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john-silva 750xx3000-1690-0-440The S.F. boom won’t last: Why Wells Fargo’s chief economist says, ‘put some money aside in the piggy bank’


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Wells Fargo Chief Economist John Silvia had some cautionary words in an otherwise optimistic outlook for the economy that he shared at a conference in San Francisco Wednesday.

“Put some money aside in the piggy bank,” Silvia said, pointing to a chart of the Bay Area’s highly cyclical economy. (The region’s boom-bust economy could make an exciting new roller coaster ride at California’s Great America if it wasn’t for the descents being so sharp as to threaten the safety of theme park visitors.)

Silvia’s advice could put businesses across the country in good stead, even though he tailored his remarks to San Francisco’s business leaders. The Bay Area has drawn newcomers who have distant memories of the 2008 downturn and often no direct experience with the dot-com bust that devastated the region 15 years ago.

“When planning for the next three to five years, please don’t draw a straight line,” Silvia said, rattling off several measures of just how good things are in San Francisco today. Silvia spoke at the ForecastSF breakfast put on by the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce.

“There are too many people with good jobs here. You need to send some of those jobs to Cleveland or Pittsburgh or elsewhere,” said Silvia, who is based in Charlotte, Wells Fargo’s largest employment center.

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