The Clinton years were not an economic Nirvana; as chairman of the president's Council of Economic Advisers during part of this time, I'm all too aware of mistakes and lost opportunities.
People at the top spend less money than those at the bottom, so when you have redistribution toward the top, aggregate demand goes down. Unless you intervene, you're going to have a weak economy unless something else happens.
The bank bailout should have been more focused on helping small and medium sized banks, on helping homeowners. I think the trade agreements are a disaster.
I went to public schools, and while Gary was, like most American cities, racially segregated, it was at least socially integrated - a cross section of children from families of all walks of life.
My teachers helped guide and motivate me; but the responsibility of learning was left with me, an approach to learning which was later reinforced by my experiences at Amherst.
I went to Amherst because my brother had gone there before me, and he went there because his guidance counselor thought that we would do better there than at a large university like Harvard.
Amherst is a liberal arts college, committed to providing students with a broad education.
Amherst was pivotal in my broad intellectual development; MIT in my development as a professional economist.
In debate, one randomly was assigned to one side or the other. This had at least one virtue - it made one see that there was more than one side to these complex issues.
A politically astute president who understood deeply the economics and politics of corporate tax reform could conceivably muscle Congress toward a reform package that made sense. Trump is not that leader.
Let me put it very forcefully: No large economy has ever recovered from an economic downturn through austerity. It's not going to happen in the United States, and it's not going to happen in Europe.
European officials thought that austerity was part of what they called their 'convergence policies,' of trying to bring countries together. Instead, it actually made things worse. There's more inequality within countries and more disparity across countries.
One of the things that happens when you have austerity is that wages get lower, and some people think lower wages in the short run can increase corporate profits.
With neoliberalism discredited and austerity failed, we need to rewrite the rules of the economy once again. But this time in the right way. We need rules that focus on long-term economic growth, and the only kind of sustainable prosperity is shared prosperity.
Too many countries of the former Soviet bloc remain under the control of authoritarian leaders, including some, like the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, who have learned how to maintain a more convincing facade of elections than their communist predecessors.
Negative interest rates hurt banks' balance sheets, with the 'wealth effect' on banks overwhelming the small increase in incentives to lend.
Obama had to save the banks, sure, but he didn't have to save the bankers and the shareholders and the bondholders. We broke the rules of capitalism in order to save those at the top - as we always do.
In the end, the politics of the euro zone weren't strong enough to create a fully integrated fiscal union with a common banking system, etc.
Under Ronald Reagan in the United States and Margaret Thatcher in the U.K., there was a rewriting of the basic rules of capitalism. These two governments changed the rules governing labour bargaining, weakening trade unions, and they weakened anti-trust enforcement, allowing more monopolies to be created.
The notion that every well educated person would have a mastery of at least the basic elements of the humanities, sciences, and social sciences is a far cry from the specialized education that most students today receive, particularly in the research universities.