On December 19, the Brookings Institution hosted two of the leading voices on economic policy in the United States. They addressed the twin challenges of the sub-prime lending crisis and of a potential recession.
Secretary Summers’s highly influential Financial Times column of November 25 suggested that the odds now favor a recession. In his talk, Secretary Summers laid out in greater detail a series of steps that policy-makers should take if they would aim to avert such a recession. Secretary Summers was the 71st Treasury Secretary, where he helped successfully address a series of global financial crises. He is the Charles W. Eliot University Professor at Harvard University; co-editor of the Brookings Papers on Economic Activity; a Brookings Trustee; and a member of the Hamilton Project Advisory Council.
Senator Charles E. Schumer, a leader on economic policy in the Senate, discussed the shortcomings of the Bush administration’s recent measures to address the subprime mortgage crisis, and proposed a series of major, alternative steps the federal government should take to protect homeowners and the U.S. economy. Senator Schumer serves as Chairman of the Joint Economic Committee, and is a member of both the Senate Finance Committee and the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee.
Doug Elmendorf, Brookings senior fellow and co-editor of the Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, provided opening remarks.