I talk to reporters, writers, the public, and other interested people about the economy and politics as part of my job. I also maintain an incomplete list of the times I do so. Click above or here to see times I have been quoted or referenced in the media. You can also click here to see times I've been on TV, radio, or podcasts. Here is also a partial list of the panels I have done.
Also feel free to contact me if you'd like to chat for any of these reasons.
Here's a list of times I've been quoted or referenced in the press. Though I've been doing this over the past decade, this list only goes back to 2018.
Here, courtesy of the Roosevelt Institute’s Mike Konczal, is a chart comparing the Congressional Budget Office’s forecasts of what interest rates will be (in black) with where they actually go (in red). You can see that for the past 25 years, the CBO forecast is always off and always because they guess too high.
New York Magazine
Some voices on the left, such as Mike Konczal of the Roosevelt Institute, have urged the Fed to shoulder fiscal activities ordinarily conducted by Congress, with a greater willingness to lend money and accept the risk that it won’t get paid back.
“People are right to be upset about the delays and the backlogs and the problems, but I think the promise of unemployment insurance is definitely here, which is, you can stabilize incomes through a very harsh business cycle,” said Mike Konczal.
Konczal argues as a consequence the federal response must include “overdue” investments “to transition our economy and employ workers in new fields… The arguments for those investments being debt-financed were strong last year; they’ve only become stronger during this high-stakes moment.”
New York Times
Liberal writers and economists, like Mike Konczal of the Roosevelt Institute, were critical of Fitch’s rationale.
The Foreign Policy Magazine
“The unemployment insurance worked,” Konczal said. “It showed us that our government has the capacity to ensure people’s economic security through deep depression and global health crisis in a way that should surprise us.”
The New Republic
The Roosevelt Institute’s Mike Konczal summed the situation up well in a March 2018 blog post. “At best, the Right’s policy voices are all ideas and no consequences,” he wrote.
New York Magazine
In fact, one of the primary reasons why the post-2008 recovery was so slow and weak was that states and cities were laying off workers and canceling investment projects for the bulk of it. As the Roosevelt Institute’s Mike Konczal and J.W. Mason have illustrated.
Nation contributor and Roosevelt Institute director Mike Konczal has called them Buddy Garrity Republicans, after the meddling character in Friday Night Lights who wields economic power in his small town because he owns the Chevy dealership.
New York Magazine
Instead, as the Roosevelt Institute’s Mike Konczal notes, the GOP’s putative populists, like Missouri senator Josh Hawley, have opposed pro-union reforms and minimum-wage hikes.
The CARES Act stimulus was important because it pumped about a trillion dollars into an economy that had otherwise almost completely shut down, says Mike Konczal, the director of progressive thought at the left-leaning Roosevelt Institute. If the federal government pulls back on unemployment insurance and other economic stimulus at the same time as eviction moratoria are expiring, the effects could be catastrophic, Konczal says.
But unfortunately, Mike Konczal points out, when it comes to that extra $600 a week, “Republicans understand the stakes involved, even if many liberals do not. Increasing unemployment insurance not only moves money to the lowest-wage workers, who need it the most, but it also empowers employees and builds the case for social insurance.”
“Owners and workers and the government can sit down at a table ― like, not a metaphor, they really sit down and figure out how to solve the labor questions,” said Mike Konczal, an economic analyst and writer at the Roosevelt Institute. “Here in the U.S., there’s nothing like that where we see that kind of negotiation with the labor movement.”
The Week Magazine
Mike Konczal of the Roosevelt Institute has done preliminary work plotting CBO interest rate forecasts against what actually happened, and it turns out for 30 years straight they have consistently overestimated interest trajectories.
Some progressives expressed anxiety over the remarks. Mike Konczal, the director of progressive thought at the Roosevelt Institute, a left-leaning think-tank, said Democrats could be scaling back their ambitions out of confusion.
New York Times
“They bailed out financial firms that had directly caused the housing bubble and financial crisis,” said Mike Konczal, a fellow at the liberal Roosevelt Institute. “That’s moral hazard and that’s real, and it made people angry for good reason. This is not that situation.”
"This is exactly one of the big reasons the Great Recession in 2009 had a lot of problems, because I don’t think they anticipated how tough the states would get, and as such, it counteracted or made worse the downward plunge,” said Mike Konczal, a fellow at the Roosevelt Institute.
New York Magazine
“There was certainly a sense that, for the new reality of low interest rates across Western society, the Fed would have to innovate monetary policy, and you’re seeing some of the fruits of that thinking,” says Mike Konczal, an economic-policy expert at the progressive Roosevelt Institute think tank.
“Fundamentally, this needs to be a government solution. Individual acts of charity or trying to keep the economy afloat are not sufficient at this moment,” Konczal said. “The recession is ultimately a collective problem, and the government will be the one who determines what happens to small business, self-employed people, and so on down the line.”
"But you could imagine them saying, ’Okay, if unemployment is about 6 percent, or if the CDC thinks we're still in an outbreak, we could automatically renew it,’" Mike Konczal, director of progressive thought at the Roosevelt Institute, told me.
Mike Konczal, who researches financial reform and unemployment at the Roosevelt Institute, recently told Mother Jones that the economy will most certainly "look like a depression" by the third quarter of 2020.
As the details of the Senate negotiations came together, I asked Konczal what he thinks the federal government should do to jumpstart the economy, what could hinder an effective recovery, and what lessons from the last recession could apply to this one.
The New Republic
As the Roosevelt Institute economist Mike Konczal wrote in justifying his proposed stimulus—a $580 billion plan that would send $2,000 to each adult and $1,000 to each child in every American household, in concert with other financial assistance on various debt—“the risks of doing too little right now far outweigh those of doing too much.”
Those automatically recurring stimulus measures are necessary because the political window for another round of stimulus may close, said Mike Konczal, director of progressive thought at the Roosevelt Institute. “The initial 2009 stimulus ask was built with the assumption that they could always go back and get a second chance at it,” he said. “They could not.”
New York Times
The bill contained no guaranteed aid to state governments, as Mike Konczal of the Roosevelt Institute noted — and state aid is one of the most effective forms of economic stimulus.
Mike Konczal, director of progressive thought at the Roosevelt Institute, noted the contrast between the health care sector of the economy facing acute strains because of demand for COVID-19 treatment and the rest of the economy where demand is plummeting.
“The McConnell bill is a failure on four of these five dimensions and will struggle on the fifth,” Konczal writes. “Serious changes will be needed in order for this bill to match the scale of our crisis.”
The Philadelphia Inquirer
The coronavirus will likely spur extremely heavy government intervention in the days ahead, more so than after the 2008 economic collapse and with less blaming of the poor, Konczal said. Still, he was unsure how much people would in fact rally together behind progressive measures.
The New Republic
According to the Roosevelt Institute’s Mike Konczal, those payments are exactly the type of support that could stave off a recession, particularly if they were set to automatically renew for as long as an economic slump continued.
The New Yorker
“It is one of those proposals that was considered a far-out idea a short while ago but is quickly becoming regarded as reasonable,” Mike Konczal, the director for progressive thought at the Roosevelt Institute, who has written a useful guide to the stimulus debate, told me on Thursday evening.
“A good north star for Democrats to follow is this blueprint from the Roosevelt Institute’s Mike Konczal. It calls for larger direct cash payments than the White House has offered...The overriding principle here, as Konczal puts it, is that ‘the risks of doing too little right now far outweigh those of doing too much.”
If you were confused why people dug in so hard on free college debates, even if it seemed like the stakes were so low, it's because this targeted vs. universalism really is a giant chasm within the left-liberal space, wrote Mike Konczal, another progressive policy analyst.
"There's increasing agreement on sending out checks to everyone," Mike Konczal, director of the Roosevelt Institute, a liberal think tank, told Business Insider. "Sanders's plan is important because it emphasizes that this can't be a one-time thing but instead something that continues through the recession."
Mike Konczal, a fellow at the progressive Roosevelt Institute, said of Bloomberg's plan. "At a time it really mattered, his vocal opposition [to Dodd-Frank], I think. really made things harder, so you want to question if this is a sincere turnaround."
As Mike Konczal of the Roosevelt Institute notes, “This shows a level of disdain for what the actual liberal infrastructure has been thinking, building, and arguing. It’s not ‘fashion.’ The deficit isn’t a priority while rates remain low, lower than growth, and we desperately need decarbonizing investment.”
The first plank of the Roosevelt Institute’s effort is an examination of neoliberalism and where it has — and, more prominently, hasn’t — worked.
“There were 5 million foreclosures,’’ says Mike Konczal, a fellow at the Roosevelt Institute. “It’s a real stain on the Obama presidency’s legacy. They had access to tools to be able to combat them.’’
Konczal wrote that he considers that a "worthwhile trade off," given that under Warren and Sanders' plans, the rich would also be financing free college.
New York Times
Ms. Warren’s campaign on Friday cited calculations by Mike Konczal, a fellow at the Roosevelt Institute, who estimated that only 1.4 percent of spending on a universal free college program would go to the children of millionaires and billionaires.
New York Times
Mike Konczal, a fellow at the Roosevelt Institute, estimates that families within the top 1 percent of the income distribution would capture 1.4 percent of total spending on free college.
Should free public college truly come to be, only 1.4 percent of the benefit would go to the children of millionaires and billionaires, Roosevelt Institute’s Mike Konczal estimated.
New York Magazine
According to the Roosevelt Institute’s Mike Konczal, children whose parents are in the top one percent of earners would commandeer a whopping 1.4 percent of spending on tuition-free college.
The Roosevelt Instiute’s Mike Konczal did a bit of quick-and-dirty math Wednesday and found that if you made public higher education free, just 1.4 percent of the benefits would go to children whose parents are in the top 1 percent.
“It’s very key, and it makes sense that making sure people have access to education and health and security has really great consequences, because then they roll off and benefit everyone in a growth manner,” said Roosevelt Institute fellow Mike Konczal.
“In every policy world, there is a much more progressive vision than the status quo before it,” he said. But in this primary, Konczal added, “It’s moved at such a rapid pace, it’s hard to keep track of. It’s sort of amazing."
Konczal argued that the high income tax rates and the wealth tax would work together to prevent the accumulation of wealth by the top 1% of income earners.
She then asked if the central bank would consider doing a similar favor for state and municipal governments in a future recession. The Roosevelt Institute’s J.W. Mason and Mike Konczal outlined the logic of such a policy in 2017.
Economist Mike Konczal of the Roosevelt Institute cites a 2014 speech by Janet L. Yellen, then the Federal Reserve chair, who observed that since 2001 college costs had become “especially burdensome for households in the bottom half of the earnings distribution.”
Elite conservatives attuned to these developments did not hesitate to criticize the Fed for its socialistic violations of the free market’s purity. But as Konczal and Mason explain, this critique is naïve.
As Mike Konczal explains, the failures of neoliberalism […] are what has created the opening for an explosion of new progressive proposals for structural economic reforms.
Mike Konczal and J.W. Mason of the Roosevelt Institute argue the Fed should lend to state and local governments and give banks cheap funding in exchange for boosting credit supply.
Mike Konczal of the Roosevelt Institute echoes their assessment.
So we can see, Konczal sees the Green New Deal as far more than just an environmental cause; it’s also a vehicle for many social reforms, too—all ultimately adding up to overcoming, as he puts it, the Democrats’ “ideas problem.”
Elsewhere, here is an argument from Mike Konczal that “to stabilize our economy, we should unionize the financial sector."
“The idea that there’s this big tension between midsize and community banks, and that they have different interests that don’t line up, doesn’t pan out,” said Mike Konczal, a fellow at the progressive think tank the Roosevelt Institute.
Mike Konczal, a fellow with the Roosevelt Institute where he works on financial reform, told MarketWatch in an interview, “triggering OLA for any institution requires a lot of people to turn the key. It’s not that easy."
Another problem Konczal highlights is that social wealth funds are more difficult tools to capture privately held wealth.
Los Angeles Times
A few critics noticed the self-referential aspect of the uncertainty index […] Among them was Mike Konczal of the Roosevelt Institute.
The National Review
Are the Democrats moving leftward? Mike Konczal, a writer and fellow at the progressive Roosevelt Institute, says the answer is yes.
“Politically, it’s hard to see much upside to be associated with banks and deregulation and the possibility of another financial crisis,” said Mike Konczal, a fellow with the Roosevelt Institute.
As Mike Konczal details, it "removes protections for 25 of the top 38 banks; weakens regulations on the biggest players and encourages them to manipulate regulations for their benefit; and saps consumer protections."
“We know from the savings and loan crisis that it’s not always the biggest banks that screw up,” Konczal tells Barron’s. The Crapo bill, he say, “is a major pullback,” of Dodd-Frank’s rules.
“I have not heard a strong enough case for me to be very worried for our financial system if the leverage ratio is high enough to be binding instead of the risk-weighted" ratio, Konczal said.
What would a more job-friendly Fed do, specifically? […] Mike Konczal and J.W. Mason of the Roosevelt Institute have a proposal for what tools specifically the Fed should use to achieve those goals.
Pittsburgh City Paper
“The next crisis might be that a bunch of boring commercial banks all make the same mistake in a highly correlated way,” said Mike Konczal.
Fortunately, people on the Left have already started coming up with proposals. Mike Konczal and Seth Ackerman have explored how to turn Uber into a worker-owned cooperative.
As Mike Konczal of the Roosevelt Institute pointed out on Tuesday, Republicans seem strangely uninterested in strategically evaluating what happened on that front or how the party has spent its political capital.
"Removing this and revisiting it with fresh eyes is a very good idea," Mike Konczal, a banking expert at the Roosevelt Institute, a left-of-center think tank, said of Corker's latest amendment.
“If this applies to JPMorgan, it would allow them to fund themselves with a lot fewer resources to handle a crisis by allowing them to take on far more risky debt,” said Mike Konczal.
Mike Konczal of the Roosevelt Institute, a left-of-center think tank […] pointed to clear signs that the Trump administration has pulled back on a wide range of regulatory investigations.
It would be easy for the bill’s authors to clear up the confusion by adjusting the legislative text, said Mike Konczal, a fellow with the liberal Roosevelt Institute.
Mike Konczal, a fellow with the Roosevelt Institute, can’t understand why so many Senate Democrats are helping President Trump dismantle the Dodd-Frank Act by voting for the Crapo bill.
“The next crisis might be that a bunch of boring commercial banks all make the same mistake in a highly correlated way,” says Mike Konczal, a financial reform expert at the Roosevelt Institute.
“You can tell they’re not technical fixes because they all push against consumers,” said Mike Konczal of the Roosevelt Institute.
In other words, Stiglitz, Abernathy, Hersh, Holmberg, and Konczal have found a way to rearticulate left-of-center economic policies as more than just attempts to even out the income distribution or expand the safety net for its own sake.