I will also remind you that some of the statements made during this call will include forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Federal Securities law. Although Liberty believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, we can give no assurance that these expectations will be achieved. As forward-looking statements, these statements involve risks, uncertainties, and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the expected results, risks that were detailed in the issued press release, and from time to time the company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The company assumes no obligation to update or supplement forward-looking statements that become untrue because of subsequent events.
Bill, would you like to begin?
Thank you, Jeanne, and good morning, everyone. The purpose of our call today is to share with you our thinking for 2012. I am going to spend a few moments giving you our sense of where the economy and real estate markets will be over the next 12 months. It will set the context for our specific earnings guidance. George will then walk you through the numbers and Mike will discuss our investment activity in 2011 and 2012.The economic situation seems a lot like the movie Groundhog Day. Going into 2012, we’re replaying the same view we had going into 2011 a year ago. The U.S. economy is in a long slow march forward. We think GDP growth in 2012 could be ranged bound in the kind of 2% to 3% area. Unemployment may hover in the high 8% to 9% range and with significant U.S. structural economic issues unresolved in an election year, a sense of uncertainty probably will continue to prevail. Volatility could remain high and the debt risk is ever present. With that said, larger corporate users are cash rich and as evidenced in the last few quarters, prepared to make long and major investment decisions. Smaller firms remain more hesitant in the current environment to hire or expand.