Simon Johnson

Former Chief Economist for the IMF

Simon Johnson appears in the following:

International Community Urges U.S. to Raise the Debt Ceiling

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Congress must act to raise the debt limit by Thursday or risk putting the federal government into default. The international community continues to ring the alarm over a U.S. default. Simon Johnson, the former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund, explains what a default would mean for the world economy.

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We've Run Up the National Debt Before — But It's Different This Time

Thursday, December 13, 2012

As the United States teeters on the edge of the fiscal cliff, Simon Johnson, professor at MIT’s Sloan School of Management and former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund, explores America's love affair with debt, our longstanding hatred of taxes, and what lessons we should take from history.

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The National Debt, and Why It Matters

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Simon Johnson explains the national debt—where it came from and what it means to you and to future generations. In White House Burning: The Founding Fathers, Our National Debt, and Why It Matters to You he and co-author James Kwak argue that if we persist on our current course, the national debt will reduce the number of jobs, lower living standards, increase inequality, and force a reduction in government services.

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Weighing Solutions for Euro Zone Crisis

Thursday, December 01, 2011

In an effort to help alleviate the symptoms of Europe's debt crisis, the Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank, and other international banks funneled U.S. dollars into European financial systems on Wednesday. The move helped markets by making American dollars more easily available outside the U.S. Stocks shot up in reaction to the news. The increased liquidity had the immediate effect of boosting the Dow Jones industrial average by 484 points. It was the biggest single day gain since March 2009. Some wondered, however, whether the move was a smart long-term investment, or just a temporary fix.

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"Debt and Dumb"

Monday, October 17, 2011

Economists Simon Johnson and James Kwak discuss their article “Debt and Dumb,” in the November issue of Vanity Fair. They argue that today’s Tea Party is a betrayal of the foundation of American fiscal policy as established by Alexander Hamilton and has nothing in common with the Boston uprising it claims to honor. Alexander Hamilton, the first secretary of the Treasury, believed that good credit, based on the power to tax, is essential to a nation’s security.

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BoA, QE2, EU: What To Do?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Nicole Gelinas, contributing editor of the Manhattan Institute's City Journal and author of After the Fall: Saving Capitalism from Wall Street and Washington, and Simon Johnson, former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund and co-founder of the blog The Baseline Scenario, discuss some of the big economic stories in today's news. The Fed's program known as QE2 is coming to an end -- did it work? Bank of America is planning to pay $14 billion back to investors who lost money on mortgage deals gone bad -- is it enough? And what's going on in Greece, exactly?

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Backstory: The IMF

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The hunt is on for a new head of the International Monetary Fund as the organization still tries to manage both global economic troubles and sovereign debt crises. On today’s first Backstory segment, we’ll take a look at the history of the IMF, criticisms of it, and its difficult tasks in today’s economic climate. We’ll be joined by Simon Johnson, Professor of Entrepreneurship at MIT and former Chief Economist for the IMF.

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U.S. Debt Outlook: Downgrade to Negative

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

[S&P doesn't] have a lot of credibility left after totally blowing all major calls of the past decade...The chance that the United States would not pay its debts after more than 200 years of being the best creditor in the world, that chance exists. It is quite remote in my assessment. But there's no question that S&P is trying to swing the other way and trying to get some attention from the left and right, and it's obviously working.

Simon Johnson, former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund and professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management, on The Brian Lehrer Show.

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Downgrade to Negative

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Simon Johnson, former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund and professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management, talks about why Standard & Poor's downgraded the outlook for U.S. debt to "negative" and how that factors into the ongoing battle over the national debt. Washington Post Economic Policy Reporter reporter Lori Montgomery joins the conversation to talk about how the S&P rating might change the political landscape of debt in Washington.

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Is it the End of the Dollar's Era?

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

The world leaders of the G20 are meeting later this week, and there are a lot of ideas afloat on how to reorganize world currency (gold standard, anyone?). Simon Johnson, former chief economist for the International Monetary Fund, helps us examine the notion that the U.S. dollar may not remain at the top of the heap forever.

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Obama Tries to Jump-Start Economy: Too Little, Too Late?

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Standing before a crowd of union members and leaders at the Milwaukee Laborfest yesterday, President Barack Obama called on Congress to pass a $50 billion public works plan that would rebuild and modernize the country's transportation systems; it's a move designed to create jobs and help jump-start the economy.

The president's critics, particularly Republicans, are calling his actions too little, too late.


US, World Markets Jittery

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Stock markets around the world seemed jittery yesterday: The Dow Jones industrials dropped briefly below 10,000 before making up most of their loss. Since a recent high in April, the Dow has dropped nearly 12 percent. What does this number indicate about our economy? Is the market the end-all-be-all measurement of how our economy is doing?


Bank Breakup 101

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Some organizations are calling for the government to break up the big banks.  If that were to happen, what would it look like? Simon Johnson, the former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund, a professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management and a co-founder of The Baseline Scenario blog, weighs in. His new book is 13 Bankers: The Wall Street Takeover and the Next Financial Meltdown.

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13 Bankers

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Simon Johnson, professor at MIT’s Sloan School of Management and a senior fellow of the Peterson Institute for International Economics, gives an account of recent U.S. financial history and the showdowns between American democracy and Big Finance. In 13 Bankers: The Wall Street Takeover and the Next Financial Meltdown, ...

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Tracking Fiscal Policy

Monday, July 27, 2009

Simon Johnson, former chief economist of the IMF and co-founder of The Baseline Scenario, a Web site tracking the ongoing financial crisis, discusses the return of Goldman Sachs, the latest on bank reform, consumer protection, and other fiscal policy.

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Biden Gives the Stimulus Plan an A+. Grade Inflation?

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Vice President Joe Biden is in charge of implementing the White House’s $787 billion economic stimulus package. In his first quarterly accounting to President yesterday, he gave the Obama Administration an A+, saying immediate financial relief has gone out to Americans and billions of dollars has gone into job-creating projects. Is this a case of grade inflation? Here to report on the report card is Andrea Bernstein, The Takeaway’s Correspondent and Director of the Shovel Watch project. Also joining the conversation is Simon Johnson, former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund, a professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management, and co-founder of the Baseline Scenario blog. He also writes for the Economix blog at

"The math around the precise jobs saved is fuzzy and very much open to criticism, but the big picture is the overall financial system is stabilizing."
—Economix blog writer Simon Johnson on stimulus funding

ShovelWatch is a joint project of the non-profit investigative outfit ProPublica, The Takeaway and WNYC. With investigative reporting, interactive features and help from you, we're tracking the stimulus bill dollars from Congress to your community.

In his recent Economix blog post, The First Fiscal Stimulus Worked. Should We Do Another?, Simon Johnson argues that we may need another stimulus package to fulfill the promises of the first. Do you agree?


Is the Stress-Test Good Economics or Just Good PR?

Friday, May 08, 2009

The Federal Reserve yesterday released the long-awaited results of the “stress tests”. The report gave nine of the nation's largest banks a clean bill of health, and told ten others to raise $75 billion in new capital. The banks in trouble, including Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Citigroup, will have until June 8 to come up with a plan to raise the money and have it approved. Joining The Takeaway is Simon Johnson, Professor at MIT, former chief economist at the IMF, and co-founder of the economics blog Baseline Scenario. He's been a critic of Treasury Secretary Timonthy Geithner's approach to solving the nation's financial woes, he joins us to discuss the results, the after-hours upsurge in trading, and what this means for the economy.
"The stress testing is only as good as the technical models and as good as the political will you have to oversee powerful banks."
—MIT Sloan Professor Simon Johnson on the results of the banks' stress tests

Stress-test results: click here to see which banks still need more cash.


Former IMF chief economist on the state of the U.S. economy

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

As the G-20 meets in London, one of the main issues at hand are economic reforms. A piece, The Quiet Coup, in the May issue of The Atlantic paints an unhappy picture of the U.S. economy. It claims that economic recovery in the U.S. will fail unless we break the financial oligarchy that is blocking essential reform. And we might want to listen up because this article was written by none other than the former Chief Economist of the International Monetary Fund, Simon Johnson. He joins The Takeaway to discuss the state of the American economy in the midst of this global meeting.

"The IMF is going to get a lot more funding, perhaps up to a tripling of its available resources. And then the key question is to what extent the IMF can change its role in the world."
—Former Chief Economist at the IMF Simon Johnson on the IMF bailout from the G-20

For more from Simon Johnson, check out his site, Baseline Scenario.

Simon Johnson hit MSNBC to discuss his article in which he states that if banks are not reigned in the U.S. could be headed for something worse than the Great Depression:


March (Economic) Madness

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Simon Johnson, former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund, professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management, senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics and co-founder of The Baseline Scenario blog, focuses on a different facet of the economic crisis each week in March. ...

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Bonus Time

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The March 25th deadline looms large for the MTA. Richard Ravitch, head of the Ravitch Commission, talks about why he stands by his MTA rescue plan despite opposition in the State Senate. Also, WNYC's Beth Fertig on the hot-button issues of mayoral control. Plus, March weekly guest Simon Johnson explains ...