Intelligence Squared US: Obama's Economic Policies Are Working Effectively

Intelligence Squared US: Obama's Economic Policies Are Working Effectively

Sun, 01/31/2010 - 10:00pm

Pictured: Lawrence Mishel (from left), Steve Rattner and Mark Zandi celebrate their win of the Intelligence Squared U.S. debate on President Obama's economic policies at New York University's Skirball Center for the Performing Arts on Nov. 16.

Hear both sides as John Donvan moderates the debate on Obama's economic policies. 

Signs of economic recovery are everywhere. Housing prices have bottomed out; the stock market has rallied; and capital markets are operating normally. Today, economists are debating whether or not the recession is over. When Obama took office, the debate was whether a sharp decline in economic activity would trigger more bank failures in a vicious cycle, culminating in a full scale depression. His policies have restored confidence and that is the most important thing.

Others argue that his policies will seriously undermine the long-term growth of the US economy. Our fiscal outlook is so poor that inflation is likely, undermining faith in the dollar as a global reserve asset. Cap and trade legislation will make US industry less globally competitive; his health care proposals will leave us both poorer and less healthy; and the dramatic increase in taxes needed to pay for all this will discourage risk-taking and investing.

Intelligence Squared US, moderated by ABC News Nightline correspondent John Donvan asks a panel if Obama's Economic Policies Are Working Effectively, airing Sunday, January 31 at 10 p.m. on AM 1370/FM-HD91.5-2.

Lawrence Mishel came to the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) in 1987. As EPI’s first research director, then as vice president, and now president, he has played a significant role in building EPI’s research capabilities and reputation. He has researched, written, and spoken widely on the economy and economic policy as it affects middle- and low-income families. He is principal author of a major research volume, The State of Working America, which provides a comprehensive overview of the US labor market and living standards.

Steve Rattner served as counselor to the secretary of the Treasury until July 2009, and led the Administration’s efforts to restructure the auto industry. Prior to joining the Treasury Department in February 2009, he was a managing principal of Quadrangle Group LLC, a private investment firm with more than $6 billion of assets under management. Until March 2000, Rattner was with Lazard Frères & Co., where he served as deputy chairman and deputy chief executive officer. He is currently a fellow of Brown University and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Mark Zandi is chief economist and cofounder of Moody’s, where he directs the company’s research and consulting activities. Moody’s, a division of Moody’s Analytics, provides economic research and consulting services to businesses, governments, and other institutions. Zandi was an economic advisor to the John McCain campaign for President, has provided advice to the Obama Administration, and regularly testifies in Congress. He is quoted often in national and global publications, is frequently interviewed by major news media outlets, and is the author of Financial Shock, an exposé of the subprime financial crisis. Zandi received his Ph.D. at the University of Pennsylvania and his B.S. from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

James K. Galbraith holds the Lloyd M. Bentsen, Jr., Chair of Government/Business Relations at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, the University of Texas at Austin, and a professorship in Government. He is a senior scholar with the Levy Economics Institute and chair of the Board of Economists for Peace and Security. Galbraith is the author of seven books, most recently, The Predator State: How Conservatives Abandoned the Free Market and Why Liberals Should Too (2008), writes a column for Mother Jones, and contributes to the American Prospect, the Nation, and the Texas Observer.

Allan H. Meltzer is the Allan H. Meltzer University Professor of Political Economy at Carnegie Mellon University. He is the author of History of the Federal Reserve, Volume I: 1913-1951 (2002), a definitive research work on the Federal Reserve System. He has been a member of the President’s Economic Policy Advisory Board, an acting member of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, and a consultant to the US Treasury Department and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.

Eliot Spitzer
is the former governor of the state of New York. He served eight years as New York attorney general and was named “Crusader of the Year” for his landmark settlement with ten of the nation’s largest securities firms over charges of misleading investors by Time magazine. As a prosecutor in the Rackets Bureau of the Manhattan district attorney’s office, Spitzer served as lead attorney in a case that broke the Gambino family’s stranglehold on New York’s garment industry. He currently writes a biweekly column on finance and the economy for Slate.