David Blitzer

Chairman of the Index Committee
S&P Dow Jones Indices
Biography

David M. Blitzer is managing director and chairman of the Index Committee with overall responsibility for index security selection, as well as index analysis and management.

Prior to becoming Chairman of the Index Committee, Dr. Blitzer was Standard & Poor’s Chief Economist.  Before joining Standard & Poor's, he was Corporate Economist at The McGraw-Hill Companies, S&P's parent corporation.  Prior to that, he was a Senior Economic Analyst with National Economic Research Associates, Inc. and did consulting work for various government and private sector agencies including the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, the National Commission on Materials Policy and Natural Resources Defense Council.

Dr. Blitzer is the author of Outpacing the Pros: Using Indices to Beat Wall Street’s Savviest Money Managers, (McGraw-Hill, 2001) and What’s the Economy Trying to Tell You? Everyone’s Guide to Understanding and Profiting from the Economy, (McGraw-Hill, 1997).  In the year 2000, Dr. Blitzer was named to SmartMoney magazine’s distinguished list of the 30 most influential people in the world of investing, which ranked him seventh, and in the year 1998, Dr. Blitzer was named the nation’s top economist, receiving the Blue Chip Economic Forecasting Award for most accurately predicting the country’s leading economic indicators for four years in a row.  A well-known speaker at investing and indexing conferences, Dr. Blitzer is often quoted in the national business press, including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Financial Times, and various other financial and industry publications.  He is frequently heard on local and national television and radio.

A graduate of Cornell University with a B.S. in engineering, Dr. Blitzer received his M.A. in economics from the George Washington University and his Ph.D. in economics from Columbia University.

Author Archives: David Blitzer

Better Than the Headline

The smaller than expected rise in payrolls in this morning’s January Employment Report disappointed people, but the details were far better than the 151,000 gain in payrolls.  Even though to total of new jobs was about 40,000 lower than the consensus forecast, some details in the number were surprisingly good: manufacturing employment jumped by 29,000. Read more […]

“Round Up the Usual Suspects”

Movie fans may remember this as one of the closing lines in Casablanca. Though less artistic, market watchers have their own suspects for the stock markets turmoil of the last few weeks: Corporate Earnings are always a good place to start and the latest projections point to 2015 EPS for the S&P 500 being down Read more […]

Recession Angst

Stock market turmoil is generating fears and predictions of a 2016 recession.  The S&P 500 and the Dow dropped  more than 10% from recent record highs to correction levels, but none of this guarantees a recession.  In fact, the stock market is notorious for predicting recessions –and many other things – that never happened.  The Read more […]

China’s Stock Market and Its Currency

The New Year opened with large declines and massive volatility in China’s stock market.  According to US press reports, continuing declines in the value of China’s currency, the RMB, are a major factor in the poor performance of the market. While the RMB has slid against the dollar, falling from 6.21/USD at the beginning of Read more […]

All that Debt

As the Fed prepares to raise interest rates on Wednesday – or surprise virtually everyone – it is worth looking at the debt in the economy.  Interest expenses for most of it won’t move very much or very soon, but some believe the Fed is embarking on a two to three year process of pushing Read more […]

The Neutral Rate of Interest

Several Fed policy-makers are focusing their comments and analyses on the neutral rate of interest – a level of the real (inflation-adjusted) Fed funds rate that will neither slow down nor speed up the economy.  If the Fed funds were set at this level, inflation and unemployment would be stable.  The neutral rate changes depending Read more […]

Waiting for the Fed

The Fed’s policy makers, the FOMC, meet on December 15th and 16th and are widely expected to raise the target Fed funds rate for the first time since 2006.  The odds of a 25 bp increase in the target range to 25-50 bp is about 77% based on Fed Funds futures.  There are two key Read more […]

The FOMC and GDP: Not As Confusing As It Looks

The statement issued by the FOMC, the Fed’s policy making unit, following its meeting on Wednesday sent a clear message that the central bank expects to raise interest rates at its next sit-down in December.  Thursday morning at 8:30 AM the Bureau of Economic Analysis published the advance estimate of third quarter GDP showing a Read more […]

The Fed and the Debt Ceiling

Two distractions creating uncertainty for the treasury market right now are the debt ceiling and who said what at the Fed. Both annoyances should fade away, one in a few weeks, the other possibly not until sometime in the first half of 2016. The debt ceiling law dates back to shortly before the Second World Read more […]

Home Prices Are Rising Faster Than You Think

Prices of existing single family homes, as measured by the S&P/Case-Shiller National Home Price index, are rising is single digit terms.  However, the price changes that matter – the real or inflation adjusted changes – may be higher than many suspect. Backing out inflation, as shown in the chart, gives real increases averaging 6.3% annually Read more […]