Letter from the President
Autumn is a beautiful time to be living and working in the Federal Republic of Germany. Leaves turning golden, temperatures cooling down, every small town having a celebration fest, and all the populous slowly getting energized for another season of production. It’s not only a beautiful season; it’s a wonderful year to be living in this exemplary democracy of Germany. There are many anniversaries and wonderful events to celebrate.
It was 60 years ago that NATO was born, formed from the rubble and ashes of World War II. This alliance forged into a power during the many decades of fear and anxiety connected with the Cold War. It continues to evolve today as the most powerful military alliance on the planet, developing a meaningful role in Afghanistan and beyond.
This is the 20th anniversary of the opening of the Berlin Wall, on 9 November 1989. The spectacular euphoria of those who had been imprisoned for so long by this Wall exploded on the world. The films and interviews from that time are still remarkable today. We can be thankful for the cooperation of Gorbachov for permitting those East Germans to integrate into the West without fear of being murdered.
This wonderful event was the beginning of modern-day Germany.
Within just some few months, the requisite referendum was completed and the two Germanys once again became united. This is now celebrated annually on the 3rd of October, the Day of German Unity (Tag der Deutschen Einheit). As a national holiday, we’re all afforded the opportunity to share the celebration of this glorious event.
Our first successful, thriving, international chapter has been formed in Mobile, AL, under the capable leadership of Klaus Jeschke. We commend this newest group on already securing 60 members. They recently had the Counsel General provide an address to the membership and have a major celebration planned for the breaking of the Berlin Wall. It is with great pride that we welcome them into the association.
Working in close tandem with Mr. Uwe Twelker, Director of the IT programs of the AGBC, we have exciting news to report. Our website will soon invite considerably more participation. Each chapter will now be given the responsibility of posting all their own events, with information and pictures as desired. This will include past, future, and current events, and will encourage a much greater participation in each chapter’s local area. I also believe that this can now be used as an excellent recruiting tool, providing a good introduction of the AGBC to prospective members looking to see who we might be. Dennis Phillips, with his considerable experience in communication, will be taking care of all national event postings and expanding on such issues as the EOT.
Also on our website: we anticipate a much better Business Directory and Events Management postings capability in the next unit of time. Please make frequent visits to this site to share in its rapid improvement. Thanks to Dennis, Klaus, Ute, Tom and many others, our Entrepreneur of Tomorrow (EOT) program is off to another exciting start this year, with scholarships to be made available. I invite you to check the postings at this site to stay up-to-date on these current events.
Back to Business: we all need to be concerned with the nightmare that hit our various economies during the roughly 17 months of the recession, and we certainly need to continuously work to reduce the on-going unemployment and other residuals which had us so crippled. But, now there are many economic and market indicators which indicate how we are on the road to recovery. As reported in our first letter, the nadir of this monstrous market decline was on the 9th of March, this year, and markets have thankfully been improving ever since.
During the six months following this market low, the United States market climbed a total of 52 percent. Historically, we find that this is the greatest 6 month growth in the markets since 1933. Interestingly, the 6 months prior to this showed the greatest decline since 1932, a severe and unexpected jolt for very many people. Mindful of the fact that many markets around the world react differently to the performances in New York, it’s fascinating to note that there were remarkable parallels to this U.S. performance throughout the markets of Europe and Asia. Although there is still much work to do, no less a person than Mr. Ben Bernanke, the Chairman of the United States Federal Reserve Bank, has declared that, in his opinion, the economy has turned around and is well on the way to recovery; that opinion has been echoed by many other prominent economists. That news gives all of us a happy day.
But the happiest day of all for me was 20 years ago in two weeks. I was in the streets of Berlin and saw the faces of those fresh from the East. For them, the past was gone forever and a new life had begun. It was close to magic, and a time to never forget.
So it is with excitement and enthusiasm that we enter this next unit of time and season of progress for the Association of American German Business Clubs. We expect our happy anniversary year to continue and success to follow during this road to recovery. Happy Anniversary,
Barry E. Swanson