Our Uncertain Economy
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke speaks during a discussion hosted by The Economic Club of Washington, Monday, Dec. 7, 2009, in Washington. (AP)

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke speaks during a discussion hosted by The Economic Club of Washington, Monday, Dec. 7, 2009, in Washington. (AP)

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The country’s top economists — Fed chief Ben Bernanke included — met in Atlanta this week to look at where we stand.

Simon Johnson spoke. Here’s what he said:

We’ve probably got a recovery coming. 2010 could look good. But we haven’t fixed the underlying problems in our banking and finance systems. The country’s been taken prisoner by a Wall Street that rejects reform. And so we’re cruising for another crash. A bigger crash than ever.

And by the way, he says, Ben Bernanke should not be reappointed.

This hour, On Point: a conversation with bigfoot economist Simon Johnson.


Joining us from Washington is Simon Johnson, professor at MIT’s Sloan School of Management. Former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund, he’s now a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. He co-founded the widely read blog The Baseline Scenario, where you can read his latest commentary. His forthcoming book is “13 Bankers.”

More links:

Some pieces that got us thinking about this segment include:

The BusinessWeek cover story, “Not So Radical Reform”; Chrystia Freeland’s column in The Financial Times, “Global super-rich no longer look so benign”; Bob Herbert’s New York Times column, “An Uneasy Feeling”; and Simon Johnson’s own piece at the Times’ “Economix” blog, “Lessons Learned But Not Applied.”  It’s also worth looking back at Johnson’s bracing essay in The Atlantic last spring, “The Quiet Coup,” in which he argued that “recovery will fail unless we break the financial oligarchy that is blocking essential reform.” We spoke to him when that piece was just out.

Johnson opposes the re-confirmation of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. The LA Times editorial board disagrees — they want Bernanke reappointed. Of course,  Time magazine named him “Person of the Year.”

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