Michael Boskin, Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and T. M. Friedman Professor of Economics at Stanford University, discussed “Why Is Social Security So Hard to Reform and What Can Be Done About It?”
Peter Thiel spoke about the basic principles that underlie innovative products and startup firms, using examples from his own experience starting up firms such as Paypal and Palantir. He emphasized the importance of creating a firm or product with characteristics of monopoly, and contrasted that idea with the distinction between monopoly and competition taught in economics.
Anil Kashyap, the Stevens Distinguished Service Professor of Economics and Finance at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, discussed “Financial Stability and Monetary Policy?” (with Caspar Siegert)
Martin Feldstein, senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, the George F. Baker Professor of Economics at Harvard University and President Emeritus of the National Bureau of Economic Research, presented “the Future of Economic Growth in the United States.”
Steve Davis, the William H. Abbott Professor of International Business and Economics at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, discussed “The Social Impact of Private Equity over the Economic Cycle” with John Haltiwanger, Kyle Handley, Ben Lipsius, Josh Lerner, and Javier Miranda.
Kevin Hassett, Distinguished Visiting Fellow at Hoover and former Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, discussed “An Evaluation of the Economics Effects of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.”
Fear that failure of a large complex financial institution can cause severe damage to the economy has created a pervasive bailout mentality among policymakers in the United States. As a result the federal government has committed huge amounts of taxpayer dollars, intervened in a host of normally private–sector activities, and induced excessive risk‐taking by people expecting the bailout policy to continue. Americans are understandably angry about a policy which rescues the people who take risks and fail at the expense of everyone else. But how can we reduce the bailouts? As George Shultz puts it, “If clear and credible measures can be put into place that convince everybody that failure will be allowed, then the bailouts, and the expectations of bailouts, will recede and perhaps even disappear.” The purpose of this workshop is to propose, present, and debate such measures.
Stephen Haber, Peter and Helen Bing Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and the A.A. and Jeanne Welch Milligan Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences at Stanford University, discussed “The Ecological Origins of Economic and Political Systems.”
Lawrence Summers, President Emeritus and Charles W. Eliot University Professor at Harvard University, and former U.S. treasury secretary, talked about “Responsible Nationalism.”