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Market-Based Solutions to Vital Economic Issues


Kenan Institute 2022 Grand Challenge: Stakeholder Capitalism
Market-Based Solutions to Vital Economic Issues



High levels of inflation have dominated global headlines for a good part of the last year, but what’s the connection between high global inflation and a strong dollar?

Oct 28, 2022

All Economics Is Local

How the U.S. is experiencing inflation shows considerable variation from place to place.

Kenan Institute Chief Economist Gerald Cohen discussed the latest employment report Oct. 7, seeing a few signs of cracks in the economy despite a still respectable number of jobs added during September. 

Employment growth has remained exceptionally strong this year, and September is expected to be another healthy month. Join us for the Kenan Institute’s virtual press briefing at 9 a.m. EDT this Friday, Oct. 7, as we discuss the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ fresh employment report and how it may affect the Federal Reserve’s aggressive reaction to inflation.

It is probably not a mystery to even the most casual observer of political affairs why the historic climate, health care and tax bill signed earlier this month was dubbed the Inflation Reduction Act. Inflation is high and causing real problems for many households, and so if only Congress could legislate it away by enacting … This is not to say that the package does not deserve any enthusiasm; it is an impressive legislative feat, making significant, though imperfect, advances on health care and climate change. On the other hand, the effect it will have on inflation, its raison d’être in name, will be modest at best and occur only over time.

Economists and investors traditionally see uncertainty as a bad thing that suppresses growth and valuations, but new research shows that downstream uncertainty from customers in the U.S. supply chain can foretell expansion for firms and the economy.

Kenan Institute Executive Director Greg Brown discussed the Federal Reserve’s next move after the Sept. 2 employment report showed slowing but still strong job growth. Brown predicted that the Fed, to protect its reputation as an inflation fighter, would more likely overshoot than come up short in using higher interest rates to tamp down rising prices. He also answered questions from the media on how the global nature of inflation limits the Fed’s effectiveness as well as what can be expected for local and North Carolina labor markets.

Blouin, a member of the Kenan Institute Board of Advisors, told Knowledge at Wharton that proposals to levy a 1% excise tax on corporate share buybacks and a 15% minimum tax on corporations that report more than $1 billion in book profits or in their financial statements were ill-conceived and based on misconceptions of corporate behavior.

The Fed is threading a shrinking needle in its attempts to engineer a soft landing for the U.S. economy. Join Professor Greg Brown for a briefing built on the latest employment data and financial market signals, followed by his answers to questions from the audience.

The cost to rent a one-bedroom apartment in Raleigh and Durham jumped 6% in a month as the area continues to attract new residents, according to a WRAL TechWire report. Rising prices are an indication of an undersupply in homes for rent or sale, said institute Chief Economist Gerald Cohen, adding that this “suggests that the risks of a significant drop in housing is quite low.”

The U.S. economy added 528,000 jobs in July, an unexpectedly strong number that Kenan Institute Chief Economist Gerald Cohen discussed during the Kenan Institute’s economic briefing Aug. 5. Cohen also answered questions from the media about the shifting balance of power between employers and employees, the labor force shortage and what the news means for North Carolina businesses.

GDP, the broadest measure of economic output, contracted for the second straight quarter, stoking fears that the economy is already in a recession — and has been since the beginning of the year. But the guts of the GDP report coupled with continued strong job growth and decent consumer spending suggest that the expansion remains on track. While the official arbiters of recessions are likely to agree with me — they don’t look at GDP but rather measures like job creation — what really matters to households and businesses is whether their spending power or foot traffic is drying up.