Byron Gangnes

Japan Update: Struggling to escape inflation’s drag May 21, 2024 By Byron Gangnes Like all countries, Japan was hit hard by COVID-19, and the economy has struggled to get back on track since. Some headwinds are familiar to Japan: the softness in foreign markets has hurt an economy for which exports remain an important source of growth. But the pandemic’s aftermath also brought very unfamiliar… Read More
Waikiki UHERO’s Byron Gangnes to be featured at HEA webinar March 20, 2024 On Thursday, March 28, UHERO's Byron Gangnes will join First Hawaiian Bank's Steve Rodgers in a webinar hosted by the Hawaii Economic Association to discuss the macroeconomic outlook, monetary policy, and post-pandemic changes to the economy. Paul Brewbaker will moderate. Click here to learn more and register for the event. Read More
The supply side: AI, immigration, and non-inflationary growth February 21, 2024 By Byron Gangnes Home from last week’s National Association for Business Economics Policy Conference in Washington DC. Not surprisingly, many of the sessions ended up touching on some aspects of artificial intelligence (AI). Back to this in a minute. But one topic that showed up in several sessions was how the supply side of the… Read More
Could the markets be right about coming Fed rate cuts? January 19, 2024 By Byron Gangnes There is a marked difference between what Fed officials expect about their likely rate cuts this year and what the financial markets expect. According to the median estimate of Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) members at their December 2023 meeting, three quarter-point cuts in the federal funds rate are likely this year.… Read More
Campus View From Tantalus UHERO’s Byron Gangnes named a LinkedIn Top Voice January 11, 2024 Congratulations to UHERO’s Byron Gangnes for being named a LinkedIn Top Voice! The recognition is given to only about 300 people each year (out of nearly 1 billion members) by a LinkedIn committee. Top Voices are vetted to ensure that they meet high trust standards, are consistently active on the platform, and share valuable expertise through content… Read More
When is economic growth too strong? November 8, 2023 By Byron Gangnes To most of us, faster economic growth is a good thing. It reduces unemployment, raises profits and wages, and generates healthier government fiscal situations. (Of course, some might worry about the pressures of rapid growth on the environment.) But the Federal Reserve is concerned that continued strong growth in the US economy… Read More
No credit card binge, but burdens are rising September 28, 2023 By Byron Gangnes Credit card balances broke the $1 trillion mark recently, but their share of disposable income remains moderate by historical standards. And as the figure below also shows, they have risen only to pre-pandemic levels when expressed in real (inflation-adjusted) terms. There’s no debt binge out there. But interest rates have risen considerably… Read More
Jobless claims reveal staggering employment cost of Maui wildfires September 7, 2023 By Byron Gangnes Jobless claims for the week ending September 2 have been released. At the national level, new claims ticked down for the fourth straight week, but the four-week trailing average remains in line with claim levels prior to the pandemic. The claims data do not materially change the US labor market picture: Slower… Read More
After the Maui wildfires: The road ahead. August 31, 2023 By Steven Bond-Smith, Daniela Bond-Smith, Carl Bonham, Leah Bremer, Kim Burnett, Makena Coffman, Peter Fuleky, Byron Gangnes, Rachel Inafuku, Ruben Juarez, Sumner La Croix, Colin Moore, Dylan Moore, Nori Tarui, Justin Tyndall, and Chris Wada The immediate recovery efforts from the devastating Maui wildfires continue, and at UHERO we share our community’s anguish over the… Read More
Are stock investors crazy? July 21, 2023 By Byron Gangnes Stock prices are at a very high level, and yet investors have not pulled back. What gives? How should we think about stock market values? In the long run, the price of a share of common stock should depend on the expected future stream of company earnings. Even growth stocks—which tend to… Read More
How high are interest rates really? July 13, 2023 By Byron Gangnes The Federal Reserve has raised interest rates sharply over the past fifteen months, and Fed officials have signaled that perhaps two more quarter point hikes are coming. How high are interest rates compared with past Fed tightening episodes? Are they high considering the state of the US economy? First, a little about… Read More
Is inflation going the Fed’s way? Depends where you’re looking. May 26, 2023 By Byron Gangnes The Fed’s war on inflation has been underway for more than a year. Interest rates have been driven up sharply, with consequences for the macroeconomic outlook—will the economy just slow or drop into a steep recession—but also for households and businesses right now. Many families have been priced out of the housing… Read More
When banks go boom: Footloose deposits, regulatory failure, and the SVB crisis March 28, 2023 By Byron Gangnes Banking can be a risky business. A bank keeps only a fraction of its deposits as cash reserves, turning the rest into income-earning assets, primarily loans, but also federal government bonds and other securities. Fractional reserve banking, which goes back at least to the 17th century, provides a source of funding for… Read More
Star Advertiser Front Page: Mass Vaccinations Begin COVID-19 infections, vaccines, and economic recovery April 16, 2021 By Carl Bonham, Peter Fuleky, Byron Gangnes, and Justin Tyndall A year ago Hawaii was operating under its first COVID-19 Stay at Home Order. As business activity contracted, the state quickly shed more than 150,000 jobs, and the unemployment rate jumped from 2% to 22%. Today there is hope that the devastation brought by the… Read More
Hawaii State Senate Floor Multipliers and the effectiveness of government policies June 4, 2020 By Byron Gangnes, Rachel Inafuku, and Peter Fuleky The economic shutdown in Hawaii and elsewhere due to the novel coronavirus has led to sharp reductions in employment and private spending, as well as historically large government fiscal responses. Analysis of the effects of changes in government spending and employment policies requires estimates of how much… Read More