Self-Motivation
David Goggins
Former Navy Seal
Career Development
Bryan Cranston
Actor
Critical Thinking
Liv Boeree
International Poker Champion
Emotional Intelligence
Amaryllis Fox
Former CIA Clandestine Operative
Management
Chris Hadfield
Retired Canadian Astronaut & Author
Learn
from the world's big
thinkers
Start Learning

We Need to Get Our Groove Back

Question: How did you get into economics?

Mark Zandi: Well, it happened in 4th grade.  I did a project on: Why was Detroit the center of the vehicle industry?  This was a 4th grade project.  I remember -- it was a group project and I enjoyed it tremendously and I didn't now what an economist was in the 4th grade, but I knew that I wanted to do something like that.  And so from that time on, I sort of focused on things related to business and economics.  So, I remember that day and I remember that project and I remember how much I enjoyed it and I thought I was good at it.  I thought I had insight and so from that day forward I was headed towards being an economist. 

Question: How should economics be taught at different levels of school?

Mark Zandi: I think it's not taught properly at high school.  If I were teaching in high school, I would focus on personal finance issues.  When I got out of high school, I could make a pretty good omelet, but I didn't even know what a mortgage was.  And I think that's a mistake.  And I think that's one of the reasons why we are in the mess that we are in.  Why all those millions of bad loans were made because people really did not, truly did not understand what they were getting into.  So, I think the high school curriculum should change and home economics should be more about the economic than the home.  I think.  That would be my view. 

And then I think in universities, it tends to be – the teaching seems to move towards the highly theoretical.  Very mathematically oriented and it kind of loses touch with the reality of what's happening in our economy and in the real world.  And I think that's to the detriment of the profession and it's relevancy to our everyday lives.  So, I think it's important that universities, at least, make an effort to get back to more practically oriented kinds of economic analysis.  Or, at least do economic theory that they can ground in terms of something that is practical. I think we've lost that and are losing that and there are very few economists that can really step out of the theoretically world and make an impact on what's happening to people's daily lives. 

Question: What keeps you up at night?

Mark Zandi: What keeps me up at night is the fact that businesses seem to be still very, not panicked, but they're very, very cautious.  Unusually cautious.  And I guess it's understandable because many a business people suffered near death experiences in the last year and just aren't stepping up and the longer they wait to step up and begin to invest and begin to hire, the more likely this recovery that we are now in unravels back into a recession.  And if we get back into recession, I don't think that's going to be easy to get out.  People's wages will start to decline and we'll be engulfed in a deflationary cycle.  You've already used up most of our policy ammunition, the funds rate target is at zero, and we have a $1.4 trillion budget deficit.  So, we have to guard against that and it worries me that businesses haven't gotten their groove back.  At least not yet. 

Recorded on November 10, 2009

Moody’s chief economist Mark Zandi is worried that businesses are being overly cautious.

Live on Tuesday | Personal finance in the COVID-19 era

Sallie Krawcheck and Bob Kulhan will be talking money, jobs, and how the pandemic will disproportionally affect women's finances.

Bubonic plague case reported in China

Health officials in China reported that a man was infected with bubonic plague, the infectious disease that caused the Black Death.

(Photo by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/Getty Images)
Coronavirus
  • The case was reported in the city of Bayannur, which has issued a level-three plague prevention warning.
  • Modern antibiotics can effectively treat bubonic plague, which spreads mainly by fleas.
  • Chinese health officials are also monitoring a newly discovered type of swine flu that has the potential to develop into a pandemic virus.
Keep reading Show less

Education vs. learning: How semantics can trigger a mind shift

The word "learning" opens up space for more people, places, and ideas.

Future of Learning
  • The terms 'education' and 'learning' are often used interchangeably, but there is a cultural connotation to the former that can be limiting. Education naturally links to schooling, which is only one form of learning.
  • Gregg Behr, founder and co-chair of Remake Learning, believes that this small word shift opens up the possibilities in terms of how and where learning can happen. It also becomes a more inclusive practice, welcoming in a larger, more diverse group of thinkers.
  • Post-COVID, the way we think about what learning looks like will inevitably change, so it's crucial to adjust and begin building the necessary support systems today.
Keep reading Show less

How DNA revealed the woolly mammoth's fate – and what it teaches us today

Scientists uncovered the secrets of what drove some of the world's last remaining woolly mammoths to extinction.

Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Surprising Science

Every summer, children on the Alaskan island of St Paul cool down in Lake Hill, a crater lake in an extinct volcano – unaware of the mysteries that lie beneath.

Keep reading Show less

Why is everyone so selfish? Science explains

The coronavirus pandemic has brought out the perception of selfishness among many.

Credit: Adobe Stock, Olivier Le Moal.
Personal Growth
  • Selfish behavior has been analyzed by philosophers and psychologists for centuries.
  • New research shows people may be wired for altruistic behavior and get more benefits from it.
  • Times of crisis tend to increase self-centered acts.
Keep reading Show less
Quantcast