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Good Things Happen Season 2Podcast17 Jan 2023

Good Things Happen Episode 5: Macro Trends and Economic Outlook

Season 2

2023 in China is celebrated as the Year of the Rabbit, a symbol of peace, prosperity, and good luck. However, looking at the state of our global economy is less than encouraging. Continued challenges from the pandemic remain in play, the Russia-Ukraine shows few signs of resolution, Europe is in the jaws of a gas shock, and surging inflation has elicited the most aggressive central bank hiking cycle in a generation. In short, the prospects for the global economy look unusually grim. Thankfully, many of the recessions in our forecast are relatively mild and should help pave the way for improved performance by early 2024. Is this all part of the cycle of trends or are we witnessing something completely new? How does business plan for the inevitable behavioral change in how consumers are spending on goods and services?


In this episode, we are joined by guests Elaine Buckberg, Chief Economist of General Motors, and Nathan Sheets, the Global Chief Economist at Citi and for a peek behind the curtain into the Economic Outlook through an economist's lens and why they're feeling optimistic.

The views expressed herein are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the views of Citigroup Global Markets Inc. or its affiliates. All opinions are subject to change without notice. Neither the information provided nor any opinion expressed constitutes a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. The expressions of opinion are not intended to be a forecast of future events or a guarantee of future results.


Citibank N.A. and General Motors are not affiliated and are independent companies. 

Citibank has onboarded General Motors as a client for payment solutions. 

The speaker’s views are their own and are not associated or may not necessarily reflect the views of Citi or any of its affiliates.  Forecasts may not be attained. 

Dr. Elaine Buckberg is Chief Economist of General Motors.  She is responsible for assessing the impact of worldwide economic developments on the corporation, and for providing advice on various competitive and economic policy issues.  She also heads long-term forecasting of auto segments and vehicles.


Immediately prior to joining GM, Elaine was a Principal at The Brattle Group, a global economic consultancy, where she conducted research on infrastructure financing and provided expert testimony in high profile financial litigation.  She headed Brattle’s Washington, D.C. office.


From 2013-16, Elaine served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy Coordination in the Office of Economic Policy at the U.S. Treasury Department.  In that role, she advised and provided economic analysis on a wide range of domestic policy issues including infrastructure, housing and housing finance reform, financial regulatory reform, virtual currency, and retirement security.  While at Treasury, Elaine played a leading role in initiating and executing President Obama’s Build America Investment Initiative on infrastructure, including authoring two white papers on public-private partnerships and innovative infrastructure financing.  She led Treasury’s economic analyses to support new regulations on derivative reporting and customer due diligence requirements for financial institutions.

Prior to joining Treasury, Elaine was a Senior Vice President at NERA Economic Consulting, where she provided expert testimony and consulting in litigation and regulatory disputes on a wide range of topics including hedge funds; structured finance; valuation of complex derivatives; and foreign exchange.   She was actively involved in firm management as a member of NERA’s Board of Directors and head of the Strategy Committee.

As a Vice President at Morgan Stanley, she was a currency strategist and then worked in Market Risk Management.  Elaine began her career as an Economist at the International Monetary Fund. 

Elaine holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a B.A. in Economics and English Literature from Yale University.


Nathan Sheets, PhD, is Global Chief Economist at Citigroup.  In this role, he leads the firm’s surveillance and forecasting of the global economy and directs the analysis of the firm’s economics team.  He interacts closely with Citi’s major institutional clients and internal risk takers, and publishes research on cross-cutting themes shaping the global economy and financial markets.  Most recently, Mr. Sheets was Chief Economist and a member of the senior investment team at PGIM Fixed Income, a $900 billion asset manager. 

He also has served as Under Secretary of the U.S. Treasury for International Affairs, representing the U.S. government on international economic issues.  Previously, he held positions with Citigroup, as Global Head of International Economics, and with the Federal Reserve Board, as Director of the Division of International Finance and FOMC Economist.

In addition, Mr. Sheets was a senior advisor to the U.S. Executive Director of the International Monetary Fund and a visiting fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. He earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Brigham Young University and a PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Economic Outlook
Investment Themes
Global Economics
Global Growth
Emerging Markets
Economic Grwoth
Economic Recovery


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