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Clemson University
Housing bubble hero
Housing bubble hero

The gig: Christopher Thornberg is founding partner of Beacon Economics, a Los Angeles-based economics consulting firm. Since its founding in 2007, Beacon has provided economic analysis and forecasting for cities, counties and corporate clients. He also worked as chief economic advisor to the state Controller's Office from 2008 to 2012. While he was at the UCLA Anderson Forecast, he began sounding the alarm about an impending housing market crash — and the ensuing recession. He eventually left UCLA after disagreements, he said. When his prediction panned out, his credibility led to lots of work for the newly started Beacon. Middle-class beginnings: Thornberg, 45, grew up in...

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