Magazine article Independent Banker

North Dakota Banker Advises Bush at Economic Summit

Magazine article Independent Banker

North Dakota Banker Advises Bush at Economic Summit

Article excerpt

Who says you have to be a Citibank to capture the ear of the most powerful man in America? Not Terry Jorde, president and CEO of CountryBank USA, a $35 million-asset bank in Cando, N.D.

Representing ICBA, Jorde proved the point in January when she joined two other trade association representatives (NFIB and the Consumer Federation of America) and a bevy of Fortune 500 CEOs to meet then President-elect George W. Bush.

"Only in America could a kid from North Dakota participate in something like this," Jorde says, who was invited by Lawrence Lindsey, Bush's chief economic advisor, She met Lindsey, a former Federal Reserve governor, when she served on the Federal Reserve's Consumer Advisory Council.

The closed-door gathering in Austin, Texas, was organized quickly (Jorde was given just five days notice) to give President Bush unvarnished assessments of the economy from some of the country's captains of industry. Executives from the likes of General Electric, Home Depot, General Electric, Intel, Union Pacific, Merck and Wal-Mart came calling to Bush's invitation.

Jorde is chairman of ICBA's Community Banking Network and has served as ICBA's treasurer and chair of the Agricultural-- Rural America Committee. She was tapped to advise Bush wearing her ICBA hat because of her deep understanding of the rural economy and for her community banking background. Her perspective balanced views of others in the room.

As several predictions of coming economic troubles weighed on the meeting room. a Bush aide rushed in with dramatic news-Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan and the Federal Open Market Committee had just taken the dramatic step to cut federal funds rate by a half percentage point. The historic news, underscoring the Fed's concern for growing economic turmoil ahead, seemed to catch many of the CEOs at the meeting by surprise, as it did Wall Street. …

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