Video: Harvard Roundtable on Financial Crisis

Last Updated Oct 3, 2008 1:49 PM EDT

A panel discussion among Harvard faculty financial experts brought a variety of perspectives -- but not always agreement -- on the causes, consequences, and answers for righting the listing US economy. Check out the video, or read a summary from Harvard Magazine.

Dramatis personae:

Drew Faust, President, Harvard University. "We have witnessed an unfolding financial crisis without precedent in most of our lifetimes."

Jay Light, Dean, Harvard Business School. "In the long run what we need is a new regulatory structure, because it is very clear that the old structure of Wall Street is gone; it's not going to return."

Robert Kaplan, HBS professor of management practice and former Goldman Sachs exec. "While this is a financial crisis, it is also symptomatic of a another very deep issue, which is a severely weakened middle class in the United States.

Elizabeth Warren, Gottlieb professor of law. "What the bailout is doing is trying to support a whole market, and I thought I learned from the market guys that you can't do that."

Greg Mankiw, Beren professor of economics. "The basic problem facing the financial system is that lots of people made very big bets that housing prices could not fall 20 percent."

Kenneth Rogoff, Cabot professor of public policy. "The financial sector ... is too big, it is not sustainable, it needs to shrink."

Robert Merton, McArthur University Professor and Nobel Prize winner for Economics. "We can't lose sight of the fact there has been real wealth loss, loss not offset by someone else's gain."

  • Sean Silverthorne

    Sean Silverthorne is the editor of HBS Working Knowledge, which provides a first look at the research and ideas of Harvard Business School faculty. Working Knowledge, which won a Webby award in 2007, currently records 4 million unique visitors a year. He has been with HBS since 2001.

    Silverthorne has 28 years experience in print and online journalism. Before arriving at HBS, he was a senior editor at CNET and executive editor of ZDNET News. While at At Ziff-Davis, Silverthorne also worked on the daily technology TV show The Site, and was a senior editor at PC Week Inside, which chronicled the business of the technology industry. He has held several reporting and editing roles on a variety of newspapers, and was Investor Business Daily's first journalist based in Silicon Valley.