On Business: Bankers Hire Basu as Chief Economist; GBC Promotes Diversity at Annual Meeting

    The leaders of the Maryland Bankers Association announced Tuesday that they have appointed Anirban Basu, the colorful and quotable Baltimore economist, as the organization’s chief economist.

    The group said that Basu will advise MBA on economic policy, providing analysis on economic conditions and potential impacts of public policy on economic activity and output. He is expected to focus initially on the significant economic shifts resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and anticipated economic recovery.

    Basu is chairman & CEO of Sage Policy Group, Inc., an economic and policy consulting firm headquartered in Baltimore, which provides strategic analytical services to energy suppliers, law firms, medical systems, government agencies, and real estate developers, among others. He was until recently the chairman of the Maryland Economic Development Commission and is chairman of the Baltimore County Economic Advisory Committee.

    In addition to his work for the bankers, Basu serves in a similar advisory role to the Associated Builders and the Construction Financial Management Association, among other groups.

    “Anirban is an exceptional economist with a proven track record of success,” said Ramon Looby, president and CEO of the Maryland Bankers Association. “We are excited to have him advising our team and look forward to the value that his insights will offer our members, their customers, and the regional economy.”

    Meanwhile, another leading Maryland business group, the Greater Baltimore Committee, held its annual meeting virtually on Tuesday. The meeting opened with leaders of six Baltimore-area jurisdictions — Baltimore County Executive John A. Olszewski Jr. (D), Baltimore Mayor Brandon M. Scott (D), Carroll County Commission President Edward C. Rothstein (R), Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman (D), Harford County Executive Barry Glassman (R) and Howard County Executive Calvin Ball (D) — paying tribute to health care professionals and other frontline workers for their work during the pandemic.

    “They have truly been the guiding light in the face of adversity,” Ball said.

    GBC President Donald C. Fry said that when local business leaders formed the organization 66 years ago, their mantra was “problem-solving, solutions and results.” That ethos still exists within the Baltimore-area business community today, Fry said, but with a newfound determination to promote “racial equity and social justice” in the workplace.

    Calvin G. Butler Jr., CEO of Exelon Utilities and chairman of the GBC, said that work is now paramount for the hundreds of companies, nonprofits and educational institutions in the committee’s network.

    “We are not just thinking about it,” he said. “We are not just talking the talk.”

    [email protected] 

    Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to reflect that Anirban Basu is no longer serving on the Maryland Economic Development Commission.


    Josh Kurtz
    Founding Editor Josh Kurtz is a veteran chronicler of Maryland politics and government. He began covering the State House in 1995 for The Gazette newspapers, and has been writing about state and local politics ever since. He was an editor at Roll Call, the Capitol Hill newspaper, for eight years, and for eight years was the editor of E&E Daily, which covers energy and environmental policy on Capitol Hill. For 6 1/2 years Kurtz wrote a weekly column on state politics for Center Maryland and has written for several other Maryland publications as well. Kurtz regularly gives speeches and appears on TV and radio shows to discuss Maryland politics.