Event Registration


    Responding to the global financial crisis: What we did and why we did it

    When: Tuesday, September 11 - Wednesday, September 12, 2018

    Where: The Brookings Institution, Falk Auditorium, 1775 Massachusetts Ave, NW, Washington, DC

    *In-person attendance is by invitation only*

    Dozens of consequential decisions were made by the U.S. Treasury, the Federal Reserve, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and other government agencies during and after the financial crisis of 2007-2009, but little detail is available publicly as to how and why the elements of the rescue were designed the way they were. In an initiative led by former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and former Treasury Secretaries Tim Geithner and Hank Paulson, the Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy at Brookings and the Program on Financial Stability at the Yale School of Management are filling that gap by commissioning a series of papers by individuals who were actively involved in designing the elements of the rescue. The papers identify, document, and evaluate the decisions that U.S. authorities made during the crisis. The primary objective of the project is to answer the inevitable question that those who fight future financial crises will ask: Why and how did they do it the way they did in 2007-2009?

    On September 11, 10 years after some of the worst moments of the crisis, some of the authors of the papers will present highlights of their findings in a full-day conference at Brookings. And on September 12, Bernanke, Geithner and Paulson will be interviewed by Andrew Ross Sorkin of The New York Times and CNBC. Both days’ programs will be webcast live.

    September 11

    10:00 a.m. -- Welcome
    Ben Bernanke, Brookings

    10:10 a.m. -- Overview: What happened?
    Nellie Liang, Brookings
    Andrew Metrick, Yale School of Management

    10:40 a.m. -- Panel: The lender of last resort: Old and new
    Moderator: Brian Sack, The D.E. Shaw Group
    Lead speaker: Trish Mosser, Columbia University
    Panelists: Pat Parkinson, Promontory Financial Group; Nathan Sheets, PGIM
    In the early stages of the crisis, the Federal Reserve acted as a lender of last resort to stabilize the financial system, initially innovating its traditional practices and later invoking emergency authorities to expand lending to more counterparties and more collateral. What problems were they trying to fix? What were the key design decisions? What constraints did they face? How successful were these efforts?

    11:30 a.m. -- Panel: Capital and guarantees for the banks
    Moderator: Nellie Liang, Brookings
    Lead speakers: Dan Jester, BDT & Company; Lee Sachs, Gallatin Point
    Panelists: Jim Wigand, Millstein & Co.; Tim Clark, former Federal Reserve
    At the worst of the financial crisis, the solvency of major banking institutions came into serious question. The Treasury, the Federal Reserve, FDIC, and other regulators had to determine how to keep the financial system functioning. What approaches did they consider, and what approaches were considered and discarded? What were the key decision points in guaranteeing liabilities of the banking system, injecting capital, etc.? What worked well, and what didn’t?

    12:30 p.m. -- Buffet lunch

    1:30 p.m. -- Panel: Beyond the banks
    Moderator: David Wessel, Brookings
    Lead speaker: Bill Dudley, former Federal Reserve Bank of New York
    Panelist: Scott Alvarez, former Federal Reserve; Steve Shafran, AMRI Financial
    Questions about solvency extended beyond the banks to all sorts of financial firms, including securities firms and AIG. How did authorities decide that the failure of these financial firms would cause material damage to the functioning of the financial system and economy? What tools did they consider and what tools did they use to prevent investor runs and disruptive failures? How did they weigh the consequences of potential bankruptcy of the auto companies in a fragile economy?

    2:20 p.m. -- Panel: Government-sponsored enterprises and housing
    Moderator: Neel Kashkari, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis
    Lead speaker: Michael Barr, University of Michigan
    Panelist: Dan Jester, BDT & Company; Andreas Lehnert, Federal Reserve 
    Housing was at the root of the financial crisis. The unwinding of the house price bubble, record-high mortgage debt, and low risk premiums on mortgage securities had a massive depressive effect on the financial system and economy. What was done to support homeowners and the mortgage market? What was considered and rejected? Which tools proved most effective? How was the decision to put Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac into conservatorship made?

    3:30 p.m. -- Panel: Monetary and fiscal policy around the world
    Moderator: Janet Yellen, Brookings
    Lead speakers: Jason Furman, Harvard Kennedy School of Government; Don Kohn, Brookings; 
    Panelist: Brian Sack, The D.E. Shaw Group; Ted Truman, Peterson Institute

    Monetary and fiscal policies, both in the United States and abroad, were used aggressively to offset the contractionary effects on the macro economy of the severe stresses in financial and credit markets. How did policymakers calibrate these efforts? How did U.S. policymakers coordinate with foreign counterparts? How well were these efforts communicated? What were the constraints? How well did all this work?

    4:10 p.m. -- Panel: So what have we learned?
    Moderator: Andrew Metrick, Yale School of Management
    Lead speaker: Meg McConnell, Federal Reserve Bank of New York 
    Panelists: Michele Davis, Morgan Stanley; Matt Kabaker, Centerbridge 

    Policies became more aggressive as the crisis intensified, starting with the provision of liquidity, to resolution, guarantees, and capital when solvency was in question. After ten years, what is the empirical evidence on the effects of the policies? What are the major criticisms and shortcomings? What lessons can we draw from the papers commissioned for this project that may prove useful for future crisis fighters?

    4:45 p.m. -- Closing

    September 12

    10:00 a.m. -- Welcome
    John R. Allen, President, Brookings
    Andrew Metrick, Yale School of Management

    10:15 a.m -- Interview: Bernanke, Geithner and Paulson 10 years after the global financial crisis
    Moderator: Andrew Ross Sorkin, New York Times

    This event has reached capacity and registration is now closed.

    Register to watch the live webcasts:

    Register to watch Day 1 »

    Register to watch Day 2 »