Talking about the Economy at Milken

This morning I participated in a panel discussion at the Milken Global Conference about the state of the economy. Here’s the video.

Fellow panelists were:

Ron Bloom, Senior Advisor, U.S. Treasury Department; White House Senior Counselor for Manufacturing Policy

John Engler, President and CEO, National Association of Manufacturers

Michael McCallister, President and CEO, Humana Inc.

David Simon, Chairman and CEO, Simon Property Group Inc.

Moderator: Ross DeVol, Executive Director, Economic Research, Milken Institute

We covered lots of material during the panel – policy responses to the financial crisis, stimulus, boosting exports, the fiscal outlook, etc. If you want to hear my budget stump speech, that begins at about 57:30 in the video.

At the end of the panel, Ross DeVol polled the audience about the strength of the economy. A whopping 52% said they thought the economy would be weaker in the next few years than is predicted by the consensus of economic forecasters. Several of the panelists agreed (including me with the caveat that this year may surprise on the upside). But the contrarian in me is wondering whether this agreement might itself be a sign that the economy will be stronger than anticipated.

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