Anirban Basu

Host, Morning Economic Report

Anirban Basu, Chariman Chief Executive Officer of Sage Policy Group (SPG), is one of the Mid-Atlantic region's leading economic consultants.  Prior to founding SPG he was Chairman and CEO of Optimal Solutions Group, a company he co-founded and which continues to operate.  Anirban has also served as Director of Applied Economics and Senior Economist for RESI, where he used his extensive knowledge of the Mid-Atlantic region to support numerous clients in their strategic decision-making processes.  Clients have included the Maryland Department of Transportation, St. Paul Companies, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Players Committee and the Martin O'Malley mayoral campaign.

He is the author of numerous regional publications including the Mid-Atlantic Economic Quarterly and Outlook Maryland and is routinely asked to contribute to local media, including on his radio show on WTMD, 89.7 FM/Baltimore and here on WYPR's Morning Economic Forecast.  Anirban completed his graduate work in mathematical economics at the University of Maryland.  He earned a Masters in Public Policy from Harvard University in 1992. His Bachelors in Foreign Service is from Georgetown University and was earned in 1990.  He is currently working toward his J.D. at the University of Maryland, Baltimore.

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The Morning Economic Report
5:30 am
Tue July 29, 2014

Federal Spending on Healthcare - 7/29/14

The growth in federal spending on healthcare will continue to decline as a proportion of the overall economy according to a recent report supplied by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.  The budget office stated in its annually produced 25-year forecast that federal spending on major healthcare programs would amount to 8 percent of gross domestic product by 2039, one-tenth of a percentage point lower than its previous projection.  With this latest revision, the Congressional Budget Office has now reduced its 10-year estimate for spending by Medicare, Medicaid and other health programs by 1 point two three trillion dollars starting in 2010, the year in which the Affordable Care Act took effect. 

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The Morning Economic Report
3:42 am
Mon July 28, 2014

Adjusting Government Spending - 7/28/14

The painful process of adjusting federal government spending to align it with fiscal realities has begun.  Despite that, America continues to run annual federal budget deficits and the national debt is presently approaching $17.6 trillion.  Through sequestration and other measures, the federal government has slowed the growth in expenditures recently, and that helps explain the underwhelming performance of the economy.  U.S.

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The Morning Economic Report
5:30 am
Fri July 25, 2014

Ongoing Improvement of the U.S. Job Market - 7/25/14

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There is little question that the U.S. labor market is improving.  Job growth has accelerated in recent months and unemployment has been falling.  There are some that believe that the ongoing improvement of the nation’s job market will eventually pull more people back into the labor force. 

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The Morning Economic Report
5:30 am
Thu July 24, 2014

Persistence of Long-Term Unemployment - 7/24/14

One of the most puzzling aspects of the current economic expansion is the persistence of long-term unemployment.  After all, payroll employment has now surpassed its pre-recession peak. 

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The Morning Economic Report
7:29 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Inversion Deals - 7/23/14

America has among the highest corporate income taxes in the world and a growing number of domestic firms are merging with foreign companies in order to reduce their tax burdens. 

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The Morning Economic Report
10:02 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Air Passenger Traffic on the Rise - 7/22/14

Global air passenger traffic is doubling every 15 years, bringing more people to already congested airports and airplanes.  Over the past two decades, the average number of seats per flight has increased by 32 percent according to Airbus.  Flying can be uncomfortable, but certain airlines are taking steps to make their customers more comfortable, at least those that can afford a higher quality of service. 

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The Morning Economic Report
7:28 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Large Cities and Wealthy Nations - 7/21/14

There was a time when the largest cities of the world were primarily in wealthy nations.  Those cities were associated with plentiful job opportunities, drawing people to them.  In 1950, 20 of the world’s 30 largest cities were in nations deemed to be high income by the World Bank.  Back then, New York represented the largest urban area on the planet with 12.3 million residents.  Tokyo, with 11.3 million people, was second, and New York and Tokyo were the only areas with more than 10 million people. 

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The Morning Economic Report
5:30 am
Fri July 18, 2014

Vacation Time - 7/18/14

America stands alone among developed countries of the world by not mandating vacation time.  According to a 2014 Oxford Economics analysis, of those who do get vacation time, 4 in 10 Americans stockpile them, failing to take all the days they’re offered.  Those stay-at-work Americans leave an average of 8.1 days unused.  That translates into about 429 million unused days per year. 

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The Morning Economic Report
5:30 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Homeownership of Young Adults - 7/17/14

Homeownership has been falling over the last few years in much of the United States, but the decline among younger adults has been particularly striking.  The homeownership rate in the 25 to 34 age group fell by nearly 8 percentage points from 2004 to 2013 according to a recent report from Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies.  As pointed out by writer Lisa Prevost, over the same period, student debt surged by more than 400 percent to top $1 trillion, a run-up that dwarfs the surge in mortgage debt during the housing bubble.  The connection between student debt and declining homeownership appears unassailable based on these data. 

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The Morning Economic Report
8:35 am
Wed July 16, 2014

Consumer Spending - 7/16/14

One of the driving forces behind the current U.S. economic recovery has been consumer spending.  Consumers have been dishing out money on any number of items, including merchandise sold on the Internet, automobiles and vacations.  They have also been spending at the nation’s malls, which is inducing shopping center owners to increase rents as retailers now in expansion mode jockey for dwindling available space according to the Wall Street Journal. 

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