MIT Global Crisis Class, Today at 4:30pm

December 2, 2008

The Global Crisis, class #4

Relevant links, including background material and tracking of all relevant developments available through

Update: Webcast for today’s class (RealMedia).

Summary of class content and structure:

1. Update on the global crisis

  1. The latest news from around the world
  2. What may be next?  Looking to Europe…

2. The case for and against bailing out Citigroup

  1. Comparison with General Motors
  2. Assessment of the bailout terms
  3. Who was to blame?  And for what exactly?

3. The situation in Europe

  1. Signs of pressure: financial sector and real economy
  2. Policy responses: European Central Bank interest rate cuts, a more unified fiscal stimulus?
  3. Specific country issues: Italy, UK, Spain and others

4. Prospects for global financial system reform.

a. Recap on likely strategy of President-Elect Obama’s team with regard to fiscal and monetary policy.  What is their likely global strategy, with or without the IMF?

b. How does this fit with what the rest of the G7 or emerging markets or any other influential players want?

c. Can we see a full overhaul of the global system coming soon?  If not, why not?

Final class is on Tuesday, December 9.  Discussion in the December 9 class will be off-the-record; it will not be broadcast or recorded.

6 thoughts on “MIT Global Crisis Class, Today at 4:30pm

  1. Would like to thank MIT, Mr S. Johnson, Mr J. Kwak, but most of all the STUDENTS, for allowing us to participate in this class and for challenging old-school (no pun intended) education paradigms.
    Brooklyn, NY
    (heard about TBLS on NPR’s Market Place)

  2. Would you consider publishing stats for your site (visitors and geographic location)?

  3. Hey, this is the first time I will be logging in to MIT’s global crisis class. When I click on the link, it take me to the website for real media player. Is that because the class has still not started?

  4. I wonder how individual mortgages can be adjusted in a fashion which will allow the mortgagor to avoid foreclosure when so many of the outstanding mortgages have been securitized. I heard Sheila Baer say that she thought a mortgage adjustment program could help something like 40% of the the mortgagors who are distressed. I wonder if the reason the other 60% can’t be helped is that their mortgages have been bundled and sold to others. Once a mortgage is bundled how could it ever be individually adjusted?

    Additionally, in class there was a question, if I recall this correctly, about giving incentives to banks to be more selective in their granting of mortgages. In order to achieve this, would it be possible to amend the tax code to tie the deduction for a failed mortgage to the percentage of the total purchase price which was paid for by the down payment. A “no down payment” mortgage could deduct only 80% of the loss, for example, while a 20% downpayment could deduct 100% of the loss. This would be self enforcing and it seems to me would lead to much more sound mortgages.

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