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.

Features by Diane Swonk

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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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Jobless claims hit lowest level since 2007

The recovery is moving slow and steady.
Posted In: unemployement, economic indicators, Jobs
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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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