Blog Posts

  • October 20, 2017
    The most frequent subject of conversation in my travels over the past few weeks has been tax reform. Business leaders want to know if the package of tax reforms proposed by the Trump administration will create jobs and spur the economy. My answer to their question is twofold. First, we still don...

  • October 17, 2017
    Invention involves risk. Knowing where you are, your customers are, and the economy is, in terms of the business cycle, mitigates the risk of inventing your future. Imagine if you could look forward with a reasonable expectation of accuracy. That is precisely why we have a system of leading...

  • October 12, 2017
    Many people are telling me that business is good, which means they are positively correlated to the economy. Profits are heading in the right direction, orders are coming in, and now it is time to prepare next year’s budgets. It is easy to let optimism lead to a straight-line forecast or at least a...

  • October 3, 2017
    The hot topic on the road last week was the Administration's tax reform proposal. The proposal is a mixed bag, with some aspects helping middle-income earners and some aspects helping high-income folks. It is still much too soon to be delving into details as Congress might (probably will) add,...

  • September 25, 2017
    Is the Yield Curve Enough to Predict Recessions? Regarding the inverted yield curve, Alan and I agree that an inverted yield curve is a confirming leading indicator, not a “must have.” A recent article correctly points out that recessions have occurred without an inverse yield curve forming. It...

  • September 21, 2017
    Your Most Valuable Asset This week I attended an industry conference where a panel of CEOs discussed the factors they believed made their companies successful. These individuals, who had an average of more than thirty years of industry and management experience, consistently and unanimously...

  • September 20, 2017
    I was on a panel recently with two gentlemen worthy of respect. They both served in the White House as close advisors to presidents — one Democrat and one Republican. I was the economist. (Kudos to the ISSA for bringing Karl Rove, Jim Messina, and an economist onto a panel!) Lots of takeaways,...

  • September 15, 2017
    Have you noticed that there are a lot of people who believe we are not the country we once were because GDP is not growing at 4%? Others use a benchmark of 3% above the rate of inflation. The thought behind these opinions is that the American Dream is in decay and we, as a people, are worse off...

  • September 8, 2017
    Navigating the Crest Timing is everything. Making the right business decisions at the right time is often the critical factor that determines the outcome between success and failure. Whether it is the deployment of capital, hiring or firing of staff, pulling the trigger on an acquisition or...

  • September 4, 2017
    First and foremost, our thoughts and prayers go out to those impacted by Hurricane Harvey. The devastation was considerable. Turning to business, our focus now is to assess Harvey’s economic impact. We started that analysis over the weekend and it continues today. While the amount of rainfall...