As someone who helps run a business, I am constantly trying to see what’s coming. I think I tend toward the pessimistic, but I call that a defense mechanism. Anyway – on my own, I’m not a very good prognosticator and so I look to the expertise of others to help me see the path more clearly. There are 2-3 economists who I have found to be level-headed and straight forward in their analysis of the economy and in their predictions for the short-term future.
Dr. Thomas Swift
Dr. Swift was the Chief Economist for the American Chemistry Council for 31 years and more recently joined Independent Commodity Intelligence Services (ICIS) as their Senior Economist. When he was with the ACC, he was in charge of the Chemical Activity Barometer which was a multi-factorial economic indicator that had a specific focus on the chemical industry. Dr. Swift posts a lot of free information via LinkedIn and Twitter and is constantly putting out data that has direct impacts on the broader chemical processing industry.
Brian Wesbury / Bob Stein
FirstTrust has their HQ offices in the same town I live in and that’s originally how I heard of them. I started following Brian Wesbury who serves as the Chief Economist at FT – he co-authors a blog with the Deputy Chief Economist at FT, Bob Stein. Brian strikes me as a bit of a contrarian, and I tend to gravitate to those types of people – particularly in industries that are crowded with ‘experts’. I like to know that the person who is telling me something isn’t just regurgitating it from someone else. They have looked at the data and made some of their own conclusions. That is the general tone I get from Wesbury and Stein and over the past few years, more often than not, they have been spot on .
Scott is more of a recent follow for me. He has a blog called the Calafia Beach Pundit. During his career, he was a Chief Economist for Western Asset Management and I get the impression that he is retired, but still keeps close tabs on the US Economy and just likes to write about it in his free time. Scott does a great job of explaining complex subjects and also has seen a lot over his 40+ career so I find his forward-looking insights valuable as well.