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Daily Archive for May 26 2011

BB&T CEO Predicts Steady Growth

This story appears in this morning’s Charleston Gazette.

By Eric Eyre
Charleston Gazette

The U.S. economy is “kind of sputtering along,” but that’s not a bad thing, BB&T CEO Kelly King told Charleston business leaders Wednesday night.

“That’s the way an economy has to rebuild itself during recovery, especially after a recession that was so deep and so broad,” said King, who heads the nation’s eighth-largest commercial bank.

Speaking at the Charleston Area Alliance’s “Annual Celebration” at the Clay Center, King said Americans shouldn’t expect a robust or “boomerang” economy during the next three to five years. Instead, he said, they’ll see slow, steady growth.

“What we need is jobs, jobs, jobs,” he said. “The recession is over. We are in recovery.” (more…)

BB&T Chief Speaks at Annual Celebration

This story appears in today’s Charleston Daily Mail.

By George Hohmann
Daily Mail Business Editor

If the federal government hadn’t overreacted to the 2008 financial crisis, “which whipped the country into a panic frenzy, we would have survived fine,” said Kelly King, chairman and chief executive officer of BB&T Corp.

“Several big firms would have failed, we would have had 30 days of anxiety, then we would have moved on,” King said. “We would have had a tough recession,” but not a catastrophe.

King delivered the keynote speech Wednesday at the Charleston Area Alliance’s Annual Celebration. More than 400 business leaders from the region attended the event at the Clay Center.

Given that the federal government did create a panic, “there were days you could see the whole system collapsing,” he said. “Given that we were in that situation, you had to step in. In that context, TARP (the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program, which pumped money into banks, General Motors, AIG and some other companies) was a good thing. But it did not have to happen.”

Although TARP gave the banking business a black eye because people still refer to it as the bank bailout, “when the dust settles the whole TARP program may actually turn a profit,” King said.

The federal overreaction was unfortunate, King said, because “when you have a big panic and the government steps in, it so undermines the system. The system is built on confidence. Before this, we bankers were fairly well thought of. Right after this we were down there with the lawyers.” (more…)

Alliance Hosts Celebration

The story below aired this morning on WCHS Radio.

BB&T CEO Kelly Kings say business leaders in Charleston and around the nation are key to the an economic recovery.

King was the keynote speaker at the Charleston Area Alliance’s Annual Celebration at the Clay Center Wednesday night.

Generation Charleston Co-Char Ryan White says growing business is exactly what Charleston Alliance does.

“The importance of this organization is to encourage business to come in and add jobs, and also build a sense of community,” White said.

The Alliance’s Vice President, JoEllen Zacks, says over the next year the group will work to bring even more business to Charleston.

“Try to recruit companies here, help the companies that already are here become more successful, and improve the quality of life for everyone that lives here,” Zacks said.

King says more jobs can be created as the U.S. comes out of the economic downturn.

White says the Alliance will try to attract companies to drill in the Marcellus Shale in Charleston.  Several sites around the state, including an area in Kanawha County, have been considered.  White says they will work to bring it to Charleston.

“Bringing an ethane cracker to West Virginia, and what comes with that, which is additional chemical industry,” White said.