Professor Discusses the Economic Crisis and the Road Ahead

Last August, LBJ School of Public Affairs Professor James K. Galbraith’s prescient book “The Predator State: How Conservatives Abandoned the Free Market and Why Liberals Should Too” was published by Free Press.

Less than a month later, the collapse of Lehman Brothers and AIG stunned a nation already reeling from the government takeover of mortgage lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Galbraith, who will discuss his book tonight in an event co-sponsored by the College of Communication Senior Fellows honors program and the LBJ School, answered a few questions for ShelfLife about his book, the ongoing financial crisis, his opinion on the Obama stimulus plan, and what we can expect for the future.

Q: In light of economic developments that have arisen since the publication of “The Predator State,” what do you think you got right?

A: Basically everything. I basically called the crisis and the cause of the crisis quite accurately. Not to say that it was by any means accidental. I was quite prepared for the crisis and saw it coming.

Q: What are your thoughts on President Obama’s proposed stimulus plan?

A: I think the bill should pass and it should pass quickly. However, people shouldn’t look to it to solve the crisis by itself. I think it would be a good step taken in short order by Congress, but we are going to need a much deeper faction on a broader scale to solve this problem.

Q: If you were to write a sequel to “The Predator State,” what would the central themes be?

A: I think it probably will be the great crisis we are experiencing now and the dismal science of economists and their professional definitions of economics. Also, I want to answer the question of why they were all so totally out to lunch when all of this was taking place.

Galbraith will discuss his book and the current economic outlook tonight at 7 p.m. at the Thompson Conference Center. Visit the calendar for more information.