My family has deep generational roots in Georgia, including Irwinton, Gordon, Macon, Milledgeville, and Montezuma. My father was a dentist, and his father was a railway engineer for the Central of Georgia Railway for over 33 years. My mother raised 4 kids and taught Sunday School at Wieuca Road Baptist Church. Her father took over raising his family of 9 at the age of 18, after his father died in a shootout in downtown Milledgeville. This left a deep imprint on my family about the importance of living up to responsibilities.
I was born in Macon, but my family moved to Atlanta in 1955. After attending public schools in Atlanta, I attended Vanderbilt University before transferring to the College of William & Mary. In 1977, I completed my Masters of Business Administration degree from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Finance.
After several years in various executive positions in the United States and Europe, I brought my family back to Atlanta in 1986 to build a small business — investment firm Equity Investment Corporation — from a spare bedroom in my house. The firm now manages approximately $5 billion for clients across the United States.
The firm's core investment philosophy has been that the key to long term investment success is avoiding significant losses. Thus, it is not surprising that the firm's growth was spurred by the steep market losses in 2001-2002 and 2008, when we performed well for clients. But to do so, we had to stand against the Wall Street crowds who were driving prices too high in the 1990's, and then ignoring banking risks in the mid-2000's.
“If there is anything I cannot stand, it is wasteful spending and poor investments. It is time for new policies that benefit the many, and not just large corporations.”
- Jim Barksdale
I am not a politician. But I've learned the importance of standing firm when things don't make sense, so I feel I have a responsibility to do something today. Regardless of one's ideology, we can all agree the irresponsible and reckless policies from Washington have gone on too long. Businesses can't grow when incomes are declining from lack of high-paying jobs, and neither can families. Firms that don't invest in people tend to be firms that stop growing, and I see this happening in America today.
Meanwhile, to compensate for poor policies, the Federal Reserve creates money to artificially keep interest rates low. This has created another financial bubble where those with money (except seniors living on their savings) get richer, while workers and students face limited opportunities. Even worse, neither our companies nor our government are prepared for the costs society will bear when interest rates return to historically normal levels. So, as bad as things seem today, they may get worse before they get better. It is time we changed course, and that is why I am in this campaign.
Our problems were created in Washington as Congress deregulated financial markets to please Citigroup and Goldman Sachs, agreed to trade deals that cost American's high-paying jobs, and wrote legislation preventing our government from negotiating with drug companies for lower prices on our behalf. Meanwhile, due to wasteful spending on unnecessary wars abroad and underinvestment at home, our debt has soared while our growth has slowed. And if there is anything I cannot stand, it is wasteful spending and poor investments. It is time for new policies that benefit the many, and not just large corporations.
If you agree, please join me. It's never going to change if we don't try to change it.