Challenges Facing the United States

October 5th, 2012

March 23, 2011
Harvard Club

Thank you very much for that generous introduction.  Thank you, students, for upstaging me completely.  (laughter)  Joe, I may have been born in New Haven, but I was rooting for the Red Sox before your father met your mother.  (laughter) I’m going to talk in a minute about sort of major challenges facing the United States, the work that we did with President Obama on those challenges.  But I believe that none is more important than the challenge of equal opportunity.  We are an unequal society in ways that probably can’t be changed.  We have become a less equal society.1   Much of that goes with the market system.

If we are going to be an unequal society it is not acceptable for everyone to not have a fair chance to succeed, regardless of where they were born and into what circumstances.  Nothing I say to you is more important than it: that the United States stay what Thomas Jefferson called it, an “aristocracy of talent.”2   Your University has been at the forefront of efforts at inclusion for many years.  The first idea of financial aid on a significant scale came from Harvard under President Conant in the 1930s.3   President Bok and President Rudenstine led the efforts to assure equal opportunity for students from every racial and ethnic background on a national basis.4   And I am proud that during my time as President it was possible to ensure that any family with an income under $60,000 would have to pay nothing to send their child to Harvard.5

And I applaud and I admire President Faust’s efforts to extend the principal of equal opportunity to ensure that no middle class or upper middle class family will under any circumstances have to pay more than 10% of their income to send their child to Harvard.6   Harvard has, Harvard will, and Harvard must continue to do its part to ensure equal opportunity in the United States.  And we have seen here tonight two powerful examples of that commitment to equal opportunity.  Let’s congratulate them.  And let’s especially congratulate their parents.  I said in the last commencement address that I gave that great universities and great nations at their zenith had the settled risk of complacency.  That they must never become complacent.  Little did I realize, as I said those words, how much complacency in markets was going to prove to be a problem for our country.

Through the early and mid part of this decade a sense of enormous optimism ensued.  That optimism, to be sure, had a rational basis.  An economy with a flexibility and resilience in capacity for innovation that was second to none.  An American workforce with a potential to produce that is unmatched around the world.  A capacity for intellectual innovation and its application in the United States that is unlike any other.  But that confidence went to excessive heights.  You saw it in credit spreads that bore no resemblance to actual risks.7   You saw it in the inflation of asset values in housing and real estate beyond any reasonable relation to the fundamentals.8   You saw it in the hubris of financial institutions that took on degrees of leverage that left them unprepared for any negative event.9

And so beginning in the summer of 2007, moving through the events of Bear Stearns, to the catastrophic month in the fall of – September of 2008, when Lehman Brothers and then AIG collapsed.10   When it was an open question at one point whether the General Electric Corporation would be able to borrow money for a full week in order to meet its cash flow obligations.11   Our economy came as close to collapse as it has since the Second World War.  In November, Barack Obama was elected as our President.  Elected as our President in part on the basis of a commitment he had laid out over two years to renew the American economy and to renew the American society.12   And frankly elected in part because at a moment of enormous anxiety, fear and distrust in institutions, there was a sense that America had to move to something new.

I was honored and terrified, but felt ready to respond to President Obama’s request that I use what I had learned in a short lifetime of research in economics, and during the years in the Clinton administration when I had worked with Bob Rubin, with Bill Clinton and with many others on a set of financial crises that fortunately were not American financial crises. People ask me when I took on this task how I would know whether President Obama had succeeded.  I gave them this answer.  I said that my twin daughters, who some of you have met, had just finished their study of advanced placement American history in high school.  And that I had been struck by what they had learned and by what they had not.  That events that seemed very important to me, the 1987 stock market crash, the terrible recession of 1982, were not important enough to figure in their course in American history.

On the other hand, the events of the 1930s and all that followed from those events in the 1930s were the subject of five weeks of study in their course.  Five weeks of study because of all that was wrong that happened.  Because of the wars that followed from the Depression.  And because of what was constructed during that period, unemployment insurance, Social Security, The Securities and Exchange Commission, and much, much more.13 And I said that we would succeed, we could think ourselves successful if when the history of this time was studied 40 or 50 years from now – of course economists in their economics courses would study this financial crisis – but in general, students of history did not have to see this as a defining historical event.  But if there were something that had been left behind that made our society a more fair and a more just one, then we would have succeeded. If we had the fortunate legacies of the 1930s, but we did not have the unfortunate tragedies of the 1930s.

I believe that by that standard President Obama has been successful in his leadership.  Make no mistake, the risks were immense.  Between September of 2008 and March of 2009, stock prices fell faster than they did after Black Tuesday in 1929.14   World trade fell faster than it did in any six-month period during the Great Depression.15   And the economy lost jobs more rapidly than it has at any point since the statistics began to be calculated.16   Just as we can look back at the Cuban Missile Crisis, and not know just how great the risks were, but know that we were far closer to the edge of Armageddon than could possibly have been comfortable, we can look back at that moment and see something similar now.

We made a judgment.  A core judgment that shaped our strategy going forward. And it was this: in the face of vicious cycles going in every direction – asset prices falling, people being forced to sell because they were on margin, that selling forcing them down further, financial institutions in trouble, indiscriminate lending meaning more assets, meaning asset prices fell, meaning financial institutions in worse trouble, a banking system that was collapsing leading to an economy that was collapsing, leading to more trouble from the banking system – in the face of those vicious cycles there was much more risk from doing too little than there was from doing too much.  And that’s why in the first six months of 2009 we committed, as a nation, close to $900 billion to support and save local governments, investing in infrastructure, providing funds to consumers to enable them to keep spending, and providing expanded unemployment insurance for those who were unemployed.17

That’s why we forced the first wholesale examination of the quality of all of the assets in our major financial institutions, and insisted that there were shortages of capital, that capital be raised, not provided by the government, but raised from the private markets.18   That’s why we made the decision, not an easy decision, that extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures.  And the government insisted that two of the three major automobile companies go through bankruptcy, but was prepared to provide the debtor in possession financing to ensure that they were able to continue to operate.19   And that is why the government committed to lead, on an unprecedented scale, a global effort to resist protection and provide finance to emerging markets that depended on the rest of the world.20

Any one of those things would have been a single and unprecedented act in normal times.  All of them happened within the first six months of 2009.  Have the results been satisfactory?  Hardly.  Battlefield medicine is never perfect.  The unemployment rate is far too high.21   Recovery is not as rapid as we would like it to be.  But today we can say that the American economy has been expanding for 18 months.22   We can say that the unemployment rate has declined by a percentage point in the last three months.23   We can say that asset prices are no longer in free-fall. The stock market, despite all the talk about how there’s been some kind of socialist attack on business, the stock market is nearly twice as high as it was on the day the President was elected.24   There has been no two years that would have been better to own stocks in the last 100 years, than the two years that began two years ago.25

That is a success.  It is a success that above all is a reflection of the President’s determined leadership oriented at doing the right thing.  It is also a success of a set of ideas, a set of ideas about how the macro economy works.  A set of ideas about how not all these economies are self-equilibrating systems.26   A set of ideas about how financial institutions work, that is the product of what goes on in universities like ours.  No university in the world contributed as much, or in this country, contributed as much to bringing the ideas that were really first John Maynard Keynes’ ideas about how sometimes economies are not self-equilibrating systems,27  to the United States, as your university did.  So this was a triumph proximately of political leadership, but more remotely, but no less importantly, of the kind of hard thought and serious reflection that goes on in great universities.

Make no mistake, there is a great deal that was – that is abstract and remote in the research that goes on in places like this.  But as someone who was asked to provide a briefing on economics to the President of the United States every morning, I can tell you that I found myself reporting on the research and work that was done by a remarkable number of my colleagues here at Harvard that contributed to the thinking that I believe helped us avert what could have been a very real catastrophe. One of the things that I admire most about President Obama is that he is absolutely committed to an approach to leadership that I in a small way tried to – have tried to pursue at various positions that I have held.  He believed that it was much better to try to do too much than to simply sit still.  That it was better to have one’s failures be failures of boldness, failures of striving, than to be failures of complacency or acceptance of the status quo.

It would have perhaps been enough to focus only on preventing this financial Armageddon that was a real possibility.  President Obama also made a judgment  that if the United States was going to do anything about a healthcare system that – as we found it in 2009 managed to spend twice as much as a share of income as any other country in the world,28  in order to provide life expectancy that was not in the top 15 in the world,29  while leaving 50 million people without coverage,30  that allowed only roughly 25% of hypertension in the United States to be effectively controlled31 – he made a judgment that that was unacceptable.  And he made a judgment that if it was going to change, it was going to be changed in the short window of opportunity that a President has at the beginning of his term.

And that’s why it was an honor to work with him to legislate change in our healthcare system.  There’s plenty of debate about, about that bill.  I am sure there are things in that bill that are not as they should be. I am sure that it will need to be amended in important respects in the future.  But I am much more certain that if that bill is repealed and abandoned and we allow the trends that let there be 30 million, and then 40 million, and then 50 million people uninsured,32  that let there be 10%, and then 12%, and then 14%, and then 16% of GDP be devoted to healthcare,33  that let us be fifth, and then tenth and then 15th  and soon 20th in life expectancy,34   that allowing those trends to continue without doing anything would have been a far greater error.

I spoke about the challenge to provide an equal opportunity.  Harvard, I believe, has done much of its part.  It won’t have done all of its part as long as Harvard continues to be a place where, let’s say it, it is easier to get financial aid to come and study to be an investment banker, than it is to get financial aid to come and be a teacher.  So we’ve got work to do at Harvard.  But around this country, despite the things that we have done, despite some of the great initiatives at other universities, the chance of going to college if you are – if your parents are in the upper part of the income distribution, is still far greater than if your parents are in the lower part  of the income distribution.35   And that gap has widened over the last 30 years.36 And that is a challenge.  It is a challenge of providing adequate resources.  Even more fundamentally, it’s a challenge of strengthening and improving our public schools.  That’s a challenge.

We are reminded by what we see on the news every day that, yes, we have this remarkable capacity to innovate and develop.  But Presidents of the United States have been talking about reducing our vulnerability to Middle Eastern oil literally for as long as I’ve been rooting for the Red Sex.  It started in the early 1970s.37  And at long last the Red Sox did win two World Series.  (laughter)  But we are still dependent on Middle East oil.38  And the Middle East has not gotten more stable.39 It has not gotten safer.  It has not gotten more reliable in the last 35 years.  But we have huge challenges.  We passed legislation, I’m proud to have helped work with the leadership of Senator Dodd and our very own Congressman Frank that I believe reforms financial regulation in important ways.  But if you think we’ve seen the last financial crisis of the United States, I have a bridge that I’d like to sell you. (laughter)

We have a lot of work to do. Each of these problems is a problem and a challenge in part for political leadership, in part of persuasion and commerce.  But each of these problems is also a problem that needs new thought, that needs new understandings.  And that’s why while men who go off and work in Washington come away thinking that the abstractions, the books, the articles, the studies that go on in universities are so abstract and irrelevant.  I come back with a very different feeling.  I come back with the feeling that “God, the world needs more thinking if it’s going to solve these problems.”  And I cannot imagine where that thinking, where that objective, honest, truth seeking is going to come from, if it is not going to come from our great universities.  And I know that there’s no greater university than our university.  And that’s why I am so glad to be back at Harvard.  Thank you very much.

M:    Larry’s open to a question or two if we have any from the audience.  We have microphones on either side.

SUMMERS: Yes, sir.

M:    As a non-economist, someone with a military background and an oil business background, could you explain to me how the current administration, and past administration defines inflation not including the price of food and the price of oil?

SUMMERS: There’s a concept that Congress talks about all the time which is core inflation, which is inflation not including food and oil.40 Of course, it’s kind of bogus to talk about inflation leaving out the stuff that goes up in price, when that stuff is food and oil.  (laughter)  It’s absolutely bogus, of course.  Here’s the point, though.  If you want to measure the price of food, the price of oil, the price of commodities, they bounce all over the place.  There are a lot of other prices that are much more safe.  If you want to measure the underlying inflation trend you turn out to get better measure of the underlying inflation trend from looking at the price excluding oil and food than the price including oil and food.41

That doesn’t mean when they want to measure incomes you have to measure the relative prices and those prices include food and oil.  It’s just that when you have a relatively high inflation rate for a quarter, because of food and energy, it tends to go back down the next quarter.42   And when you have relatively high inflation rate because of labor costs, it tends to keep going.43   And that’s why economists draw the difference.

M:    Of the Clinton Cabinet and Clinton Joint Chiefs, Obama Cabinet and Obama Joint Chiefs, my question is twofold.  A, who would you rather have with you of all of them in a bar fight.  (laughter)  And B, who would you rather have a beer with? (laughter)

SUMMERS: You know, those of you who – some of you know me, and some others of you have probably watched me over time.  And I think that I’ve probably demonstrated an ability to get myself into a substantial amount of trouble (laughter) with non-tactful statements without being invited to do so in response to questions. (laughter)  So I think I’ll stay off that with the rather venal observation but that has the virtue of being true, that I think it’s been a remarkable group of people that I’ve had the chance to serve with in both of the administrations that I have worked with. I will only comment on one person who I both enjoy having a beer with and admire enormously.  My very good friend, and a man who was in many ways a mentor to me, who has played a very important role at Harvard these last ten years as a member of the corporation, Robert Rubin, who served as Secretary of the Treasury for four years during the Clinton administration.44   I think he’s an enormously wise and thoughtful man from whom I learned a great deal.

M:    I hope I have a lighthearted question that you’ll enjoy answering.  When I was a grad student at Harvard, some undergraduates were working in their dormitory to create an Internet enterprise that turned out to be really successful. It even got turned into a film that was nominated for the Oscars.  So my question (laughter) is have you joined Facebook?  And what was your tipping point when you decided to join Facebook?  And do you have any thoughts on how the actor portrayed you in the film?

SUMMERS: I was waiting for this.  (laughter)  I knew this moment would come. (laughter)  Let’s see.  On the film, the Winklevoss were quoted as having said the only problem with the film is that Larry Summers wasn’t nearly as nice to us in person as he was in the film.  (laughter)  That may be right.  (laughter)  I’ve heard it said that I can, on occasion, be arrogant.  If that’s true, I surely was on that occasion. (laughter)  I did not find the particular complaints of the students to have enormous merit.  And I think I probably conveyed that rather clearly.  (laughter)

I will tell you that I’ve been on Facebook for a number of years actually because a woman who some of you may know, or know of, and who I suspect the Development Office may choose to get to know, Sheryl Sandberg is the number two person at Facebook.  She was an undergraduate student of mine, and went on to work for me at the World Bank.  And went on to work for me as the Chief of Staff during my time as Deputy Secretary and Secretary of the Treasury.  And when she went to Facebook she encouraged me to get on the Facebook site.  If she would have given me some stock instead it would have been better.  (laughter)  But she encouraged me to get on the Facebook site.  So I’ve been on Facebook now for a few years. But it is a remarkable kind of thing.  I can’t remember which year it was, probably 2006, I gave – I was to give the welcoming speech to the Freshmen.  So I had a speech that I gave each year, and we changed it around each year.  There was a student who worked in my office who was in charge of working on the draft and editing it a bit and so forth.  And the guy wrote this line in where he used friend as a verb. And I said, what’s this, and I used an expletive.  What’s this, friend is not a verb.  And he said, Larry, just say it.  I said what are you talking about?  He said, I promise you, if you use this term, if you say it – just read the words I have written, I promise you they will all laugh and they’ll think you’re cool. And we can’t take it for granted that they’ll think you’re cool, Larry.  (laughter) And I said, well, I’m going to read this line just as your wrote it, but your job here does depend on if I get them to laugh.  (laughter)  And I read the line and they all broke up.  But I had no idea what I was talking about.  (laughter)  Sad, but I did learn something about the power of the Facebook idea from that experience.

M:    Well, my name is Ben Voltra and I’m going to send you a friend request. Delightful speech, I truly enjoyed it and I must say that I agree with a lot of what you had to say.

SUMMERS: I have a feeling that you’re not going to be the focus of what follows. (laughter)

M:    Let me get to it.  In some ways, truly, I’m impressed with the overall approach of the Obama administration and what you have done and what you accomplished. Not just for America, but for the whole world.  One of the criticisms which I hear around the world, and I would like your comments on – it would be that there are too few people in the early years of the Administration who were businessmen. You just mentioned that dependence on oil.  The U.S. has a significant depository of gas. And almost all other developing nations and developed nations have moved on to natural gas.  So I’m saying gee, we could have perhaps spent an enormous amount of money, which we have spent, into developing synergy infrastructure, distribution systems, which would be visible, which would be very practical and would create new jobs.  And somehow that didn’t happen.  There was a lot to do, and I appreciate that.  And there was a huge crisis and I appreciate that.  But at the same time, do you think that you missed an opportunity in that sense?

SUMMERS: On the question of business people in the Administration, I think the President would say that if he had it to do over again he probably would have had somewhat more business representation in the Administration.  That said, let me remind anyone who thinks that the first two years of the Obama administration were anti-business, that there was no two year period in the last 50 when corporate profits rose more rapidly.45   That there was no two year in the period in the last 50, when the stock market performed better.46   That there was a major kind of problem that was being inherited.  And that it is hard to look at the level of profits today, not just in terms of the movement over the last two years, but relative to where they were in 2007 and somehow say the group that got squeezed in our society was corporations.

Could more have been done with respect to energy in general and natural gas in particular?  Probably.  The administration worked very hard to pass legislation. There was legislation, if passed, that would have included a variety of measures in terms of pricing carbon that would have done a lot to stimulate natural gas.  That measure actually passed through the House, but it was bottled up in the Senate.47

Perhaps there are things that the administration could have done to move it more vigorously, but there were a lot of other things that we were doing.  So directionally, do I have regrets in your direction? Yes, I do.  Do I think that given the circumstances we face, it would have been reasonable to expect far more to happen?  I guess I don’t think so.  But I could wish it were different.

M:    Thank you very much.  That was excellent.

M:    Yes, my question goes to your view of the stimulus bill in retrospect.  Prior to joining the administration, you made a set of remarks talking about the needs for stimulus to be temporary and targeted.  So in retrospect, can you estimate or guesstimate how successful you actually were in that goal?

SUMMERS: You know, I did in December of 2007, call before leaving, before AIG, before the economy was facing Armageddon, but when there was an incipient downturn, call for a bill that was timely, targeted, and temporary.48   In November of 2008, before I went into the Administration I said that I earlier called for a bill that was timely, targeted and temporary, but my new standard was speedy, sustained and substantial.  Because I felt given the seriousness of the problem, we needed something rather different than we had had before.  And the fact that today, two plus years later, we’re still looking at 9% unemployment,49  and nobody thinks we’re going to be without economic slack for a long time, I actually think that the stimulus bill that was passed was rather appropriate to the circumstances that we faced.

And if anything the danger is right now that stimulus may be withdrawn too quickly.  And if you ask me what the risks were to the recovery, I would say I was pretty optimistic about the recovery.  But the two biggest risks were a major oil price spike and excessively rapid withdrawal of stimulus.  So an excessively temporary character I don’t think as things had turned out is the major problem. Let me take one more question.  Yes.

M:    Some of the smarter investors that foresaw the subprime prices are now warning us about sovereign debt levels in The Wall Street Journal. They’re worried about sustainability of sovereign debt in developed markets, developed countries.  I think they’re fearful of some kind of exogenous event, some kind of hyper-inflationary situation.  My question is what do you think of that concern?  What are your views on that concern?  And to what extent does the Obama administration have concerns among these lines?

SUMMERS: Well, I don’t speak, at this point, for the Obama Administration.  Look, anyone who dismisses a risk out of hand is always making a mistake in economic policy.  And there are risks in every direction.  The challenge of policy is to balance and minimize risks, because you’re not going to eliminate risks.  If you look at the situation in Europe, I think it is very serious.  I think it’s a remarkable thing that’s actually remarked on too little.  That there are, I believe, as I speak, seven European countries that have risk spreads on their debt that are twice as great as the spread on Mexico or Brazilian debt.50   So the whole idea that these developing countries are kind of flaky and the solid industrial countries that are responsible really is a lie by the current experience.

I do not think that hyper-inflation is a substantial risk in the current environment. My reading of the available evidence and data is that there are almost no examples of a substantial inflation starting without significant pressure in labor markets, and significant increases in wage levels.  And as I look at most parts of the world today, I see increasing unemployment – not increasing, high unemployment and substantial slack and downwards pressure on wages.51  And so I see risks in the need for restructuring the debt in a number of parts of Europe.  I don’t think there’s any question that we, as a country, as our economy recovers, are going to have to take steps to bring revenues and expenditures into balance.

But I am more worried about a scenario that has something in common with the disasters Japan had in the 1990s. I have concern about a scenario that’s like the United States in the 1970s where inflation got out of control.52   But no prudent policy maker can fail to be worried about both possibilities.  It’s a matter of finding a balance.  I’ll take one more question, hoping it’s cheerful.  (laughter)

F:    Kind of.  So first of all, thank you. And so based on that, my question is what do you see as the challenges for states implementing insurance – insurance exchanges and how we’re going to move forward, assuming it’s Constitutional.

SUMMERS: I’ll say this.  Professor Tribe – some of you – if you’re interested in the Constitutional aspects, Professor Tribe, who I have enormous admiration for, had a very powerful Op-Ed in The New York Times about a month ago arguing that the bill was so constitutional that it was going to be upheld by the Supreme Court on a 9-0 vote.53   Me, I – if somebody gave me five certain, I’d not really worry about the other four.  (laughter)  But that says something about how the Constitution – how he’s really very convinced that on the Constitutional side it’s OK.

Look, I think that if we study Massachusetts, there’s a lot we can learn about design of these exchanges.54   I’m not enough of an expert and this is not the moment to provide a detailed set of principles.  In general what’s necessary is that the exchanges be designed so as to attract a large pool of people into them so that you’re able to avoid adverse selection.  And that means providing substantial grease in the form of subsidies that gets people in.  I think the way the system is going to be designed is going to make that possible.  But it’s going to need to be monitored, and it’s going to require a great deal of attention.

I’m a little bit nervous about how we find the balance between on the one hand doing what I think we very much want to do as a country, which is allow experimentation in particular states so we can learn what’s best, and on the other hand, allowing complete delegation to states, some of which will seek to find excuses in ways to vitiate the force of the bill.  And that’s the challenge that the administration is going to have to manage going forward in a political environment that is not easy.

M:    Thank you so much to Larry.  Everybody stay close for a minute.  We still have some business to do.  I think you all know what’s coming.  The first order of business is to give Larry a small token of appreciation for his excellent talk and his willingness to engage us on some interesting questions.  So, Larry, this is from us at Harvard Club.  And now I’m going to ask that we all rise and sing – I’m going to wave the reading on the second and third versus of Fair Heart, but ask that we sing the first and last verse of Fair Heart before we conclude.  Thank you all for coming. It’s been a great night, great turn out.  And again, Fair Heart.

1  Catherine Rampell, “SAT Scores and Family Income,” New York Times, August 27, 2009, available at

2  Richard D. Kahlenberg, “Elite Colleges, or Colleges for the Elite?,” New York Times, September 29, 2010.

3  “Conant Enlarges Ideas Limiting College Studies to Best Talent,” Harvard Crimson, March 3, 1938.

4  Vasugi V. Ganeshananthan and Erica B. Levy, “Rudenstine to Resign,” Harvard Crimson, May 22, 2000.

5  Daniel J. T. Schuker, “Harvard Will Be Free for Families Earning Under 60K,” Harvard Crimson, March 31, 2006.

6  Aditi Balakrishna, “New Aid Plan Targets More Affluent Families,” Harvard Crimson, December 11, 2007.

7  Michael Lewis, The Big Short, W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2010.

8  Id.

9  Id.

10 Carrick Mollenkamp, Susanne Craig, Serena Ng and Aaron Luchhetti, “Lehman Files for Bankruptcy, Merrill Sold, AIG Seeks Cash,” Wall Street Journal, September 16, 2008.

11 Craig Torres and Bryan Keogh, “Fed Offers GE, Citigroup, Commercial Paper Subsidies,”, October 15, 2008, available at

12 Peter Baker and Jeff Zeleny, “Obama Repeats a Campaign Staple: Time for Change,” New York Times, October 29, 2008.

13 Eric Rauchway, “Was the New Deal un-American?,” Slate, July 5, 2007, available at

14 Dow Jones Industrial Average (1900 – Present Monthly), available at

15 World Trade Organization; United Nations, Historical Data 1900-1960 on international merchandise trade statistics, April 28, 2009.

16 Bureau of Labor Statistics, Unemployment rate 1948-2011; Pedro Schwartz, The long-term legacy of the 1929 crisis, European Ideas Network Seminar, January 27, 2009.

17 Greg Hitt and Elizabeth Williamson, “Stimulus Bill Near $900 Billion,” Wall Street Journal, January 28, 2009.

18 Graham Bowley, “2 Banks Cited in Stress Tests Find Ready Investors,” New York Times, May 8, 2009.

19 Mike Ramsey and Tiffany Kary, “GM, Chrysler May Face Bankruptcy to Protect U.S. Debt,”, February 9, 2009, available at

20 Jonathan Weisman, Alistair MacDonald, and Carrick Mollenkamp. “Obama Hits Resistance at G-20,” Wall Street Journal, April 2, 2009.

21 Bureau of Labor Statistics, “The Employment Situation- February 2011,” March 4, 2011.

22 Jeffrey E. Garten, “America Still Rules,” Newsweek, July 25, 2009.

23 Bureau of Labor Statistics, supra note 21.

24 Dow Jones Industrial Average 2009-2011, available at^DJI;range=2y.

25 Dow Jones Industrial Average (1900 – Present Monthly), supra note 14.

26 Anatole Kaletsky, “The Benefits of the Bust,” Wall Street Journal, June 19, 2010.

27 Jason Furman, “Recession Prevention: Keynes Was Right,” Brookings, January 28, 2008.

28 Toni Johnson, “Healthcare Costs and U.S. Competitiveness,” Counsel on Foreign Relations, March 23, 2010.

29 Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook, available at

30 Leslie Scism, “More Go Without Life Insurance,” Wall Street Journal, August 29, 2010.

31 Joseph L. Izzo Jr. and Henry R. Black, Hypertension Primer: Third Edition, American Heart Association, 2003.

32 Scism, supra note 30.

33 Johnson, supra note 28.

34 Central Intelligence Agency, supra note 29.

35 Yunji De Nies, “President Obama Outlines Goal to Improve Graduation Rate in U.S.,”, August 19, 2010, available at

36 “Youth Indicators 2005: Trends in the Well-Being of American Youth,” National Center for Education Statistics, July 2005.

37 “Reducing America’s Energy Dependence,” National Resources Defense Council, July 2, 2004.

38 James Herron, “Double Blow For U.S. Oil Dependency Hopes,” Wall Street Journal, October 28, 2010.

39 Farnazz Fassihi, “Egyptian Revolution Stirs Raw Emotions in Iran,” Wall Street Journal, February 14, 2011

40 “Headline vs. Core Inflation: The Battle Continues,” Wall Street Journal, May 20, 2008.

41 Id.

42 John Kosar, “A 10-Chart Look at the Latest Inflation Data,”, February 25, 2010, available at at-the-latest-inflation-data.

43 Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Productivity and Costs,” March 3, 2011.

44 “Former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin to Speak at Yale,” Yale Office of Public Affairs & Communications, March 24, 2009.

45 Bureau of Economic Analysis, “Table 6.16D: Corporate Profits by Industry,” January 28, 2011.

46 Dow Jones Industrial Average (1900 – Present Monthly), supra note 14.

47 Simon Lomax, “U.S. Won’t Pass Carbon-Price Law for Power Generators This Year, Reid Says,”, September 7, 2010, available at

48 David Brooks, “Cleaner and Faster,” New York Times, January 29, 2009.

49 Bureau of Labor Statistics, supra note 21.

50 Mark Brown, “Europe Sovereign Default Insurance Cost Near All-Time High,” Wall Street Journal, December 30, 2010.

51 Jon Clifton and Jenny Marlar, “Worldwide, 40% Are Employed Full Time for an Employer,” Gallup, January 19, 2011.

52 Emily Kaiser, “U.S. Inflation is Climbing, but a Rerun of the 1970’s is Unlikely,” New York Times, June 3, 2008.

53 Laurence H. Tribe, “On Health Care, Justice Will Prevail,” New York Times, February 7, 2011.

54 Lea Winerman, “In Legislation, New National Health Exchange Emerges,”, July 23, 2009.