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.

Perhaps not surprisingly, students from the poorest households are shouldering a disproportionate share of the pain from rising college costs.  As reported in the Wall Street Journal, they are borrowing at far higher levels as a share of family income than ever. 

The share of Americans earning income from digital platforms such as Uber, eBay and Airbnb is expanding rapidly.  For the most part, these activities supplement income rather than replace full time work.  According to a study of bank transactions by the JPMorgan Chase Institute, nearly one percent of U.S. adults earned income in September of last year via one of the growing number of firms that are part of the sharing or gig economy. 

Smurfing - 3/1/16

Feb 29, 2016

As the Chinese economy continues to stumble, some wealthy families are working to move large sums of money out of the country.  They are worried that the value of China’s currency will tumble further and that their savings will become less valuable. 

Fully eight years after the global financial crisis, the world is still wrestling with an unpleasant realization.  Significant weakness continues to plague the global economy and matters may not improve anytime soon.  That’s because policymakers have already been doing just about everything they can to stimulate growth.  There’s not much more left to try. 

Let’s say your employer tells you that you will be receiving a bonus.  That feels good, not just because of the money, but also because it’s an indication that your job performance is simply excellent.  Or is it? 

Apprenticeships help position people for various career paths.  One might be inclined to believe that the number of apprenticeships in the U.S. would have fully recovered since the recession.  After all, economic output surpassed its previous peak more than four years ago.  As reported by the Wall Street Journal among others, many businesses, especially in sectors like construction, complain about shortages of skilled workers. 

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the world’s largest business organization, is the latest major player to recommend steps to radically restructure higher education in America.  As indicated in a recent Brookings briefing, the Chamber’s nonprofit affiliate recently issued a report arguing that employers should establish their own talent supplier recognition and certification system – essentially an alternative to the traditional college and university accreditation system. 

Economic news has not been great lately.  In addition to jittery stock markets and evidence of deteriorating business conditions abroad, America’s pace of job expansion slowed in January.  But there is reason to believe that the U.S. economic recovery still has at least a few months in front of it. 

Recently released government statistics indicate that U.S. exports shrank last year for the first time since the Great Recession.  U.S. sales abroad fell five percent in twenty fifteen.  The falloff in global sales is at least partially a reflection of the fragile state of the global economy.  Poor global growth has produced weaker demand for American cars, computers, smartphones and other items. 

Some working mothers may feel a sense of guilt because they end up spending less time with their children than they would if they gave up their employment.  But from a financial perspective, that guilt appears to be unjustified.  According to new findings from a Harvard Business School study, daughters of working mothers grow up to be more successful in the workplace than their peers.  They earn more and are more likely to be bosses. 

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