A Framework That Provides Clarity

During periods of “low visibility,” confusion reigns: for every indication of one trend, there seems to be a countertrend. The key is to glean from the collective wisdom of reliable leading indicators a clear signal that the economy is headed for a turn.



Luck - A President's best jobs plan

Today's troubles in the U.S. economy and labor market could very well turn out to be a lucky break for the next president, no matter who is elected.

Economists say that the current job losses and problem of rising unemployment will come to an end sometime in 2009.

And that will be perfect timing for whoever has moved into the Oval Office...

Presidents can set the stage

"Presidents can create an environment conducive to job creation over several years," said Lakshman Achuthan, the managing director of the Economic Cycle Research Institute. "But when you're talking about the coming year, the president can't do much other than accept blame or credit for job creation as the case may be."...

Short-term vs. the long view...

Not surprisingly, economists are split on which campaigns' policy proposals are the best for jobs and the economy. Yet there is widespread agreement that the number of jobs and the unemployment rate a year from today, or even two or eight years from now, will be only partly due to those policies.

Achuthan said it's a tossup how much a healthy job market can be spurred by presidential policies and how much is the result of timing.

"Let's say 50% is luck and 50% were policies that don't mess up the luck," he said.