M-RCBG Senior Fellow-Led Study Group: Paul Sheard

The “Trump” vs “Obama” Economy: What the Data Tell Us
May 2, 4:00-5:30 M-RCBG Conference Room, Belfer 503

Politicians and their supporters often make claims about how well they have managed “the economy” or how many jobs they have “created.” By the time of this Study Group, US GDP figures for nine quarters under the Trump Administration will be available. What do the GDP numbers and other relevant data such as from the monthly jobs report and the international trade report tell us about the economic performance of the Trump Administration relative to the prior equivalent period under the Obama Administration? How does the picture painted by the data stack up against the rhetoric on both sides of the political aisle? What are some of the things we need to be alert to in assessing the claims and promises of politicians and in interpreting the economic data used by financial market participants? The post-crisis economic expansion is a decade old – does that mean a recession is on the cards soon?

This Study Group will explore these and related questions, drawing on Paul Sheard’s quarter-of-a-century experience as a financial markets economist at several major financial institutions.

Background reading:

A Summary of the 2019 Economic Report of the President:  https://www.whitehouse.gov/articles/summary-2019-economic-report-president/

Summary of the 2017 Economic Report of the President:  https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/blog/2016/12/15/2017-economic-report-president

May 2 Study Group Handout is here.

Paul Sheard headshotPaul Sheard is a veteran central bank watcher and markets economist, who has written and spoken widely on QE and unconventional monetary policies. He most recently was Vice Chairman of S&P Global, after serving as Executive Vice President and Chief Economist and earlier Executive Managing Director and Chief Economist of Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services. Previously, he held chief economist positions at Nomura Securities and at Lehman Brothers and was Head of Japan Equity Investments at Baring Asset Management. Earlier, Sheard was Lecturer in Economics at the Australian National University (ANU) and Osaka Gas International Cooperation Associate Professor of Economics at Osaka University, and was Visiting Scholar and Visiting Assistant Professor of Economics at Stanford University and Foreign Visiting Scholar at the Bank of Japan. Sheard is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on the New Economic Agenda (2018-2019) and was a member of the WEF’s Global Agenda Council on the International Monetary System (2010-2012). He served on committees of the Japanese Government’s Economic Deliberation Council, as an appointee of Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto (1997-98) and as an appointee of Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi (1998-1999), and was a member of the oversight board of the Japanese Government’s Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (2001-2006).  From 2003 to 2010, he was a non-executive director of ORIX Corporation. In 2006, Sheard was recognized by Advance as one of a 100 Leading Global Australians. Sheard is on the board of the Foreign Policy Association and is a member of the Bretton Woods Committee, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Economic Club of New York. He speaks regularly at conferences around the world, and his views on the global economy and policy issues are frequently cited in the international press. Author or editor of four books and numerous academic articles, Sheard’s 1997 book in Japanese, Mein Banku Shihon Shugi no Kiki: Biggu Ban de Kawaru Nihongata Keiei (The Crisis of Main Bank Capitalism: How Japanese-style Management Will Change with “Big Bang”), won the Suntory-Gakugei Prize in the Economics–Politics Division. Sheard received a BA (Hons) from Monash University and a Master of Economics and PhD in Japanese Economy from the ANU. Email: paul_sheard@hks.harvard.edu