Dr. Bill LaFayette forecasts with “CAFFEINE COMMUNION”

Bill and I met in the café at Bake Me Happy, a delightful gluten-free bakery in Merion Village. This long-awaited opportunity came to fruition January 25, 2018.


He’s a professional economist, formerly on staff at the Columbus Chamber of Commerce before founding his own firm in 2011,  Regionomics. His path started in his hometown of Springfield, Ohio, then to an academic journey in the fields of finance and real estate economics, earning his Ph.D. in 1994 with his dissertation on housing affordability. Bill has also taught at the college level, finance and accounting at Ashland University and the University of North Texas.

Bill became quite animated in telling of his passion for 1940s-era Big Band and jazz music, specifically the bands in Great Britain demonstrated in John Wright’s podcast, “The British Dance Band Show.”

Listen to THIS.

Many Columbus leaders in business, government and education know Bill from his annual “Blue Chip” economic forecasts of the local and regional market. He completed his 17th such presentation January 3 at the weekly Columbus Metropolitan Club lunch forum, as he does on the first week of every January for CMC.

Bill’s CORE VALUES:  “Honesty, and integrity,” both in his personal values as well as  professional ethics.  In economic research, “It’s so easy to take data points and skew them,” which he’s careful to avoid. This hard limit has cost him an occasional consultation client when a potential arose to compromise objectivity.

His current project to EFFECT CHANGE:  An 18-month study for Ohio University’s five branch campuses to inform curriculum planners what to incorporate to prepare students in each of the five different local economic climates.

Bill’s EARLIEST MEMORY: At about age 2-1/2 he remembers his family building the house in Springfield that he grew up in. He specifically recalls the new automobile license plates Ohio introduced in 1960, blue text on a yellow field.

His FEELING of EMOTIONAL CONNECTION with others: Bill admits it’s difficult to come up with a metaphor, but “Catching up with friends is live-giving.”

SCARCITY/ABUNDANCE: Bill claims abundance. “I’ve got the job of my dreams, I feel grounded and centered, I’ve always been a happy person, this is the best time of my life.”

RELATED: Bill acknowledged that some researchers are considering another metric to measure economic productivity along with GDP, that is, GHN…Gross National Happiness Index. One challenge would be in developing measurements.

The proverbial “BOX” which some are encouraged to THINK OUTSIDE OF: Bill’s box of “Numbers will tell you stuff, but only so much,”  so he crosses his thinking from left brain to right brain creativity.

Bill’s MUSE, the fountain for his IDEAS: “I’ll just sit back and think.” His practice, when a solution strategy isn’t obvious, is to change environments to change perspective, “get away from it, take a walk, and come back with a solution.”

OK, “Mr. Economist,” what of UNCERTAINTY: “Everything is uncertain!” It’s the source of his livelihood! “Even things that look certain, and you gotta go with it…knowing more is better than knowing less.”

Henceforth 5-YEARS ahead, 2023: Personally, “Same as now. I’m having so much fun I don’t want to stop.” Columbus “Will get bigger, more traffic, and we’ll likely experience a recession, but not as severe as that of 2007-09. I’ll be surprised if we land Amazon.”

ANCESTRY: With the aid of a family member’s research, he can go back 5-6 generations. He is the 6-times-removed great-nephew of the Marquis de La Fayette.

Finally, Bill, WHATCHA READIN’? His most recent book read for pleasure is J.D. Vance’s HILLBILLY ELEGY. If time allows he likes to get back to British literature of the 18th-20th Centuries.

Much THANKS to you, Bill.

And THANKS, too, toward all readers of “CAFFEINE COMMUNION.”

Please add your comments in the box below; any review or critique is welcome.

Let me know if I may interview you, in the box below or directly to me at jim1coe@gmail.com or (614) 440-1445.

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About orangeacorn

We are, I believe, and everything is, in perpetual unfolding/enfolding/evolving. By surface appearances, we're in turmoil and fearfullness, but in fact our existence is on the edge of a new way, beyond the US versus THEM we have grown with. I encourage you to join me over coffee or tea in face-to-face encounters. I call this exercise, "CAFFEINE COMMUNION: Encounters with Paradigm Pioneers." I'm a Columbus, Ohio husband, father and citizen. I practice string band sounds from the ridges of Pocahontas County, West Virginia, the vortex of the ancient drone.
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