Here's what I'm doing . . .

Here’s what I’m doing: Simon Johnson

Marketplace Staff Oct 27, 2008
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Here's what I'm doing . . .

Here’s what I’m doing: Simon Johnson

Marketplace Staff Oct 27, 2008
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TEXT OF COMMENTARY

Kai Ryssdal:
This next item starts with a question.
By the end of it you’ll hopefully be on the way to your own answer.
What are you doing. You as in, you. And everybody else who’s trying to decide right now whether to change the way they manage their money. We’re going to be asking that question of listeners and experts on this and the other Marketplace programs. And today, we check in with someone who thinks about the economy for a living.


Simon Johnson:
I’m Simon Johnson, I’m a professor at MIT Sloan.
I’m a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics and I run a Web site with educational, hopefully, materials about the crisis and how we get out of it.

I heard a very interesting comment from another commentator, and he said that he learned as a young man from a mentor the following: in a crisis, don’t just do something, stand there. So, that’s what I’ve been doing I’ve been standing pat on all my investments.

I worked on financial crisis’ around the world, and I never thought the U.S. would be in the situation where that kind of experience was not only relevant, but sort of front and center of the debate. So, I’ve been trying very hard to bring that to bear in hopefully a constructive, positive manner. And you know it takes somewhere between 18 and 20 hours a day. It has taken that since the middle of September. So, I hope I can get a bit more sleep this week.

And I’m afraid I get so little sleep during these crisis’, that when I do sleep, I’m not distracted I don’t have any bad dreams. I sleep for as long as I can.

I actually went to a local toy store with my two daughters, and bought something that they didn’t really need. But I wanted to support the store, because we love the store and we don’t want it to go out of business. And I think it’s very important that nobody say, ‘oh, I’m not going to purchase anything for three months and see what happens.’ I think you have to remain calm and you have to go about your lives. And you have to persuade people with political power to do the right thing.

Ryssdal: Simon Johnson teaches economics at MIT’s Sloan School of Management.

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