Daniel Alpert, Economist: “The Age of Oversupply”

How did we arrive at our economic situation? What can we do to get out?

According to Daniel Alpert, we suffer from “oversupply.” Today’s economic challenges  link to a global event we all welcomed with joy – the collapse of Socialism. But that freedom for billions also added billions to the global labor force. It drove a boom in production capacity. Toss in a glut of capital, and you have a global economic disaster – a disaster for which common prescriptions for economic recovery aren’t going to work.

Alpert is a founding Managing Partner of Westwood Capital and a Fellow of The Century Foundation. He is also author of the important new book “The Age of Oversupply: Overcoming the Greatest Challenge to the Global Economy.”


Jagdish Bhagwati, Sr. Fellow for Int’l Economics, Council on Foreign Relations

Of all the issues that stand in the way of a country’s ability to reach its full economic potential — and there are so many — few are more globally pervasive, and harder to solve, than poverty. But how does the path that connects economic potential and personal poverty get not just identified, but solved? What role can a pro-growth policy play? And, as we consider yet again how to address economic growth and poverty in the US, what can and should we learn from international examples.  Few think through the pros and cons of international economic policy more cleverly or deeply than Dr. Jagdish Bhagwati, Senior Fellow for International Economics at Council on Foreign Relations, and University Professor at Columbia University. And his book “Why Growth Matters” will be published in the US in April. (Originally broadcast 1-27-13 on The John Batchelor Show)

Dr. Kurt Schuler, US Dept. of Treasury & Center for Financial Stability

In July 1944, more than 700 delegates representing all 44 Allied nations gathered at the Mount Washington Hotel in Bretton Woods, NH. The goal was the find new ways to manage global finance following World War II. Among the agreements – establishing the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, and the International Monetary Fund. But detailed notes — transcripts — of the heated discussions were never known. Until now. Dr. Kurt Schuler of the US Treasury Dept. and the Center for Financial Stability is also an economic historian. And in a nifty bit of economic sleuthing, he not only found one copy of the transcripts, he found three. And he has spent his free time cleaning up the transcripts and, now, publishing them as an 800-page e-book by the Center for Financial Stability. (Originally broadcast 12-16-12 on The John Batchelor Show)

Dr. William Dunkelberg, Chief Economist, National Federation of Independent Businesses

With just 15 days until the Fiscal Cliff — the cocktail of tax increases and budget cuts — is scheduled to hit, businesses are asking real questions about how to plan for the future. Nowhere is this uncertainty being felt more than among our nation’s small businesses. After hearing about them throughout the Presidential campaign, they’re back, this week in a very negative report from the National Federation of Independent Business. It’s well-known and closely-followed Small Business Optimism Index showed one of its lowest readings in history in November. And things may be getting worse. Dr. William Dunkelberg is Chief Economist for the NFIB. (Originally broadcast 12-16-12 on The John Batchelor Show)

Enrico Moretti, Economics Professor & Fulbright Fellow, UC Berkeley

New US employment numbers were released yesterday, and as you surely know by now, they brought bad news. This happened, as did this… And you could almost hear the collective frustration at the thought that things might not be getting better. Getting a job is hard, but how much of it has to do not with what you do for a living, but where you do it? What if the three most important parts of employment were location, location, location? Enrico Moretti is a UC Berkeley economist, Fulbright Fellow and author of the new and important book “The Geography of Jobs.” (Originally broadcast 6-2-12 on The John Batchelor Show)

Diane Brady, Senior Editor, Bloomberg Businessweek

The Queen’s 60 year jubilee in England is not the only major anniversary of an institution this week. This also marks the 50 year anniversary of Wal-Mart, and yesterday the retailer held its annual shareholders meeting. It’s not the smoothest of times for Wal-Mart. Bribery scandals in Mexico. Criticism around employee treatment. And now several state pension funds are voting to oust Chief Executive Officer Mike Duke and other directors. What’s next for Wal-Mart? Bloomberg Businessweek Senior Editor Diane Brady has been reporting the story, and she’s with us now. (Originally broadcast 6-2-12 on The John Batchelor Show)

Laura Stoll, New Economics Foundation

What causes well-being? What enables some people and societies and countries to prosper and others to fail? What does it mean to prosper — is it the same as being happy? Starting about 30 years ago — and picking up exponentially in the last decade — academics really began to research the question in new ways. Looking at the data and trying to draw conclusions. But while each set of conclusions may be interesting on their own, how can we — as societies — put them into action. How can they collectively influence our social policies — and should they? A research team from the New Economics Foundation in London has attacked this question. They have looked at research covering the last 30 years and beyond to begin, as they put it, “transferring the large and growing body of academic literature to policymakers” in a range of countries. The piece is called “Well-being evidence for policy: A review,” and joining us now from London, co-author Laura Stoll. (Originally broadcast 6-2-12 on The John Batchelor Show)