Phillip Swagel

Is This Why Labor Participation Rate Looks So Bad?

Is the growing gig economy skewing the national labor market participation rate? Quite likely it is, says the Smith School's Phillip Swagel. He says government statistical agencies are working to keep up with the changing economy, but that growing numbers of people working short-term and freelance jobs as part of the gig economy inevitably may "lead to fuzziness in what have been clear distinctions in our labor statistics." Read more...

What's Missing from the White House's Budget

When federal budgets are released from the White House Office of Management and Budget, there are typically a few holes here and there, some missing details, and perhaps some wishful thinking since the budget assumes that everything the president proposes will become enacted. That's never the case, which means the budget by design is a statement of intent rather than a legislative blueprint. The budget that recently emerged from the Trump's administration is notable for including more wishful thinking than is typical and leaving more details than most to be filled in, says Phillip L. Swagel, a senior fellow at Smith School's Center for Financial Policy. Read more...

Under President Trump: Six Questions on the Economy

The question of who will be the 45th U.S. president has been answered with the upset victory of Republican Donald Trump. Now many are asking what U.S. economic policy will look like under his administration. Smith School experts will explore some of the larger economic questions facing the new administration at a pair of events next week in Washington, D.C. Here is a snapshot of some of the big issues they will discuss. Read more...

Why Bank Reform Is Just Election Posturing

Democrats and Republicans are calling to reinstate a version of the Glass-Steagall Act, which from 1933 to 1999 separated investment banking (underwriting, issuing and distributing financial instruments like stocks and bonds) from commercial banking (deposit-taking and lending) activities. Are legislators about to break up the big banks? Don't count on it, say professors Cliff Rossi and Phillip L. Swagel at the University of Maryland. Read more...

Will the Fed Act?

Janet Yellen, the Fed chairwoman, has said that raising interest rates before the end of the year is "a live possibility," given the relatively strong performance by the economy. Other Fed governors, however, have said that low levels of inflation mean that a rate hike would be premature. A division over interest-rate policy was also evident in a recent panel discussion among finance experts at the Smith School. Read more...

Do Hillary Clinton's Attacks on 'Quarterly Capitalism' Hold Up?

Is "quarterly capitalism" a problem for the American economy? Hillary Clinton hopes to make the alleged short-term focus of corporations an issue in the 2016 presidential campaign. In a speech at New York University on Friday, she offered several proposals that would "reward farsighted investors and companies that seek to build up value." Professor Phillip L. Swagel from the Smith School's Center for Financial Policy responds. Read more...

‘Fast Track’ Would Hurt U.S. Workers, Smith Economist Says

The Senate-adopted bill giving President Obama “fast track” authority to conclude a free trade agreement with Asian nations remains in the balance despite earlier projections of House passage this week, Politico reports. Smith School economist Peter Morici says the measure limiting Congress to up-or-down votes to approve trade packages, such as the Trans Pacific Partnership, “would lower wages for ordinary Americans and increase income inequality.” Read more...

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