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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Could the U.S. follow the U.K. into another recession?

The Federal Reserve has upgraded its forecast for the U.S. economy in 2012 but also downgraded its outlooks for 2013 and 2014. There are worries the U.S. could fall back into recession just like the U.K. did.
Posted In: Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke, UK
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How working at home factors into the economy

The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits jumped last week by 13,000 to 380,000. But what about all those Americans working at home?
Posted In: women, labor, Unemployment
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Is the European debt crisis resurfacing?

There are some economic headwinds blowing strong right now. And one of them is coming from Spain where a disappointing bond auction yesterday sent government borrowing costs to a 5 month high and renewed fears about the European Debt Crisis.
Posted In: Europe debt crisis, European Central Bank, spain
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U.S. economy grows 3% in fourth quarter

The U.S. government has confirmed that the economy grew 3 percent last quarter, and that could mean that the U.S. economy and the European economy are going to diverge this year as the U.S. grows and Europe shrinks.
Posted In: China, growth, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)
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Jobs market holds firm, McDonald's continues to grow

The American economy seems to be moving along at a healthy clip, from jobs to hamburgers.
Posted In: Jobs, Unemployment, McDonald's, Greece
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Should Greece stay in the eurozone?

The future of Greece hangs in the balance as it is still uncertain whether they will be able to dig themselves out of their debt hole -- with a lot of help from the rest of Europe.
Posted In: Greece, Europe
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Why Facebook is going public now

Economist Diane Swonk discusses what is it about a strong market that makes it good for a company, like Facebook, to go public.
Posted In: Facebook, IPO
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Weekly unemployment lowest in nearly four years

After last week's relatively high weekly jobless claim numbers, they are back down this week -- to the lowest level in almost four years.
Posted In: weekly jobless, Unemployment
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Economy backtracks after strong holiday season

This year's holiday season was slightly bigger by volume, but the week after the holidays saw a bit of a slide.
Posted In: Unemployment, Jobs, holiday shopping
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Economic growth likely to be uneven in 2012

Jobs numbers are up, and the outlook is good for manufacturing and some other sectors. Not every part of the economy has such a sunny outlook for 2012, though.
Posted In: Unemployment

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