Innovation Summit: Exactly How Do we Fix the Economy?

The Daily Beast is hosting its "Innovators Summit" in New Orleans this weekend, and we wanted to direct your attention to a panel of particular interest. The topic? How to get America out of the economic troubles it faces.

Among the panelists are Peter Orszag, Distinguished Visiting Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations; Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Sheila Bair, and Professors Niall Ferguson and Joseph Stiglitz.

Former head of the Office of Budget and Management, Peter Orszag, maintained that the "despite views to the contrary, the Recovery Act has helped take the edge off of what otherwise would have been a dramatic decline in activity."

"We're bumping along in slow growth," he said. He advised take focusing on good long-term fiscal policy and reducing the medium- and long-term deficit. Orzag said he wouldn't be in favor of a second stimulus package unless it were coupled with a long-term fiscal plan.

Blair recommended short-term spending on infrastructure--both educational and physical--to stimulate the economy. "Short term it costs money, but longer term creates a more stable economy," she said, adding that such a program could help fill the dearth of skilled people in science and engineering fields in the U.S.

Economist and Columbia University professor Joseph Stiglitz favors a second round of stimulus, while Harvard professor Niall Ferguson said a second stimulus would stimulate the wrong things--commodity and emerging market, which he said are already "overstimulated" and reaching a bubble.