C-Circle – Economic Outlook for 2020

Date: Thursday, January 16, 2020
Time: 8:00am-10:00am
Location: Deutsche Bank Labs
Silicon Valley
2650 Birch Street
Suite 150
Palo Alto, CA 94306

Are you a CEO or other C-level executive and wish to request to be part of these events?


ACG Silicon Valley’s C-Circle, now in its ninth year, proudly announces that it has attracted a following of approximately 400 CEOs and C-level executives and achieved a regular attendance of 35 executives per session.


Economic Outlook for 2020

In response to recent volatility in the stock market, rising prices (and declining yields) for U.S. Treasury bonds, and difficulties in the trade relationship between the United States and China, many pundits, politicians and fund managers have been loudly forecasting an economic decline if not recession in the U.S., timed to coincide with the 2020 presidential election. The increasing volume of these forecasts and incorrect predictions are driven partly by partisan hopes that an economic slowdown gives Democrats the best opportunity to defeat President Trump next year. But hopes of this kind do not make for sound economic forecasts. None of the major institutional forecasters is looking ahead to a recession in 2020. The Conference Board, while recognizing risks to the economy, is still forecasting real GDP growth of 2.3% in 2019 and 2% in 2020. The International Monetary Fund, in July 2019, forecasted global growth to expand to 3.5% in 2020, with the U.S. economy expected to expand at 1.9%. The most recent forecast of the Federal Open Market Committee calls for 2% growth in real GDP in 2020, compared with 2.1% in 2019. This is the conventional wisdom, to be sure, and such wisdom has often missed the mark, as we saw in 2007-2008, the disastrous interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve in late 2018 as it misread the economic indicators and recent jobs reports for October and November 2019.

Please join us for a stimulating discussion on the outlook for the US and Silicon Valley economies in 2020 and beyond.

  • What is the anticipated GDP growth in 2020?
  • Is GDP growth the appropriate measure for understanding the economic health of the US or globally?
  • What measures should business owners look at?
  • How did the pundits miss the jobs growth in the last two months?
  • Did the Federal Reserve learn anything from its past mistakes?
  • What are the positive aspects of the current US economy?
  • How does the dramatic increase in the number of people in the work force impact economic growth?
  • What are the headwinds for the US economy?
  • Will Europe recover in 2020?
  • What have been the drivers of the decrease in capital investment in 2019?
  • What is the likely impact of trade tensions between the U.S. and China and the U.S. and the European Union?
  • Have these tensions caused significant disruptions in supply chains?
  • What will be the impact in the US of the presidential primaries and the onslaught of negativity?
  • What is the status of current economic productivity in the US and what is the trend?
  • Will we see advances in technologies such as artificial intelligence have much of an impact on productivity in 2020?
  • What impact will the recent stock market record highs have on consumer and business confidence levels?
  • Can unemployment continue to fall or has it hit bottom?
  • Has the achievement by the US as a “net energy exporter” served as a stabilizing factor in the economy?


Guest Experts


Christopher Combs

Portfolio Strategy Officer
Silicon Valley Capital Partners

Chris’ primary focus is to grow client capital in good times and protect it in bad times. Chris believes that up to 80% of a portfolios success in driven by macroeconomic forces. Chris explains that the biggest error we see investors make is owning reasonable, even good investments at the wrong time.
It’s not surprising that Chris has spent most of his career developing systems to understand and manage investment risk.

Chris started in the industry in 1985, accepting a US Bank executive training collegiate scholarship which provided comprehensive training while attending college.
During this time, Chris was trained in US Bank’s well known technique of “Evaluating Business Ventures” or free cash flow analysis, which forever change his perception of value. Over 10 years, Chris also served in various capacities including credit analysis, trust services, branch banking operations, compliance and distribution system productivity planning.

In 1995, Chris left US Bank to work at Investors Diversified Services, where he remained for the next 8 years becoming “a student of the market”.

Silicon Valley Capital Partners was officially launched in July 31, 2003. Chris has enormous passion for his work as an investment and macroeconomic strategist, but mostly as a service provider to some very special relationships.

Chris holds a Bachelor of Science in Finance and Law from Portland State University.


Eric S. Goodbar

Managing Director
BNY Wealth Management

Eric Goodbar is a managing director for BNY Mellon Wealth Management’s Family Wealth Investment Advisor group. In this role, he provides investment advice to individuals and families by creating tailored wealth management solutions to meet their investment, trust and estate, wealth planning and private banking needs.

Eric has more than 32 years of experience in the investment management and finance industry. He previously served as managing director, Global Investment Strategist, at Mellon Capital Management. In that position, he was responsible for articulating various strategies to clients and prospects and was a key participant in the refinement of existing, and development of new strategies.

Eric is a former adjunct faculty member at the Illinois Institute of Technology, Stuart School of Business. He has extensive alternative investment research expertise, including contributions to The Handbook of Managed Futures and numerous conference appearances.




James C. Chapman


Jim is a partner at Rimon P.C. where he focuses his practice on securities law, venture capital, mergers and acquisitions, and international business transactions. He counsels publicly traded and privately held clients on public offerings, private placements, debt financings, venture capital transactions, mergers and acquisitions, and related transactions. Jim also represents venture capital firms, angels, and family offices in their investments. With 30 years of experience in corporate and securities law, he has represented clients in over 300 mergers, acquisitions, and financing transactions.

Although he has been involved in transactions all over the world, Jim was also an early pioneer in representing companies in cross border transactions between the US and China. These transactions include both assisting Chinese companies investing and raising capital in the U.S. and helping U.S. enterprises acquire Chinese companies, transfer technology, enter into joint ventures and operate, in China. Jim has also been involved in negotiating resolutions to some of the most high-profile disputes involving US companies operating in China.

Jim’s US-China experience extends to a wide variety of industries including media, mobile, software, semiconductor, alternative energy, nanotechnology and pharmaceuticals. He has been recognized by Finance Monthly Global Awards, ACQ5 Global Awards and Corporate Live Wire as “China Investment Attorney of the Year” for 2015, 2016 and 2017 and by Corporate Intl Legal Awards and Global Law Experts as “China Investment Attorney of the Year- California” for 2015 and 2016. Prior to joining Rimon P.C, Jim was a partner with Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP, a leading international law firm.