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.

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The Morning Economic Report
6:49 pm
Fri February 13, 2015

Shrinking Middle Class - 2/13/15

America’s middle class is shrinking, at least if one defines the middle class as representing those families making between $35,000 and $100,000 per annum.  Most listeners are probably not surprised that the middle class is shrinking, but what may prove surprising is that some of this is for a welcome reason – many Americans have moved up into what might be considered the upper middle class. 

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The Morning Economic Report
8:57 am
Thu February 12, 2015

Low-Income Students - 2/12/15

According to a recent Southern Education Foundation report, the majority of children in America’s public schools are now low-income.  Specifically, the share of school children who qualify for free or reduced lunches crossed the 50 percent threshold in 2013.  That compares to fewer than 32 percent back in 1989. 

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The Morning Economic Report
8:56 am
Wed February 11, 2015

Economic Improvement in Africa - 2/11/15

For years, Africa has stood out among the world’s regions for its lack of economic progress.  That’s not the case anymore.  Africa’s per capita income over the past decade has expanded at a rate nearly identical to that of the rest of the world.  As indicated by writer David Leonhardt, a middle class has begun to develop in West Africa, from Ghana and Nigeria down to Angola. 

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The Morning Economic Report
9:00 am
Tue February 10, 2015

Working and Motherhood in Japan - 2/10/15

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, in an effort to accelerate growth in Japan, has begun to emphasize the importance of supermoms, women who both work and have children.  According to a recent New York Times article, Japan has traditionally been a nation in which juggling work and family is difficult.  To encourage more women to work, Mr. Abe must overcome an entrenched corporate culture that treasures long, inflexible hours that work for men but not for working mothers. 

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The Morning Economic Report
9:06 am
Mon February 9, 2015

Economic Development Strategies - 2/9/15

Every so often, communities invest in the development of economic development strategies.  Almost without exception, these strategies extol the virtues and opportunities attached to these communities, but ultimately conclude that employment growth and real estate values can be better supported if policymakers undertake a set of reforms, whether with respect to taxes, regulation, training opportunities and/or infrastructure investment. 

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The Morning Economic Report
11:17 am
Fri February 6, 2015

Football Economics - 2/6/15

The National Football League’s season ended last Sunday, but the economics of football never ends.  Folks from Baltimore and a number of other cities know what it’s like to lose a professional football franchise to another city.  One of those other cities is St. Louis, which watched the Cardinals bolt for Arizona in 1987.  St. Louis officials managed to lure the Rams from Los Angeles in 1995.  But St. Louis now faces the prospects of losing another team as a new 80,000 seat stadium is planned for LA’s suburbs. 

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The Morning Economic Report
11:34 am
Thu February 5, 2015

Stagnant Wages - 2/5/15

Wages and incomes for the majority of Americans have now been stagnant for 15 years.  Even as employment growth picked up in recent months, wages have failed to expand much more quickly than inflation.  According to writer David Leonhardt, there is little modern precedent for a period of income stagnation lingering as long as this one. 

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The Morning Economic Report
9:25 am
Wed February 4, 2015

Consumer Borrowing Expansion - 2/4/15

As consumer confidence rises, so too does consumer indebtedness.  According to the Federal Reserve, in November, U.S. consumer borrowing expanded by another $14.1 billion after a $16 billion increase in October.  The gains in aggregate consumer borrowing pushed consumer debt excluding real estate loans to a record level of $3.3 trillion according to the Associated Press. 

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The Morning Economic Report
9:11 am
Tue February 3, 2015

Medicaid Expenses - 2/3/15

State governments throughout the nation continuously look for ways to control spending.  Beyond education, one of the primary sources of expense for state governments is Medicaid, the program aimed at providing healthcare access for Americans with lower incomes.  Writer Eduardo Porter recently tackled the issue of how much money states save by reducing Medicaid expenditures. 

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The Morning Economic Report
2:23 pm
Mon February 2, 2015

The King of Social Sciences - 2/2/15

As recently pointed out by writer Justin Wolfers, 200 years ago, the field of economics barely existed.  Today, it is arguably the king of the social sciences.  According to Wolfers’ research, if one analyzes the archives of the New York Times, one discovers that in recent years, roughly 1 in 100 articles mentions the term economist. 

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