Heller, IBS deans discuss the financial crisis

Stress the serious challenges ahead for the next president

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Two of Brandeis University’s leading authorities on the U.S. economy and international finance analyzed the deepening economic crisis before standing-room only crowds at Boston’s Old State House Sept. 23 and in Rapaporte Treasure Hall on campus Sept. 24.

Lisa M. Lynch, dean of the Heller School for Social Policy and Management, discussed how a continued freeze-up of credit markets in reaction to the recent chaos on Wall Street could cause a spike in unemployment that would prevent the housing market from stabilizing and lead to a deep recession in the United States.

Bruce R. Magid, dean of the International Business School, analyzed the options that are open to the United States if it is to remain a leading competitor in global markets. He stressed the need for America to regain its moral compass, invest in education, look hard at its level of military spending and encourage entrepreneurship in environmentally sound businesses.

Both deans stressed that very serious challenges lie ahead of the U.S. president who will be elected in November, and that said the economic situation may worsen significantly if the credit freeze continues, if unemployment increases significantly, or if foreign investors lose interest in keeping their assets in U.S. dollars.

The forum was moderated by David Warsh, a longtime economics columnist for the Boston Globe and proprietor of the economics Web site EconomicPrincipals.com. The event was sponsored by the Brandeis Votes project of the Undergraduate Student Union and the university’s Office of Communications.

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