This week, we speak with Len Kiefer from Deputy Chief Economist at Freddie Mac. His primary responsibility is to help develop Freddie Mac’s economic outlook, including forecasts of trends in the US economy and housing markets. Kiefer’s bio says he “helps people understand the economy, housing, and mortgage markets” but that is only a partial description.
What he has carved out a niche doing is using data and the combination of his own economic and coding expertise to generate visualizations to help people better understand those sectors.
Kiefer’s academic training focused on Macroeconomics and Econometrics, but he likes to tinker with code. He is an Adjunct Professor at George Mason University, where he teaches “Principles of Real Estate.” Before that he was an Assistant Professor at Texas Tech University. He graduated with a BA in Economics and Philosophy from the University of Kentucky, and earned his Ph.D. in Economics at Ohio State University.
You might be surprised to learn that Freddie Mac encouraged his work on social media. He is active on Twitter, where he codes and creates his own charts and analytics, focusing primarily on credit and housing via public data. He is a big fan of data visualizations – he has come up with different ways to present data, creating graphs and visualizations that provide fresh insights into the housing sector.
You can stream/download the full conversation, including the podcast extras on iTunes, Bloomberg, Overcast, and Stitcher. Our earlier podcasts can all be found at iTunes, Stitcher, Overcast, and Bloomberg.
Next week, we speak with restaurateur Cameron Mitchell, founder and CEO of Cameron Mitchell Restaurants, which manages numerous restaurants across the country, and is the author Yes is the Answer! What is the Question?: How Faith In People and a Culture Of Hospitality Built A Modern American Restaurant Company.
Ken Liefer’s Favorite Books
The Visual Display of Quantitative Information by Edward Tufte
Beautiful Evidence by Edward Tufte