Rappaport Center Holds Roundtable on Financial Crisis

Professor Alasdair Roberts and State Treasurer Tim Cahill

10/3/2008

The financial crisis and the federal rescue plan were the focus of a roundtable discussion convened by the Rappaport Center for Law and Public Service.

The Oct. 3, 2008, roundtable included Suffolk faculty, economic and financial experts from Washington and Boston, and state officials, including Treasurer Tim Cahill, Commissioner Steven Antonakes of the state's Division of Banks, and Senator Marian Walsh.

The experts agreed that the crisis is severe and likely to persist.  It also is putting extraordinary demands on state government as it deals with the fallout from seized credit markets and rising foreclosures.

Several participants agreed that the country is at a critical juncture:  Conventional wisdom about the role of markets and governments is being challenged, but voters and elected officials seem unsure about how those roles should be realigned.

Impeccable timing

As chance would have it, the House of Representatives approved the rescue plan just as the Rappaport Center roundtable discussion was wrapping up.

"The Center's aim is to be a meeting place for academics and policymakers," said Alasdair Roberts, the Jerome L. Rappaport Professor of Law and Public Policy.  "We want to encourage real-time discussion of the big issues confronting the state and country.  This roundtable is a model of how we'd like to proceed."

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