Sep 15

Past Event

A Year in Turmoil: An Address By Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke



  • The Recession is Technically Over

    Ben Bernanke, Federal Reserve Chairman: The recession is technically over; the pace of economic growth going into the 3rd quarter and 2010 will only be moderate with continuing high unemployment rates.

  • Teetering Financial Firms were Virtually Insolvent

    Ben Bernanke, Federal Reserve Chairman: The financial firms that teetered on the verge of collapse last year were virtually insolvent, yet still they took risky actions that proper oversight could have prevented.

  • Government Intervention Was Necessary to Prevent Financial Collapse

    Martin Baily: The "moral hazard" concept of government intervention in markets is indeed a problem, but it was necessary to prevent a complete collapse of the financial system.

    Martin Neil Baily

  • Our Financial Institutions are Too Complex

    Vincent Reinhart, American Enterprise Institute: Our financial institutions are too complex. Regulators cannot understand the firms, markets cannot enforce discipline, and managers are unable to run their companies.

  • Reasons for Failure of Fannie and Freddie

    Ted Gayer: The failure of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae can largely be attributed to their dual roles as private companies as well as entities with a governmental social policy mission.

    Ted Gayer

  • Macroeconomic Balance is Key to the Recovery

    Eswar Prasad: Macroeconomic balance is key to the recovery; China, Japan and even Germany need U.S. consumers to buy their exports to keep their economies strong.

    Eswar Prasad

  • Technology, Not the Consumer, Will Drive Economic Expansion

    Glenn Hutchins, Silver Lake: It''s possible that the U.S. consumer will no longer be the engine for global economic growth; that the creation of new technologies will drive economic expansion.


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September 2008 was a month of falling financial market dominoes: the federal take-over of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, followed one week later by the Lehman Brothers failure, the Bank of America agreement to save Merrill Lynch, and the first taxpayer lifeline to American International Group (AIG). The expression “systemic risk” became the new clarion call for policy-makers and regulators as they took unprecedented steps to avoid a collapse of the global financial system.

On September 15, one year after the Lehman collapse, the Brookings Institution hosted a forum to explore the tumultuous events of last September, where financial markets stand today and the status of regulatory reforms designed to prevent the next financial crisis. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke gave the keynote address, followed by a panel that included Brookings Senior Fellow and Director of the Initiative on Business and Public Policy Martin Baily; Co-director of Economic Studies Ted Gayer; Senior Fellow Eswar Prasad, Glenn Hutchins—co-founder and co-chief executive of Silver Lake; and AEI Resident Scholar Vincent Reinhart.

Brookings President Strobe Talbott gave introductory remarks, and Brookings Vice President and Co-Director of Economic Studies Karen Dynan moderated the panel.

Event Agenda

  • Welcome

  • Keynote Address

    • Ben Bernanke

      Chairman, The Federal Reserve Board

  • Panel Discussion

    • Economic Studies, " itemprop="jobTitle" /> Moderator: <a href="">Karen Dynan</a>

      Vice President and Co-Director, Economic Studies

    • Portrait: Martin Baily

      Martin Neil Baily

      Senior Fellow, Economic Studies

      Bernard L. Schwartz Chair in Economic Policy Development

    • Economic Studies, " itemprop="jobTitle" /> <a href="">Ted Gayer</a>

      Senior Fellow and Co-Director, Economic Studies

    • Glenn Hutchins

      Co-Founder and Co-Chief Executive, Silver Lake

    • Eswar Prasad

      Senior Fellow, Global Economy and Development

      New Century Chair in International Trade and Economics

    • Vincent Reinhart

      Resident Scholar, American Enterprise Institute


September 15, 2009

10:00 AM - 12:00 PM EDT

The Brookings Institution

Falk Auditorium

1775 Massachusetts Ave., NW


For More Information

Brookings Office of Communications

(202) 797-6105