does not expect the economy to start growing again until the end of this year or early next year, and predicts a recovery in the labor market to take even longer.
It is exciting to hear that President Obama and his family might vacation on the Island in August. Many newspapers have reported that the Obama's are considering renting a house on Edgartown Great Pond, among other locations. Whichever spot they choose, we should all feel proud to share our Island with the first family. Good for them that we are accustomed to national political figures and celebrities visiting the Island. I have no doubt that the Obamas will be grateful if we let them be, so that they can relax and enjoy their family vacation.
On Saturday, July 25, Vineyard Youth Tennis is holding its Mixed Doubles Madness Tennis Tournament to benefit the Vineyard Youth Tennis Scholarship Program. There will be a wine and beer party during the finals of the event. Entries must be in by July 23. You can download an application at vineyardyouthtennis.org
My kids were farmers for the day this past Wednesday at The FARM Institute. They had a great time feeding and caring for the animals and tending to the garden. Even though I only did the drop-off and pick-up, I enjoyed spending some summer moments at The FARM, and felt great pleasure knowing my boys were able to experience The FARM in all its wonder. The FARM Institute's largest annual fundraising event, Meals in the Meadow, takes place this Saturday evening. Tickets will be on sale through Saturday.
There are a number of other wonderful events coming up this week. The Edgartown School PTO Farmer's Market will take place on Friday from 9 am until 12 noon at the school (and will continue on Friday mornings through the end of August). The Katama Association Meeting will be held on Sunday from 9 am until 12 noon at The FARM Institute. All Katama residents are welcome.
On Wednesday night, the Annual Clambake at the Field Gallery in West Tisbury will be held to benefit home health care on the Island. And Thursday night, the Federated Church is holding its Chowder Supper from 6 to 7:15 pm. Please note that all the suppers will take place on Thursday nights through August 13. All proceeds benefit the Food Pantry. Thank you for remembering those in need.
Make every day special.