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Background Reading: Professor Lawrence Summers’s Leon C. & June W. Holt Lecture

January 22, 2014

Professor Lawrence H. Summers, the Charles W. Eliot University Professor and President Emeritus of Harvard University, will visit Penn Law on Monday, February 3rd. In his presentation, “Reflections on Policy and the Aftermath of the Financial Crisis,” Professor Summers will reflect on policies to address the continuing damage to real economic activity caused by the financial crisis, policies to prevent re-occurrence of any future financial crises, and policies made possible by the changed political environment caused by the financial crisis.

For many of us, a topic as vast and complex as the Financial Crisis can be intriguing and daunting. By way of background, and as one means of framing or conceptualizing the Financial Crisis, be sure to check the Congressional Research Service’s quick ten page 2010 report entitled Causes of the Financial Crisis.This handy guide lists twenty-six “Causes of the Financial Crisis,” as illustrated below, complete with rejoinders and additional reading.

For in-depth treatment, be sure to consult the six hundred thirty-four page 2011 Financial Crisis Inquiry Report, authored by the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission.   As the report’s preface indicates:  

“The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission was created to ‘examine the causes of the current financial and economic crisis in the United States.’ In this report, the Commission presents to the President, the Congress, and the American people the results of its examination and its conclusions as to the causes of the crisis.”
For additional suggestions on the background of the financial crisis, please consult the Biddle reference librarians.    Enjoy the stimulating and thought-provoking evening with Professor Summers.