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.

For many young people, it’s time for spring break – so the last thing one should talk about is bad grades. But that’s precisely what U.S. infrastructure received during the most recent assessment supplied by the American Society of Civil Engineers. Every four years, the Society publishes an analysis regarding the capabilities of American infrastructure, including the nation’s seaports, airports, water systems and roads. American infrastructure received a grade of D+, unchanged from its last report card delivered in 2013.  

Here's more from Anirban.


Margaret/flickr

Perhaps lost among last year’s election cycle was the fact that there were some really strange dynamics at work in the U.S. labor market. Even as the population grew older, the participation rate, the measure of all adults who are working or looking for work – stabilized. As reported by Bloomberg, that bucked a long-lived downward trend and surprised many economists in the process. It turns out that the labor force participation rate stabilized in large measure because of people in their 60s.  

Anirban has more. 


liz west/flickr

American wealth is on the rise. Thanks primarily to a surging stock market during the final quarter of 2016, aggregate household wealth increased 2.3 percent to end at nearly $93 trillion. The value of household stock and mutual fund portfolios leapt by more than $700 billion during the fourth quarter. The value of homes rose by roughly another $560 billion.  

Anirban has more. 

Cristine Jones/flickr

There has been considerable discussion recently about bringing high quality jobs back to America.  Many policies have been proposed, including a border adjustment tax and other mechanisms that would induce Americans to purchase more goods and services from one another.  But such mechanisms would generally not address structural shifts in how people are employed in America.  

Anirban has more of this story. 


Construction Growth

Mar 14, 2017
Juan Camilo Trujillo/flickr

U.S. productivity growth, measured in terms of output per hour of labor has been anemic over the past several years.  As indicated by writer David Harrison, since 1995, overall productivity has expanded at a compound annual rate of less than 1.8 percent. Remarkably, America’s construction sector is actually less productive now than it was in 1995 according to a study released by the McKinsey Global Institute.  

Anirban has more of the story. 


mprgomes/flickr

One of the most polarizing issues in America is illegal immigration. While some insist upon a nation of laws firmly enforced, others favor a more relaxed approach. Economists are also divided, but there are certainly many who believe that if America were to lose vast numbers of illegal workers, the nation’s economy would suffer.  

Anirban has more of this story. 


Dan Fuccella/flickr

One of the greatest fears of workers is their potential to be replaced by technology. Many of us have already been forced to shift jobs due to automation. As pointed out by writer Binyamin Appelbaum, in 1900, factories and farms employed 60 percent of the nation’s workforce. By 1950, those two sectors employed about 36 percent of the workforce -- by 2014, less than 10 percent of worked in a factory or on a farm.  

Anirban has the rest of this story. 


Economic Growth

Mar 9, 2017
Jon Welsh/flickr

Last year, the U.S. economy expanded 1.6 percent. During last year’s final quarter, the economy expanded at a 1.9 percent annualized rate and growth is actually not expected to pick up significantly during the current quarter. So much of the talk about faster U.S. economic growth is largely speculative. In this context, one could ask the question, just how much faster could the U.S. economy grow?  

Anirban has more on this story. 


Mr Ehater/flickr

According to new research conducted by the Census Bureau, fewer than one-third of Americans are saving money in the 401k and other workplace retirement accounts. This research is based on an analysis of tax records. This is shocking since nearly 80 percent of Americans work for an employer that offers retirement programs, whether a 401K or a 403B or something else. Only 32 percent of workers sign up for such accounts.  

Anirban has the rest of the story. 


Energy Prices

Mar 8, 2017
Tarah6801/flickr

Despite all the drama emerging from Washington, D.C. and other national capitals around the world, the U.S. economy continues to show signs of gathering momentum. As indicated by writer Neil Irwin, some of the factors at work may turn out to be temporary. For instance, energy prices were very low about a year ago, but have since recovered, helping to drive more investment into oil exploration and similarly situated activities. For instance, energy prices were very low about a year ago, but have since recovered, helping to drive more investment into oil exploration and similarly situated activities.

Anirban has more of the story. 

 

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