Preparing for the Next Recession: Policies to Reduce the Impact on the U.S. Economy

When: May 16, 2019 1:00PM - 4:30PM

Where: The Rockefeller-Peterson Room, 1777 F St NW, Washington, D.C. 20006, USA

A Hamilton Project and Washington Center for Equitable Growth policy forum

Identifying the most effective policy responses to mitigate the damaging effects of a recession can pose significant challenges for policymakers, who are often operating under intense time constraints and political pressure at the onset of an economic downturn. Historically, the U.S. has responded to recent recessions with a mix of monetary policy action and discretionary fiscal stimulus. However, since monetary policy options may be limited during the next recession, policymakers should consider adopting a range of fiscal policy measures now to help stabilize the economy when a future downturn inevitably occurs. This can be achieved with a range of fiscal policy responses aimed at expediting the next recovery through strengthening job creation and restoring confidence to businesses and households.

On May 16, the Washington Center for Equitable Growth and The Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution will co-convene a forum to explore policy options to reduce the impact of the next recession. The forum will begin with opening remarks by Robert E. Rubin, former U.S. Treasury Secretary, followed by a fireside chat between Ben S. Bernanke, Distinguished Fellow in Residence, Economic Studies, the Brookings Institution and former Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and Christina Romer, Garff B. Wilson Professor of Economics, University of California, Berkeley and former Chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers. The fireside chat will be moderated by Sam Fleming, U.S. economics editor and Washington deputy bureau chief, The Financial Times.

The event will also include three roundtable discussions that will explore expediting funding to states; improving the efficiency of tax cuts as a fiscal stimulus; and strengthening the social safety net. Roundtable panelists will include Jason Furman, professor of the practice of economic policy, Harvard Kennedy School; Robert Greenstein, president, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities; Jeanne M. Lambrew, commissioner, Department of Health and Human Services, State of Maine; Shoshana M. Lew, executive director, Colorado Department of Transportation; Karen Dynan, professor of the practice of economics, Harvard Kennedy School; and Lourdes Padilla, secretary, Department of Human Services, State of Maryland, among other distinguished experts and scholars.

The event will coincide with the release of a new book from the Washington Center for Equitable Growth and The Hamilton Project titled, “Recession Ready: Fiscal Policies to Stabilize the American Economy,” which offers detailed policy proposals for making current programs—including unemployment insurance, nutrition assistance, basic temporary assistance, employment subsidies, tax policy, intergovernmental grants, and infrastructure spending—more effective as automatic stabilizers.

For updates on the event, follow @HamiltonProj and @equitablegrowth, and join the conversation using #RecessionReady.

To RSVP, please contact the Brookings Office of Communications at events@brookings.edu or visit the event page.

If you are unable to attend in person, you can register to watch the live webcast here.

Agenda:

12:30 p.m. Event registration opens (lunch provided)
1:00 p.m. Welcome
Robert E. Rubin
Former U.S. Treasury Secretary;
Co-Chair Emeritus, Council on Foreign Relations
1:10 p.m. Fireside chat: A conversation with Ben Bernanke and Christina Romer
Ben S. Bernanke
Distinguished Fellow in Residence, Economic Studies
The Brookings Institution
Christina Romer
Garff B. Wilson Professor of Economics
University of California, Berkeley
Moderator: Sam Fleming
US Economics Editor,
Washington Deputy Bureau Chief
The Financial Times
2:00 p.m. Roundtable discussion: Policy options to expedite funding to states
Jason Furman
Professor of the Practice of Economic Policy,
Harvard Kennedy School
Andrew Haughwout
Senior Vice President
Federal Reserve Bank of New York
Jeanne M. Lambrew
Commissioner, Department of Health and Human Services,
State of Maine
Shoshana M. Lew
Executive Director,
Colorado Department of Transportation
Moderator: Jay Shambaugh
Director, The Hamilton Project,
Senior Fellow, Economic Studies,
The Brookings Institution
2:55 p.m. Break
3:05 p.m. Roundtable discussion: Providing direct payments to households as fiscal stimulus
Claudia Sahm
Chief, Consumer and Community Development Research Section
Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
Moderator: Karen Dynan
Professor of the Practice of Economics
Harvard Kennedy School
3:30 p.m. Roundtable discussion: Strengthening the safety net to reduce the effects of future recessions
Robert Greenstein
President,
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
Lourdes Padilla
Secretary,
Department of Human Services,
State of Maryland
Gabriel Chodorow-Reich
Assistant Professor of Economics
Harvard University
Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach
Margaret Walker Alexander Professor of Human Development and Social Policy; Director, Institute for Policy Research, Northwestern University
Nonresident Senior Fellow, Economic Studies,
The Brookings Institution
Moderator: Heather Boushey
Executive Director and Chief Economist
Washington Center for Equitable Growth
4:30 p.m. Forum adjourns

Location

1777 F St NW, Washington, D.C. 20006, USA

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