Economist Robert Shapiro shares his insights on economic policymaking and the future of the US economy, and the dark side of globalization.
My guest for the 19th episode of the Hale Report is economist Robert Shapiro, chairman of Sonecon, a consultancy for economic and security-policy related issues. You won't find anyone more knowledgable or more thoughtful about the nexus of politics and economics in Washington today. His background explains why; he was in the room when critical policies were formulated that created the world we live in today.
Dr Shapiro has advised senior public officials, including President Bill Clinton, Prime Minister Tony Blair, senior members of the Obama cabinet and administration, Congress, and executives of numerous Fortune 100 companies. He served as senior economic adviser to Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, John Kerry and Al Gore during their presidential campaigns.
I hope you will enjoy the conversation and learn as much as I did. I always ask my guests how they decided to make a career in economics. Dr Shapiro explained that he began his academic life at the University of Chicago as a philosopher, which taught him how to think, before he studied economics. That perspective, in combination with analysis of data collected by the statistical agencies he supervised as undersecretary of commerce for economic affairs, continues to influence his view of the world.
During Dr Shapiro's tenure under the Clinton Administration, the US actually had a budget surplus, and optimism about the end of history was at its peak. I asked him what we didn't see at the time, as the Internet took off and China joined the WTO:
What we didn't see, what I didn't see then, and which I don't think anyone saw at the time, was the way in which the globalization of markets would require new measures in public investment in the advanced countries to avoid income stagnation and growing inequality. In the Clinton Administration all we could see were the positive effects, which were enormous, not only in developed countries but in developing countries,...so we did not see the dark side.
Just a few of the topics we discussed:
Inflation and how much stimulus is too much stimulus
President Biden’s first months in office
2000 vs the 2020 census
Bill Clinton and the Internet
Was advocating for China to join the WTO a mistake?
Health care technology and the effects of our aging demographics
The earthquake in geopolitics caused by the demise of the Soviet Union
What issues will blockchain solve: supply chains, elections etc?
Dr Shapiro was not only a participant in the creation of the New Economy as it was called in the 1990's, he is a participant in the New New Economy. He serves on the board of the blockchain investment firm Medici Venture Fund, and is a member of the advisory board of biotech company Gilead Sciences. In this podcast, he shares both his incredible experiences as a policymaker, and where he thinks we are now headed.
TOPIC: US ECONOMY
Sep 7, 2021 / Substack
Larry Summers, economist
I made clear to the President, and my colleagues in 2009, that the risk of our overdoing fiscal stimulus is conceivable like the risk of my diet making me anorexic. It is not the right thing to be worried about.
Sep 13, 2021 / MarketWatch
In the US, nearly 15% of families went hungry last year
The findings, from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service, showed that 14.8% of households with children experienced food insecurity in 2020. That’s up from 13.6% in 2019, the pre-pandemic year. The U.S.D.A. defines food insecurity as having limited access to adequate food because of “a lack of money or other resources.”
Aug 2, 2021 / AEI
The Next Housing Bust
Edward J. Pinto & Alex J. Pollock
This sets up the conditions for the next housing bust. We have seen this movie twice before and know the ending.
Sep 9, 2021 / Nature
The effects of remote work on collaboration among information workers
Longqi Yang, David Holtz...
Our results show that firm-wide remote work caused the collaboration network of workers to become more static and siloed, with fewer bridges between disparate parts..
EPISODE 18 | 52 mins
The Changing Geopolitical Role of the US
In Episode 18 of the Hale Report, Lyric Hughes Hale, editor-in-chief of EconVue, interviews Robert Madsen, senior economist at Hale Strategic. They talk about the U.S. response to COVID, Biden administration's first 176 days, the future of Silicon Valley, Japan and China's changing role in global geopolitical landscape.
EPISODE 17 | 46 mins
On Self-Driving Cars
In Episode 17 of the Hale Report, Joe Atikian discusses his new book, Autonomous, The Coming Crash of Self-Driving Cars. Especially interesting in view of the news about the Tesla probe today.
EPISODE 16 | 57 mins
On China Tech & Crypto
In Episode 16 of the Hale Report, Winston Ma is an investor, author, and adjunct professor at NYU focusing on technology & the digital economy. He discusses his new book, "Digital War: How China's Tech Power Shapes the Future of AI, Blockchain and Cyberspace".
Our September newsletter will be out at the end of the month. Our next podcast is with Albert Bressand, who will discuss how to think about thinking strategically, the changing role of energy, geo-engineering, and what is happening in Europe today.
Thank you for listening. A business note: although most podcasts will continue to be available to everyone on our free mailing list, our newsletter will be switching to a paid subscription on Substack ($7 a month or $70 a year) beginning in October. Current Patreon contributors will become founding subscribers (details to follow) in appreciation of your early support.