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TODAY: 80-Year Anniversary Of Great Stock Market Crash

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Author Topic: TODAY: 80-Year Anniversary Of Great Stock Market Crash  (Read 277 times)
Michelle Jahn
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« on: October 29, 2009, 01:12:08 pm »

Where We Could Have Been - and Where We Might Be Headed

By Bo Cutter

Even in the middle (hopefully the end-game) of our own financial crisis, we should consider where we could have been and where we are going. We could have easily been headed - by this time inexorably - toward a 1930's style depression: but over the ensuing 80 years, scholars and policy makers actually learned -- a phenomenon that is depressingly rare. In particular, Ben Bernanke, a scholar of the Depression, learned how to act, and then had the courage to act. There will be endless post mortems as we come out of the hills with the battle over. But Bernanke acted.

Without taking anything away from this, it is always easier to take hard decisions in a crisis. As the crisis ebbs, all of the special interests, the organizational turf, and the natural aversions to risk quickly rise up again. Actions become harder and harder, and slower and slower. That is happening today. We have not made fundamental decisions about the structure of our finance sector, about financial regulation, or about broader questions involving the shape and nature of the U.S. economy in the post-crisis world. The driver of the next crisis could easily be the U.S. deficit and debt position. This issue will move to center stage over the coming decade, but unless we begin very soon to set a different course than the one we are on, we will be increasingly unhappy with the U.S. economy we have to live in then.

Roosevelt Institute Braintruster Bo Cutter is formerly a managing partner of Warburg Pincus, a major global private equity firm. Recently, he served as the leader of President Obama's Office of Management and Budget (OMB) transition team.

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