A Candid Exchange of Different Views of the Crisis

Yesterday the Hoover Institution and the Brookings Institution held an unusual joint conference on “The U.S. Financial System – Five Years after the Crisis.”   Roughly half the participants were at the Hoover venue in Stanford, California and half were at Brookings in Washington, DC.  It was simulcast so that speakers, panelists and the audience at each location could see and hear the panelists, speakers and the audience at the other location.

The purpose of the conference was to consider and compare different views and better understand the reasons for these different views about the causes of the crisis and the road ahead.  From the list of participants on the following agenda, it is clear that there was a large divergence of views on the role of monetary policy, regulatory policy, too big to fail, and bailouts.  As expected it was a candid exchange, but there was surprising agreement in some areas.  For example, no one disputed the fact that the U.S. economy is seriously under-performing and that some change in policy could improve performance. Martin Baily of Brookings and I (the conference organizers) will now edit a book containing the papers presented at the conference with a record of the discussion. Here is the agenda with times stated in Pacific Time.

 8:00 am – 8:10 am Welcome and Remarks on the Purpose of the Conference Martin Baily and John Taylor

8:10 am- 9:40 am Panel 1: Causes and Effects of the Financial Crisis Evolution of banks and other financial institutions, considering post-crisis regulatory policy reforms and emerging financial and economic trends Chair: John Gunn, Panelists: Sheila Bair, Lawrence Summers, John Taylor, Kevin Warsh

10:10 am – 11:40 am Panel 2: The Federal Reserve’s Role Actions before, during and after the 2008 panic and implications for future policy, considering monetary and lender of last resort policies, and the nexus between these and regulatory policy Chair: Annette Nazareth, Panelists: Alan Blinder, Michael Bordo, Peter Fisher, Allan Meltzer

12:10 am – 12:30 pm Remarks on Key Issues Facing Financial Institutions Paul Saltzman

12:30 pm – 2:00 pm Panel 3:Is Too Big to Fail Over? Are we Ready for the Next Crisis?   Consideration of capital, subordinated debt, and other loss absorbing requirements, changing perceptions of risk and moral hazard, macro-prudential regulation, and international interconnectedness, Chair: Don Kohn, Panelists: Martin Baily & Douglas Elliot, John Cochrane, Darrell Duffie, Steve Strongin

2:10 pm – 3:40 pm Panel 4: Bankruptcy, Bailout, Resolution A review and assessment of resolution frameworks, considering experiences with Lehman Brothers and other firms in the crisis, the resolution process under Title II of the Dodd-Frank Act, reforms of the bankruptcy code including “Chapter 14” proposal.  Chair: Kimberly Summe, Panelists: Randy Guynn, Michael Helfer, Ken Scott, David Skeel

3:40 pm – 4:00 pm Concluding Remarks on Key Issues Facing Policy Makers  George Shultz 

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