I attended the Columbian’s Economic Forecast breakfast Tuesday morning. Dr Joh Williams, head of the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank which covers a nine state region was the feaured speaker. His message was pretty clear. The panic of 2008 that resulted from the popping of the housing bubble was so destructive that it will take at least another 3 to 4 years to complete the repair of the wreckage. We’ve seen two and a half years of slow growth, and can expect more of the same this year – probably in the 2.5 per cent range for GDP. He feels the Feds actions prevented a second Great Depression, and that their policies will stay pretty consistent to what we’ve seen the past 3 years. It is his view that more attention needs to be focused on solutions to the housing markets to determine ways to speed the process. I’ll speak to more of his points and to the panel discussions that are part of the event in posts later this week.