The Victorian writer Thomas Carlisle famously called economics, “the dismal science,” preceding that judgment with these: that, as a subject for study and discussion, economics was, “a dreary, desolate and, indeed, quite abject and distressing one.”
But don’t touch that dial…our guest today, Gary Hufbauer of the Petersen Institute for Intl Economics in Washington will prove that although economics can be distressingly difficult, and seemingly mathematical and abstract, it is also deeply informative about forces that shape our own “real lives.” And more, important, he will prove that you can address some of the most complex economic issues with a welcoming tone and vocabulary that makes them, and the logic of their everyday effects, accessible, even enjoyable to entertain.
Among the important collisions between reality and economics that I hope to discuss today are the effects of recent instances of Islamic State terrorism on the global economy, and most particularly on the economy of Europe, a continent already under a variety of social, political and economic stresses that have put almost 60 years of European Economic Community collaboration under threat…
And the clashing economic policy proposals of the three surviving Presidential contenders, Democrats Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, and the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump, with particular attention to their campaign statements on international trade and free trade agreements…
And if we have time, I’d also like Gary to assess the value of political transparency to economic growth and stability, with particular attention to newly-released documents that suggest the Obama Administration hid and mis-described its policy with regard to those two real estate financing institutions, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Dr. Gary Hufbauer is a Senior Fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics and formerly a Senior Director of Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. Prior to that, Dr. Hufbauer was professor of economics at Georgetown U., and before that held senior posts at the Treasury Department. He has written extensively on global economics, including the EU. Dr. Hufbauer holds an AB degree from Harvard College, a PhD from Cambridge University, and a JD from Georgetown Law Center.