The Morning Economic Report | WYPR

The Morning Economic Report

Monday-Friday at 7:33 am

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. 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.

As many observers know, the global economy continues to disappoint, generating lower growth rates than historic norms.  Slow growth is nothing new – as indicated by writer Neil Irwin, the world has been experiencing slower growth for roughly the last fifteen years. 

There are probably people out there who haven’t met an economist.  This is not simply a reflection of the social skills of economists, but also the fact that economists spend much of their time communicating with one another.  Sometimes discussions are friendly, often they are adversarial. 

During a recent political convention, it was said that more than ninety percent of income gains in recent years have gone to the top one percent.  Recent data indicate that that’s not true, at least not anymore.  Still, the top one percent have done very well financially, so if you are looking for charitable causes, the top one percent in America should probably not be on the top of your list. 

Patience - 8/12/16

Aug 14, 2016

It is said that patience is a virtue.  Recent research indicates that it’s also good economics.  A recent survey of nearly six hundred people, all aged over seventy, reveals that more patient people grow richer and healthier than their more impetuous peers.  Patience boosts wealth by much more than marriage or religion. 

Economists have had roughly two weeks to think about that disappointing report from the Commerce Department regarding second quarter gross domestic product.  Having had time to reflect, we remain disappointed.  According to the government, the U.S. economy expanded just one point two percent on an annualized basis during the second quarter. 

During the second quarter of twenty sixteen, the U.S. homeownership rate declined to its lowest level in more than fifty years.  This is a reflection of many things, including the lingering impacts of the foreclosure crisis, financial hurdles to purchasing a home, and shifting demographics. 

The recent devastation in historic and beautiful Ellicott City, Maryland has helped to refocus attention locally on issues related to storm water management and the damage water can do.  While there remain many skeptics regarding global warming, a growing number of analysts suggest that the economic damage from rising sea levels could be massive. 

The U.S. government continues to indicate that the nation’s cars and trucks are well on their way to meeting fuel economy and emissions standards established for twenty twenty five.  Recently, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Transportation, and the California Air Resources Board issued a report on standards. 

With interest in home buying on the rise again, with prices rising, and with household formation accelerating, more Americans are getting set to put money into their homes.  According to a new report from Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing, growth in home improvement and repair expenditures will reach eight percent by the beginning of twenty seventeen. 

There has been a lot of focus on student debt recently.  There is evidence that some Americans have chosen to forego a higher education out of a desire to avoid accumulating debt.  Still, there is plenty of evidence indicating that pursuing a college degree remains a very good idea. 

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