Investment Strategist Addresses Economy And Occupy Wall Street With Fort Wayne Gathering

By Mary Collins
By Jeff Neumeyer

October 14, 2011 Updated Oct 14, 2011 at 6:11 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) --- The staying power of the "Occupy Wall Street” movement may depend upon the policy decisions made in Washington between now and the 2012 Presidential election.

That's the opinion of Fifth Third Bank investment strategist John Augustine, who spoke in Fort Wayne Friday about what lies ahead for the economy.

The Occupy Wall Street reference is timely here in Fort Wayne.

Protesters say they will begin toting signs in the downtown area Saturday, advocating for change.

www.occupyfortwayne.org promises a peaceful rally that will converge on Headwaters Park.

Text from the site says, "We are Patriots...who stand before corporate Goliath that has twisted the system to benefit only themselves at the expense of the American people."

Augustine didn’t dismiss the new protests, saying the Tea Party movement was scoffed at by a number of critics, but has since proven to be a force.

He claims the protest groups are putting voice to concerns that are taking root across society.

John Augustine/Investment Strategist Fifth Third Bank: " One thought about what this says is that the middle class of the country is eroding, and that seems to be a lot of the makeup of those groups, not just in New York but around the country. Policy makers in Washington, businesses, a lot of people are searching for direction, that plays into that Occupy movement."

Augustine added he does not expect the country to slip into another recession.

Among the other points brought out at the event, people frustrated by financial woes do not have to fall into despair.

Nancy Huber/CEO Fifth Third Central Indiana: " Make sure that you have a trusted adviser, somebody that you can ask questions of. Don't suffer in silence, if you're having trouble with a mortgage, or if you're having challenges with your credit, there is somebody there who can help you work through that."

Augustine also says people who are “savers” are going to be frustrated for the next couple of years, because he expects low interest rates will persist through 2013.

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