On January 25th, The Wall Street Journal published an Op-Ed by John Mueller, a student in our Master of Professional Studies in Applied Economics program.  The piece, entitled “Trump’s Real Trade Problem is Money,” grew out of his work on an assignment in Lauren Bresnahan’s Macroeconomics course (ECON 642).  Dr. Bresnahan has worked as an economist in Washington and on Wall Street.  John’s piece argues that, “… Mr. Trump’s economic and trade policies will fail unless he finds a solution to the [Triffin] Dilemma – the inherent incompatibility, in a reserve-currency country, of domestic policy with the international monetary order.”  As required in the ECON 642 assignment, the piece outlines the debate surrounding this current policy issue, and relates it to the macroeconomic theory covered in ECON 642.

John Mueller retired in January 2015 as president of LBMC LLC, a firm in Washington, D.C. specializing in economic and financial-market forecasting and economic policy analysis.  As an undergraduate he studied political science and English, but his career gravitated towards economic policy.  In the 1980’s he advised Congressman Jack Kemp and was involved in the drafting of legislation including the Tax Reform Act of 1986.  He is the author of Redeeming Economics: Rediscovering the Missing Element (ISI Books, 2010; updated paperback, 2014), and he currently serves as the Director of the Economics and Ethics Program at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, DC.

"I didn’t know I would make my living as an economist until long after my undergraduate years, and didn’t need an advanced degree to earn a living on Capitol Hill or Wall Street," says Mueller.  "But at age 63, I think I will need one to continue earning a living and pass along some of what I have learned to others.  So I was delighted to discover UMD’s first-rate master’s program in applied economics, which makes sense for me even in dollars and cents (as befits the program)." 

Lamont Timmons, a classmate of Mueller in the Master's program, had this to say about Mueller's article:  "The Wall Street Journal has received a glimpse of something that I am exposed to every week in my economics discussions.  Weekly, we discuss different topics in economics, which also allows us to connect with our professors and peers."  

Our Master's Program has students from a variety of backgrounds, ranging from recent graduates to returning students who have been in the workplace for several years and want to broaden their skills.  You can learn more about our master's program at www.masters.econ.umd.edu

Read the op-ed online (sign-in required).

John Mueller, facing forward, black suit, white background