Sponsored by Oregon Business

Q&A with economic pundit Bill Conerly

| Print |  Email
Archives - April 2008
Tuesday, April 01, 2008

BillConerly.jpg Who ya gonna call?

HEADY TIMES  if you’re an economic pundit. The economy is getting sour, so TV stations want your sound bite and reporters want your quotes. It might be a bad time to be a mortgage broker, or a banker, or a construction worker, but it’s high times on the media gravy train for econ warriors like Bill Conerly. Conerly is one of the region’s best-known economists and author of Businomics: From Headlines to Your Bottomline, How to Profit in Any Economic Cycle. As such, he’s had calls from wisdom-hungry media ranging from USA Today to the News Hour with Jim Lehrer. In a gloomy market, Conerly is a go-to guy. We caught up with him recently to extract a little wisdom.

Let’s get this out of the way at the top. Recession. Yes or no? Maybe. It’s either a recession or a recession-ette. For many businesses, a near-recession is pretty darn harsh anyway.

Is the economic gloom keeping you busy? I’ve done a lot more media interviews lately. When everything is going along fine, the economy is not in the news. Starting late last year reporters I hadn’t talked to in years began calling. There was a time when it was exciting to be interviewed on TV, but I’m 20 years past that. But I’m not 20 years past loving economics. I fell in love with it when I was 16. My wife asks me why I keep working. If I were retired, I would still be getting up in the morning checking the economic news. I might as well get paid for it.

How stupid are journalists about economics? There are some very sharp people in the journalism profession and there are some very stupid ones.

How stupid is everyone else? On a scale of 1-10, the country is a 3 in overall economic intelligence. People who are not well informed are more fearful. The presidential election doesn’t help. There is rarely anything sensible coming out of the mouths of candidates. Virtually every candidate is talking about jump-starting the economy. The consensus among all of us economists is that the president doesn’t run the economy.

Do you answer the same questions over and over? Yeah, over and over. Some of the smart reporters know the answers but need me on the record saying it. Some of the reporters are just so totally clueless. Some reporters are covering an economic story because that’s what they have to do to get to their ultimate goal: the ax murder beat.

Any special beauty routine for your TV appearances? No. For a while I was thinking I should keep a jacket and a tie around. But I am what I am.

Dating a supermodel yet? No, but people will ask me about Giselle, the Brazilian model who asked to be paid in euros not dollars. And for the record, I don’t comment on economic groupies.


Have an opinion? E-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


More Articles

100 Best Nonprofits: Working for equality inside and out

October 2015
Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Striving for social equity is the mission of many nonprofits, and this year’s 100 Best Nonprofits to Work For in Oregon survey shows employees are most satisfied with their organizations’ fair treatment of differing racial, gender, disability, age and economic groups. But as a national discourse about racial discrimination and equity for low-income groups takes center stage, data show Oregon’s 100 Best Nonprofits to Work For still need to make progress on addressing these issues within their own organizations.


Have a baby and keep a job? It won’t be easy in Portland

The Latest
Friday, October 02, 2015
100115kimblogthumbBY KIM MOORE

Our intrepid (and expecting) research editor finds the child care search involves long waiting lists, costly fees and no certainty of securing a place before she goes back to work.


Insurance pulse: health care and Export-Import banks

Linda Baker
Tuesday, November 17, 2015
111715-healthcarelindathumbBY LINDA BAKER

The past month has been marked by upheaval in the health insurance markets. I also check in on clients of the Export-Import bank, a federal credit agency that subsidizes, and insures, foreign exports.


Back in Black

Guest Blog
Friday, November 20, 2015

It’s been a volatile year in equities and heading into the holiday season, it doesn’t look like these market extremes will dissipate.


Company Present Accepted

November/December 2015
Wednesday, October 28, 2015

’Tis the season of giving — and that goes far beyond trees drowning in Lego sets and ironic knitwear. Santa Claus knows corporations are people too, in need of gifts to warm the hearts (and stomachs) of even the most Grinch-like CFOs.


100 Best Nonprofits announced

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

1015-nonprofits01Oregon Business magazine has named the seventh annual 100 Best Nonprofits to Work for in Oregon. The rankings were revealed Wednesday night during an awards dinner at the Sentinel Hotel in Portland.


Make the business case, governor

Linda Baker
Thursday, November 05, 2015
aoikatebrownthumbBY LINDA BAKER

Gov. Kate Brown delivered the keynote speech at the Associated Oregon Industries annual policy forum yesterday.  Speaking to a Republican-aligned audience of about 100 business and public policy leaders, the governor was out of her comfort zone.

Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02