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The Passionate Economist: Finding the Power and Humanity Behind the Numbers

The Passionate Economist: Finding the Power and Humanity Behind the Numbers

Diane Swonk

ISBN: 978-0-471-26996-0

Jan 2003

288 pages

Select type: Hardcover

$31.50

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Praise for THE PASSIONATE ECONOMIST

"In this powerful and insightful book, Diane Swonk brings economics to life. I highly recommend The Passionate Economist to anyone who wants to use the lessons of our past to create a better future."
-Charles R. Schwab
Chairman and Co-CEO
The Charles Schwab Corporation

"Leave it to Diane Swonk to put a soul in statistics. Diane figured it out a long time ago. People matter. Their fears matter. Their hopes matter. Their dreams matter. Diane takes us into a world never before explored by an economist . . . the real one. A great read. A great book."
-Neil P. Cavuto
Vice President, Anchor and Managing Editor
Business News, Fox News Channel

"Growing up in Detroit, Diane Swonk saw friends and neighbors suffer hardship as a result of layoffs and corporate downsizing. Leveraging her intimate knowledge of the Midwestern economy, Diane rose to the top of her profession, applying insights into human nature to predict financial markets, economic policy, and key shifts in the global economy. This powerful and personal story by one of America's leading economists shows how economics touches the lives of real people. It explains where the American economy has been and where it is likely heading."
-Janet Yellen
Trefethen Professor of Business and Professor of Economics at the University of California at Berkeley
Former Governor of the Federal Reserve and former Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers
Foreword.

Acknowledgments.

Author's Note.

Introduction.

1. The Forrest Gump Syndrome.

2. Igniting a Passion.

3. The First in White-Collar Downsizing.

4. Doing Economics Right: A Road Map.

5. Tapping the Power with Applications.

6. Testing Our Credibility.

7. Getting Further Established.

8. Moving Out of the 1980s.

9. The "Jobless" Recovery.

10. Changes Under Way in Credit Markets and at the Fed.

11. A "Virtuous" Cycle.

12. Crisis at Home and Abroad.

13. The Second Shoe Drops.

14. Fertile Ground for Asset Bubbles.

15. Y2K and Other Monsters of 2000.

16. The Economics of the Internet.

17. Old Rules for the New Economy.

18. Applying Rules 1 and 2.

19. Hitting a Wall.

20. Applying Rule Number 3.

21. Risk Management at the Fed.

22. Benchmark Revisions.

23. A Scapegoat or an 800-Pound Gorilla?

24. The Quiet before the Storm.

25. A Recessionette?

26. A Fundamental Disconnect.

27. Framing the Outlook.

28. Structural Change.

29. A Shallow Pool of Answers.

30. Reading the Tea Leaves.

31. The Optimism and Devotion of the Young.

Appendix A: An Op-Ed Piece on the Enron Debacle.

Appendix B: Not a Profitless Recovery.

Appendix C: Revolutionary Monetary Policy.

Appendix D: Annable's Take on Executive Insecurities.

Appendix E: The Tug of War between Wages and Profits.

Index.

"I put economics on the same level as some people practice religion," declares Swonk in this chronicle of her professional growth, from accidentally enrolling in an economics class as a college student to becoming chief economist at Chicago's Bank One. Clearly having thrived in her career, Swonk is particularly informative about the teamwork ethos she sees operating at the bank and the care with which her employees analyze the economy and market fundamentals of individual industries and sectors. Media-savvy in her ability to present her research results via compelling stories, she also explains how she became a regular commentator on such shows as Money Line with Lou Dobbs and Louis Rukeyser's Wall Street Week.  Swonk mentions more than once that some regard her as an optimist because of her trademark confidence in the adaptability of the labor force and the essential resilience of the U.S. economy; her no-nonsense, Midwestern realist style comes across in shoot-from-the-hip remarks like "anyone who has heard Greenspan speak knows that he is still the master of saying I very little in a lot of time and space." In addition to her memoir, Swonk is equally straightforward in bulleting her major policy points, forecasts and recommendations. In an unpretentious, clear format, she lays out a set of  "Notes to Investors" and "Old Rules for the New Economy" that will be of great interest to general business readers who admire the author's refreshing outside New York perspective. (Publishers Weekly)