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

GDP revised up to 2.7%, investment revised down

Though the latest GDP numbers are up and jobless claims are down, the economic details tell a gloomier story.
Posted In: GDP, Economy, jobless

Weekly unemployment claims up 13 percent

Seasonally adjusted claims for unemployment insurance rose by 46,000 last week, or about 13 percent. Is this a blip or the start of a new trend?
Posted In: unemployement, layoffs

Weekly jobless claims fall slightly last week

Last week claims for unemployment were down, but just a bit, by about 3,000.
Posted In: Unemployment, weekly jobless

Wholesale prices rise in August

The Federal Reserve wraps up its two day policy meeting today. It's expected to announce whether it will pump more stimulus money into the U.S. economy. Meanwhile, we just got inflation numbers for August. Wholesale prices increased 1.7 percent last month -- the biggest jump in three years.
Posted In: inflation, gas prices, food prices, Federal Reserve

Tepid news in jobs, construction, retail

Today starts with some more tepid economic news. The number of people applying for unemployment benefits ticked up slightly to 366,000 last week.
Posted In: Housing, Federal Reserve, fiscal cliff

Mario Draghi maintains uncertainty surrounding Europe

In Frankfurt, the head of the European Central Bank Mario Draghi held a press conference. Everyone was waiting to see whether Draghi would announce new stimulus measures, after saying last week that he'd do whatever it takes to save the euro.
Posted In: ECB, Mario Draghi

Weekly unemployment dip due to auto industry

This morning the Labor Department reported the number of people applying for unemployment benefits fell by 26,000 last week to 350,000, the best number since March of 2008. Analysts point to the auto industry's seasonal production schedule as the source of the weekly dip.
Posted In: housing market, Unemployment, auto market

European crisis like a 'trainwreck in slow motion'

European leaders are gathering today for yet another summit to save the euro. Economist Diane Swonk says everyone is hoping Europe doesn't derail from the track onto recovery.

Federal Reserve can only do so much

The Federal Reserve will continue its Operation Twist program, but it can't do much else to help the global economic downturn caused by financial strain in Europe. On the plus side? We get lower gas prices.
Posted In: Federal Reserve, Oil, Europe debt crisis

May shows dismal employment numbers

The U.S. economy added less jobs than expected in May. At the same time, the number of workers filing for unemployment benefits rose, and the number of planned layoffs in hit an eight month high.
Posted In: Unemployment, Jobs, GDP


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