Anirban Basu | WYPR

Anirban Basu

Host, Morning Economic Report

Anirban Basu, Chariman Chief Executive Officer of Sage Policy Group (SPG), is one of the Mid-Atlantic region's leading economic consultants.  Prior to founding SPG he was Chairman and CEO of Optimal Solutions Group, a company he co-founded and which continues to operate.  Anirban has also served as Director of Applied Economics and Senior Economist for RESI, where he used his extensive knowledge of the Mid-Atlantic region to support numerous clients in their strategic decision-making processes.  Clients have included the Maryland Department of Transportation, St. Paul Companies, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Players Committee and the Martin O'Malley mayoral campaign.

He is the author of numerous regional publications including the Mid-Atlantic Economic Quarterly and Outlook Maryland and is routinely asked to contribute to local media, including on his radio show on WTMD, 89.7 FM/Baltimore and here on WYPR's Morning Economic Forecast.  Anirban completed his graduate work in mathematical economics at the University of Maryland.  He earned a Masters in Public Policy from Harvard University in 1992. His Bachelors in Foreign Service is from Georgetown University and was earned in 1990.  He is currently working toward his J.D. at the University of Maryland, Baltimore.

Morning Economic Report Week of May 18th 2020

Morning Economic Report Week of May 18th 2020

Morning Economic Report Week of May 11th 2020

Morning Economic Report Week of May 4th 2020

Morning Economic Report Week of April 27th 2020

Morning Economic Report Week of April 20th 2020

Morning Economic Report Week of April 13th 2020

Morning Economic Report Week of April 6th 2020

Morning Economic Report Week of March 30th 2020

Morning Economic Report Week of March 23rd 2020

On this week's podcast: federal deficits, Iran's economy, high credit scores, carbon emissions, and more.

Let’s say you are saving for retirement and are also socially conscious.  It is quite possible that if you participate in an employer’s 401K plan, you may be supporting things that do not strike you as socially worthwhile. Many a federal worker is precisely in this situation. As pointed out by writer Ron Lieber, many people who work for the Office of the Surgeon General are exposed to tobacco stocks. 

On this week's podcast: economic despair and opioids, China's economic struggles, women in the workforce, and more. 

Late last year, the U.S. Congress passed significant changes to retirement savings. Specifically, Congress passed a retirement savings bill known as the SECURE Act as part of a massive government spending bill. As indicated by writer Michael Townsend, the House of Representatives approved the bill on December 17 the Senate followed suit on December 19, and the President signed it into law one day later. 

As indicated by writer Glenn Ruffenach, many retirees enter 2020 in a good mood. After all, stocks had a terrific run in 2019, with the S&P 500 climbing a remarkable 29 percent. 

As of December, the economy had been expanding for a record 126 consecutive months according to the National Bureau of Economic Research. Partially as a result, a recent survey conducted by the Employee Benefit Research Institute found that 82 percent of retirees were confident in their capacity to live comfortably throughout their later life, similar to levels of confidence observed in 2005.

During the final days of last year, Congress quietly passed a $1.4 trillion federal spending bill. Among the most newsworthy items, for the first time in 45 years of federal pension law, taxpayer dollars will be used to bail out a fund for workers in the private sector. 

Anirban tells us what that dying pension fund represents. 

On the podcast this week: the irrelevance of the federal minimum wage, the limits of economic theory, the millennials are coming, and more!

There are a number of ways to determine whether or not one is financially prepared for retirement. Listen to learn more.

How much of your income should you save for retirement? Anirban shares new research and recommendations. 

While it is common for many people to suggest that one needs about a million dollars to retire comfortably at the age of 65, there are plenty of other sources of information that indicate that a million dollars would be inadequate, and that a figure closer to one point five million or one point seven million makes more sense. Are you expecting to be a millionaire in your mid-sixties? As indicated by writer Eric Reed, if you’re like the average American, the answer is absolutely not. According to a 2018 study conducted by Northwestern Mutual, twenty-one percent of Americans have no retirement savings and an additional ten percent have less than five-thousand dollars in savings. 

Anirban reports on the General Motors' strike, the decline in home and car ownership, the impact of two Nobel Prize winner's work, the rise in tourism in some Southern cities, and how far $100 can go depending on where you live. 

Anirban reports on the recession America's manufacturing sector is facing, the Chinese economy, how to define a global recession, and more.  

Retirement Income

Oct 24, 2019

As indicated by writer Kathleen Coxwell, according to the most recent research from Boston College, the percentage of retirees in 2019 who are at risk of not having enough saved for retirement is in the range of 50 percent.  This is despite the fact that average retirement income this year is up, perhaps due to more seniors working longer.  

Anirban tells us more. 

Anirban reports on the problems of lending money to loved ones, class and wealth gaps, the decline in wages, America's growing trade deficit, and the deal-breaker of debt for young couples. 

Most people are aware that Congress has a lot to deal with presently.  Adding to their to do list will be a set of policies pertinent to retirement that Washington’s policymakers will be considering the fall.  For instance, as indicated by writer Mark Miller, there will be proposed legislation that would restore Social Security’s financial solvency.  

Anirban tells us more.

This week, Anirban reports on:

  • the growing popularity of working remotely
  • the amount of equity available for homeowners
  • the growth of women-owned firms 
  • the difference in household income between congressional districts 
  • net immigration in the U.S. 

The fact that so many people are confused about how much money they will need for retirement is hardly surprising. There are a sea of articles, studies, and opinion pieces about such things, and they tend to be all over the map in terms of explaining to people what they need to be ready for retirement. Here is some more data. According to TD Ameritrade’s 2019 Retirement Pulse Survey, about six in 10 Americans think that one million dollars will be enough for a comfortable retirement.  

Anirban tells us more. 

This week, Anirban reports on:

  • the outperforming U.S. economy
  • the impact of rising oil prices 
  • the 'Great Climate Retreat' 
  • the re-strengthening housing market 
  • the earning potential of STEM grads 


While it is true that many people have failed to adequately save for retirement, some in this position likely shrug their shoulders, and decide that they have a solution – they’ll just keep working.  But there is no guarantee of permanent employment.  Indeed, there is plenty of evidence of age discrimination in the workplace. According to a study by ProPublica and the Urban Institute, between 1992 and 2016, 56 percent of older workers reported either being laid off or pushed out of a job at least once.  

Anirban tells us more. 

This week, Anirban reports on:

  • flat incomes
  • the declining poverty rate
  • rent caps in California
  • lending and global warming
  • unionization rights for teaching and research assistants