Anirban Basu | WYPR

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.

Our Expanding Economy

6 hours ago
Michael Daddino/flickr

Despite setbacks from burst real estate bubbles, costly wars, deep recessions and disappearing industries, the U.S. economy has still managed to expand significantly over the past three and a half decades. As indicated by writer Patricia Cohen, the real economy has more than doubled in size over that period. The public sector now uses a substantial share of output to hand over as much as $5 trillion to assist working families, the elderly, disable, and unemployed to finance a home, visit a doctor, or put their children through school.

zombieite/flickr

You probably like some of your colleagues, and can’t even stand to look at others. But imagine if some of your colleagues were robots. Would that be better or worse? One suspects that that will depend upon whom is replaced.

Adam/flickr

The economic recovery that began in mid 2009 is at long last showing up more meaningfully in the paychecks of average Americans. The Labor Department recently reported that average hourly earnings have risen 2.9 percent over the past year – that’s the best annual performance since the economic recovery began seven and a half years ago.

GotCredit/flickr

Most people rely upon Social Security to at least a certain extent to pay for their retirement expenses.  According to US News, 84 percent of people qualify for Social Security payments and an easy majority of retirees, 60 percent, receive at least half of their income from Social Security. According to the Social Security Administration, Social Security is the only major source of retirement income for a third of retirees.

Examining the Economy

Jan 18, 2017
ChelseaViola/flickr

As of this moment, the U.S. economy seems to be in pretty decent shape. Odds of a near-term recession appear low. As reported by The Wall Street Journal, the economy has expanded for the past 11 quarters.  Hiring remains stable. Home prices have been rising. Private construction spending has been expanding. Consumer spending is up, particularly in the form of online sales. However, there were moments in 2016 when things didn’t look quite so good.

Work-Related Injuries

Jan 17, 2017
Esther Max/flickr

In 2015, there were more than 4800 fatal work-related injuries in America not counting active members of the U.S. armed forces. As reported by CNBC, 10 industries in particular experienced the highest rates of death per 100 thousand workers. Most of these jobs are filled by men.

Men in the Workforce

Jan 16, 2017
M State/flickr

For much of the past decade, the labor market has arguably been friendlier to women seeking employment than men. That’s because the jobs that have been disappearing in large numbers, like machine operator, are predominantly male oriented while occupations that have been expanding, like health aide, mostly implicate women.

Richard Elzey/flickr

If you are driving right now, you might be able to spot a Ford F-150 pickup truck. In fact, you may be driving one. Since 1977, Ford has sold enough F-series trucks to circle the earth more than three times. As reported by CNN Money, the F-series has been America’s best-selling truck 40 consecutive years. Ford recently announced that it has sold more than 26 million units since the model line’s introduction. Analysts say that the F-series has become more popular due to cultural factors.

Miranda Granche/flickr

Economists have suffered enormous difficulty trying to explain why productivity has failed to expand as rapidly as it has in the past. A recent report supplied by the polling company Gallup singles out anti-competitive and wasteful practices by teachers unions, associations of physicians, universities and local governments. Researchers tracked health, education and housing costs from 1980 to 2014. They find that the combined spending in these three areas rose from 25 percent to 40 percent of GDP since 1980 without commensurate improvements in quality.

401(K) 2012/flickr

A US News article identifies 10 major retirement blunders.  Here they are. 

#1 – not having a plan for your money once you retire. Many people prepare for retirement, and then don’t take steps to manage their cash flow during it.

#2 – forgetting about inflation while you are making your plans. 

#3 – failing to save enough money for retirement – ok, that one is obvious.

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