“Ask an Economist: Where Are We Now?” hosted by the Vanderbilt Project on Unity & American Democracy

Watch the event here.

Whether it’s “Bidenomics,” interest rates, inflation, stagflation or GDP, economic jargon is back in the headlines as the 2024 presidential race heats up. The Vanderbilt Project on Unity & American Democracy is calling in the experts to explain the bigger story behind the numbers in “Ask an Economist: Where Are We Now?” 

The second annual “Ask an Economist” program will feature Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, along with fellow economist Douglas Holtz-Eakin of the American Action Forum, in conversation on Sept. 27 at 11:30 a.m. CT. 

During the discussion, moderated by Kelly Goldsmith, E. Bronson Ingram Chair and professor of marketing at Vanderbilt’s Owen Graduate School of Management, Zandi and Holtz-Eakin will offer their insight on the state of the U.S. economy, answer questions from the Vanderbilt and broader community about the intersection of economics and politics, and help decode the debate stage’s economic talk. 

This event will be offered virtually on Wednesday, Sept. 27, at 11:30 a.m. CT. Watch the event here.

Click here to view last year’s discussion with Mark Zandi of Moody’s Analytics. 

For more about the Unity Project and to view past events, visit 


About the Speakers 

Mark M. Zandi is chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, where he directs economic research. He is on the board of directors of MGIC, the nation’s largest private mortgage insurance company, and is the lead director of Reinvestment Fund, one of the nation’s largest community development financial institutions, which makes investments in underserved communities. Zandi is the author of Paying the Price: Ending the Great Recession and Beginning a New American Century, and Financial Shock: A 360º Look at the Subprime Mortgage Implosion, and How to Avoid the Next Financial Crisis. Zandi earned his bachelor’s degree from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and his Ph.D. at the University of Pennsylvania.  

Douglas Holtz-Eakin is president of American Action Forum. Before founding AAF in 2009, Holtz-Eakin served in a variety of influential policy positions. During 2001–02, he was the chief economist of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, where he had also served during 1989–90 as a senior staff economist. From 2003 to 2005, he was the sixth director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, which provides budgetary and policy analysis to the U.S. Congress. During 2007 and 2008, he was director of domestic and economic policy for U.S. Sen. John McCain’s presidential campaign. After that, he was a commissioner on the congressionally chartered Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission. Holtz-Eakin built an international reputation as a scholar. He began his career at Columbia University in 1985 and moved to Syracuse University from 1990 to 2001.  

Kelly Goldsmith is the E. Bronson Ingram Chair, a full professor, marketing area coordinator and award-winning teacher and researcher at Vanderbilt University Owen Graduate School of Management. She received the Research Productivity Award (2021) and the Dean’s Award for Teaching (2020), in addition to being recognized as a Chancellor’s Faculty Fellow. Goldsmith’s research is interdisciplinary in nature, drawing upon theories and methods from a variety of areas, including anthropology, cognitive and social psychology, economics, evolutionary biology and marketing. Goldsmith’s work has appeared in several top marketing and psychology journals and has been featured in hundreds of media outlets, including the BBC, Time Magazine, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and many more. She has been recognized as one of the “Top 40 Most Outstanding Business School Professors in the World Under 40” (Poets&Quants) and one of “Eight Young Business School Professors on the Rise” (Fortune). Goldsmith obtained her undergraduate degree from Duke University and her Ph.D. in behavioral marketing from Yale University.