Political Perspectives on 03/24/10
Host Stefan Kampf interviews Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph E. Stiglitz about his recent book, Freefall: America, Free Markets, and the Sinking of the World Economy, an account of the financial meltdown that criticizes the Obama Administration for 'muddling through' rather than pushing aggressively for change. Stiglitz is a University Professor at Columbia University in New York and Chair of Columbia University's Committee on Global Thought. He is also the co-founder and Executive Director of the Initiative for Policy Dialogue at Columbia. In 2001, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in economics for his analyses of markets with asymmetric information, and he was a lead author of the 1995 Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.
Stiglitz was a member of the Council of Economic Advisers from 1993-95, during the Clinton administration, and served as CEA chairman from 1995-97. He then became Chief Economist and Senior Vice-President of the World Bank from 1997-2000. In 2008 he was asked by the French President Nicolas Sarkozy to chair the Commission on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress, which released its final report in September 2009. In 2009 he was appointed by the President of the United Nations General Assembly as chair of the Commission of Experts on Reform of the International Financial and Monetary System, which also released its report in September 2009.
Stiglitz helped create a new branch of economics, "The Economics of Information," exploring the consequences of information asymmetries and pioneering such pivotal concepts as adverse selection and moral hazard, which have now become standard tools not only of theorists, but of policy analysts. He has made major contributions to macro-economics and monetary theory, to development economics and trade theory, to public and corporate finance, to the theories of industrial organization and rural organization, and to the theories of welfare economics and of income and wealth distribution. In the 1980s, he helped revive interest in the economics of R&D.
Recognized around the world as a leading economic educator, he has written textbooks that have been translated into more than a dozen languages. His newest book, Freefall: America, Free Markets, and the Sinking of the World Economy, was published in January 2010 by WW Norton and Penguin/ Allen Lane.