Christina Romer Speaks at National Economists Club
Last night, Christina Romer, the Chair of the Council of Economic Advisors, spoke at the National Economists Club’s annual dinner. She was introduced by the Office of Advocacy’s Chief Economist Chad Moutray, who also serves as the president of the club. Dr. Romer spoke about similarities and differences in the economic climate of the 1930s during the Great Depression and the current economic downturn, in what many have dubbed the “Great Recession.” In many ways, her remarks mirrored her testimony earlier this year to the Economic Policy Subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs. She outlined several lessons that we have learned from the mistakes of the 1930s, and in particular, she noted the “bold” actions taken over the course of the last year – both by the Federal Reserve and through fiscal policy – which have prevented this recession from becoming much more severe. During Q&A, she also noted the Administration’s desire for financial regulatory reform. She also noted the importance of entrepreneurship in terms of job creation and innovation, and she stressed the need for greater access to capital for small firms.
Media coverage of this event has focused on the risks that still exist in our current economy, with Dow Jones Newswires quoting her saying that “now is not the time to take a victory lap.” CNN, meanwhile, put many of her remarks in the context of current Administration proposals for a Consumer Financial Protection Agency, health care reform, and the use of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) to “calm fears” and inject needed capital into the financial sector.