from the world's big
We Need to Get Our Groove Back
Mark Zandi is Chief Economist and co-founder of Moody's Economy.com, where he directs the company's research and consulting activities. Moody's Economy.com, a division of Moody's Analytics, provides economic research and consulting services to businesses, governments and other institutions.
Mark's research interests include macroeconomic, financial, and regional economics. Recent areas of research include studying the determinants of mortgage foreclosure and personal bankruptcy, an analysis of the economic impact of various tax and government spending policies, and an assessment of the appropriate policy response to bubbles in asset markets. In addition, Mark conducts regular briefings on the economy. He is frequently quoted in national and global news outlets.
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.
Sallie Krawcheck and Bob Kulhan will be talking money, jobs, and how the pandemic will disproportionally affect women's finances.
Health officials in China reported that a man was infected with bubonic plague, the infectious disease that caused the Black Death.
- 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.
Bacteria under microscope
needpix.com<p>Today, bubonic plague can be treated effectively with antibiotics.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Unlike in the 14th century, we now have an understanding of how this disease is transmitted," Dr. Shanthi Kappagoda, an infectious disease physician at Stanford Health Care, told <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health-news/seriously-dont-worry-about-the-plague#Heres-how-the-plague-spreads" target="_blank">Healthline</a>. "We know how to prevent it — avoid handling sick or dead animals in areas where there is transmission. We are also able to treat patients who are infected with effective antibiotics, and can give antibiotics to people who may have been exposed to the bacteria [and] prevent them [from] getting sick."</p>
This plague patient is displaying a swollen, ruptured inguinal lymph node, or buboe.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention<p>Still, hundreds of people develop bubonic plague every year. In the U.S., a handful of cases occur annually, particularly in New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado, <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/plague/faq/index.html" target="_blank">where habitats allow the bacteria to spread more easily among wild rodent populations</a>. But these cases are very rare, mainly because you need to be in close contact with rodents in order to get infected. And though plague can spread from human to human, this <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health-news/seriously-dont-worry-about-the-plague#Heres-how-the-plague-spreads" target="_blank">only occurs with pneumonic plague</a>, and transmission is also rare.</p>
A new swine flu in China<p>Last week, researchers in China also reported another public health concern: a new virus that has "all the essential hallmarks" of a pandemic virus.<br></p><p>In a paper published in the <a href="https://www.pnas.org/content/early/2020/06/23/1921186117" target="_blank">Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences</a>, researchers say the virus was discovered in pigs in China, and it descended from the H1N1 virus, commonly called "swine flu." That virus was able to transmit from human to human, and it killed an estimated 151,700 to 575,400 people worldwide from 2009 to 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.</p>There's no evidence showing that the new virus can spread from person to person. But the researchers did find that 10 percent of swine workers had been infected by the virus, called G4 reassortant EA H1N1. This level of infectivity raises concerns, because it "greatly enhances the opportunity for virus adaptation in humans and raises concerns for the possible generation of pandemic viruses," the researchers wrote.
The word "learning" opens up space for more people, places, and ideas.
- 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.
Scientists uncovered the secrets of what drove some of the world's last remaining woolly mammoths to extinction.
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.
The coronavirus pandemic has brought out the perception of selfishness among many.
- 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.