Why We Don't Take Prosperity for Granted Anymore; The Real--And Lasting--Consequences of the Financial Crisis and Great Recession
ROBERT SAMUELSON
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 15, 2012

Robert Samuelson is a journalist for the Washington Post, where he writes a weekly economics column. He was a columnist for National Journal magazine from 1976 to 1984 and for Newsweek from 1984 to 2011. In 1982, he received an Alicia Patterson Journalism Fellowship to research and write about the changes in the U.S. economy since World War II.

Samuelson’s work has been consistently recognized for its excellence during the course of his career. He received the 1993 John Hancock Award for Best Business and Financial Columnist, was awarded Gerald Loeb Awards for Commentary in 1993, 1986 and 1983, received the 1981 National Magazine Award and won National Headliner Awards for Feature Column on a Single Subject in both 1992 and 1993 and for Best Special Interest Column 1987.

His most recent book, The Great Inflation and Its Aftermath: The Past and Future of American Affluence, was published in 2008. In it, he asserts that the Great Inflation was the worst domestic policy blunder of the postwar era, and that the modern economy cannot be understood without considering the Great Inflation and its aftermath.

In his Athenaeum address Robert Samuelson will challenge the notion that the 2008 financial crisis resulted mostly from Wall Street greed and governmental deregulation. He argues instead that the crisis resulted from a 25-year economic boom that started in the early 1980s with the dramatic decline of inflation. Samuelson criticizes the modern assumptions of economic management--that economic knowledge had advanced to the point where major collapses or even depressions were impossible and explains that our understanding and tools of control are far weaker than had been presumed. The consequences of this include a newfound caution on the part of both companies and consumers, as well as a semi-permanent slowdown in economic growth.