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American fiscal debt has become increasingly worrying over the past few decades. While traditionally the debt-to-GDP ratio has grown during times of crisis and returned to lower levels during more stable times, since the 2008 financial crisis the debt-to-GDP ratio has surged from 64% to 120%, without showing any signs of a return to pre-crisis levels. Moreover, the nation has repeatedly faced hurdles in raising its debt ceiling from lack of bipartisanship in Congress, often teetering on the brink of default. Last year, the US debt was downgraded for only the second time in history, underscoring increasing uncertainty about the nation’s ability to manage its fiscal situation. As the world’s leading economy and the issuer of the global reserve currency, the implications of continued fiscal uncertainty and mismanagement extend far beyond our borders.

The Spring Panel, organized by Oeconomica, aims to shed light on these issues. Our panelists, distinguished economists well-versed in macroeconomics and with extensive public sector experience, will discuss the implications of rising American debt for our economy and the future of fiscal debt, while illuminating potential strategies ensuring a sustainable path forward.


Thursday, April 25, 2024
5:00 pm - 5:05 pm

Kotaro Yoshida, University of Chicago

5:05 pm - 5:30 pm
Opening Remarks

Panelist Introductions

5:30 pm - 6:10 pm
Moderated Panel

Alan Auerbach, University of California Berkeley (Panelist)

John Cochrane, Stanford University (Panelist)

Jason Furman, Harvard University (Panelist)

Chris Liao, University of Chicago Class of 2024 (Moderator)

Matthew Zhao, University of Chicago Class of 2024 (Moderator)

6:10 pm - 6:30 pm
Audience Q&A