Diane Swonk is chief economist at Mesirow Financial, and an advisor to the Federal Reserve Board and its regional banks. She grew up in the Detroit area, and pre-economist jobs included: maid, fast food cashier, and hostess/waitress for a Mr Steak. She is an avid runner, and mother of two teenagers. Her first book was titled "The Passionate Economist." In her words:

I am dyslexic, which means that I don't know my left from my right. I also don't think linear, my brain works more in reaction functions. It makes me strategic and perfectly suited to be an economist, which requires multi-dimensional thought. I am at good at seeing where we are going, and thinking outside of the box, but very bad at giving driving directions.

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Features by Diane Swonk

Thanksgiving comes later than usual this year -- and retailers are panicking

Retailers are worried about the short holiday shopping season.
Posted In: markets, holiday shopping

The holiday shopping season is what's really spooky today

Economists are worried about consumers' moods as we head toward the end of the year.
Posted In: holiday shopping, economic indicators

Weekly jobless claims rose slightly to 308,000

Weekly jobless claims rose slightly, but still a bit lower than expected.
Posted In: jobless claims, government shutdown 2013

Unemployment applications near 6 year low

The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell to its lowest level last week since June 2007.
Posted In: Unemployment, economic indicators

Unemployment claims fell last week -- but there's a catch

The trend is in the right direction, but the statistic won't dominate in the markets.
Posted In: unemployment claims, unemployment benefits, labor market

Some positive news leading up to Friday's jobs numbers

Less people filed for unemployment over the last week. But layoff announcements went up.
Posted In: Unemployment, layoffs, jobs numbers

Second quarter GDP revised upward

There's news today U.S. economy was surprisingly strong -- once upon a time.
Posted In: GDP, Gross Domestic Product (GDP), economic indicators

Retail earnings disappoint on slow economic recovery

Diane Swonk, chief economist with Mesirow Financial, discusses the latest retail earnings.
Posted In: Walmart, Retail, employment, wages

Consumer spending is up, will the economy follow?

Diane Swonk, chief economist with Mesirow Financial, discusses why she thinks the latest upbeat data don't add up to a strong economy.

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