Tomorrow evening I’m on Bill Maher’s HBO show, as part of a three person panel with Muhammad Yunus and Jon Meacham. Bill runs a wide-ranging discussion covering pretty much anything that’s been in the news over the past week or so. With Muhammad and Jon there, I’m sure we’ll get into issues of ethics and values – including whether we have let “the profit motive” become too central in our society.
In terms of other topics related to economics, my guess is we’ll talk about:
- Whether financial markets and the economy have really bottomed out. Relative financial calm but continued negative economic impact seems to fit what we are seeing and hearing.
- To what extent we should expect more regulation as a response to this crisis. On this, see my Economix column this morning – there is definite tension between regulating tightly and hoping that banks will be profitable enough to earn their way back towards standard capital levels.
- Is there yet a plausible national agenda for reforming healthcare? In particular, how exactly do we propose to control costs – the trajectory of which looks damaging, particularly as seen in the projections for Medicare down the road?
- Is President Obama proving effective at pushing change in an incremental manner, or should he be more bold? Is Rahm’s Doctrine real or just rhetoric?
Tell me if you think there are other questions that may come up – it’s a live show, so everything can change up until 10pm eastern Friday. And feel free to suggest answers – I’ll be able to look at anything you send in until about an hour before the program starts.
By Simon Johnson