Thomas Kevin Swift has packed insights gathered over a long career in industrial economics into A History of American Business Cycles, a book released earlier this year.
The book tackles large volumes of data in a style and presentation that will make sense to any business owner. Swift does an excellent job of placing major financial events into historical context, explaining their impact well beyond dollars and cents.
Swift's name will be familiar to those in plastics and chemicals, as he worked as an economist for the American Chemistry Council for 31 years. In 2021, Swift became senior economist for global chemicals at data firm ICIS.
For many years, Swift has been a great resource for Plastics News and many other publications. Being able to explain economics to reporters is a rare gift.
In a LinkedIn post, Swift said that the book "aims to provide an up-to-date overview of business and financial cycles in the U.S. by drawing upon a proprietary monthly measure of real gross output, a wide variety of historical macroeconomic and industry data and extensive secondary literature."
He added that the book reviews the key features of historical economic upswings and downswings over two-and-a-half centuries, covering nearly 50 U.S. business cycles since the 1780s.
"I examined what happens during business cycles, reviewed orthodox theories of the business cycle and looked at how cycles in one sector of the economy affect fluctuations in other sectors," Swift said. "These forces foster business cycles and determine their duration and amplitude. Finally, the book provides a narrative of U.S. business cycles since Independence to shed light on the drivers of cyclical change."
A History of American Business Cycles is available as an eBook on Apple Books and Amazon Kindle. Physical copies can be ordered through Barnes & Noble, independent bookstores or print-on-demand through Amazon KDP or IngramSpark.