Volume 46, Number 3, Autumn  2008

Bailouts and Meltdowns

What's Ahead for Montana's Economy?


Patrick M. Barkey

High energy prices, mortgage foreclosures, bank failures, and the collapse of Wall Street have launched the U.S. economy into a state of chaos and confusion. Though there are still too many uncertainties to make an informed estimate of when or by how much Montana's state forecast will change, the Bureau will remain cautiously optimistic.

Feeling the Credit Crunch?


Paul E. Polzin

Recessions usually hit some states harder than others. Here in Montana, we have been lucky that both the current recession and the last two (in 2001-02 and 1990-91) have been milder than the national average. The impacts of the credit crisis will be different.

Montana's Housing Industry

Home Sales and New Construction Declines


Scott Rickard

The near meltdown of the housing finance industry has sent shock waves through the nation's economy. While Montana hasn't experienced the number of mortgage foreclosures or other financial disasters as some states, it has been a tough year for the state's housing industry.

Fiscal Impacts of an Aging Population in Montana


George W. Haynes, Douglas J. Young and Myles Watts

Aging of the population may put significant pressure on federal, state, and local government budgets in coming decades. On the revenue side, income taxes may fall as Baby Boomers retire. On the expenditure side, state and local governments pay for a variety of services for the elderly, including some health care and nursing homes.

Indian Entrepreneur Helps Build Business Environment on Reservations


Jenny Donohue

Bob Gauthier's resume runs the gamut, from beer truck driver to tribal jailer to presidential appointee. While he may have taken an unusual path to success, his heritage, experience, and entrepreneurial spirit make Gauthier uniquely qualified as one of the only independent economic development consultants for Montana's Indian reservations.

Forest Industry Expert Retires


Tyler Christensen, reprinted courtesy of the Missoulian

For the past 30 years, Chuck Keegan has followed the timber iindustry's struggles and triumphs as an economist with the Bureau of Business and Economic Research. In that time, he has watched the region's forest products industry fulfill his predictions and reinvent itself in improbable ways. Now it's time to retire, leaving his position as the bureau's director of forest industry and manufacturing research.