Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs
Monday, September 12, 2011

Chinn to discuss new book on global recession


Menzie Chinn
cover of Lost Decades

La Follette School economist Menzie Chinn will discuss his brand-new book The Lost Decades: The Making of America's Debt Crisis and the Long Recovery at the Political Science Department's International Relations Colloquium from 12:15 to 1:30 p.m. in Ogg Room on North Hall's fourth floor on Tuesday, September 13.

Chinn wrote the book, to be officially released by W.W. Norton on September 19, with Harvard University political scientist Jeffry Frieden.

As domestic and foreign markets crumbled in a matter of days in December 2007, the news was flooded with reports of fraud and recklessness. Regulators were revealed to be, at best, nearly powerless, or at worst, silent partners in the hazardous practices that made the global system so vulnerable. The American public was suddenly introduced to novel and risky financial instruments, from credit default swap derivatives to bottom trench mortgage debt packages.

Today, nearly three years later, Americans are still experiencing a weak, slow recovery. The private and public debt that escalated throughout the housing boom will hamper the economy for years to come. Chinn and Frieden provide a clear, concise, and impartial explanation for the global recession, a crisis that was foreseen by informed observers and ultimately avoidable through appropriate policies. They also give nonpartisan solutions for rebooting the global economy and aiding the country through a difficult path to recovery.