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Kellogg Distinguished Lecture Series: Simon Johnson

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Executive Summary

When the government stepped in to stop the economic bleeding with the stimulus packages and bailouts, it only made the situation worse, Johnson said. Banks got bigger and taxpayers ended up footing the bill. Then why did they do it? "To protect the economy, obviously," he said. "To prevent the second Great Depression. But that's just the fiscal side. What about the jobs lost? That's the down side." Americans lost jobs as the economy bottomed out, and yet in 2008 and 2009, Wall Street fared well, with some banks and funds having record years and compensation high, Johnson said.

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