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The State of the U.S. Economy

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.



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