Jack was the dean of the Southern California economists, quoted around the world on everything from Hollywood to the ports to aerospace. He had an encyclopedic knowledge of how the entire local economy operated, not just glitzy industries that the national media tended to glom onto. He's best known as chief economist of the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp., a post he left last year. Kyser, who had a variety of health problems, was 76.
*After Kyser left the LAEDC, he became an adviser for the Southern California Association of Governments. "Southern California has lost a true champion in Jack," said SCAG President Larry McCallon. "His passion, integrity, knowledge and devotion to the study of economics have aided in the development of countless public and private sector contributions."
This from Bill Allen, president and CEO of the LAEDC:
Jack was a tireless champion of Los Angeles County. He loved the County's varied communities, its diverse people and the boundless opportunities available here. He was affectionately dubbed the "Guru," the "Godfather," and the "voice of the Los Angeles economy" for his great depth of knowledge, insight and uncommon ability to articulate complex economic concepts and issues in simple and understandable terms.
From a 2009 interview with the Business Journal:
Q: What perspective do you bring to your forecasts?
A: I make sure to have a global focus. One of the great traps for local economists is just to be focused on what's going on in your industry or your neighborhood to have a very narrow focus. I realized that you constantly must have your radar up for what key issues around the country and around the globe can impact you.
Q: Have you been accused of being an L.A. booster?
A: Yes, sometimes. But what you try to do is to be very, very honest about your forecasts. Tell people what's really going on, what you really think is going to happen.
Q: Have you ever been pressured to tailor your forecasts to suit the larger goals of the LAEDC?
A: No. I have never run into that pressure here.