skip to main content

COVID-19 Information and Guidance

The Great Recession

Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson Jr. and World Bank President Robert Zoellick recently visited the Baker Institute to discuss the great recession from domestic and global perspectives. 

In separate presentations, both men underscored the seriousness and extent of the economic situation.

The world is facing an uneven recovery from the worst economic downturn in a generation, Zoellick said on March 19 in a discussion with Mahmoud El-Gamal, the Baker Institute"s Will Clayton Fellow in International Economics.

"The recovery has begun, with some uncertainties," Zoellick said. The fact that China, India and other nations may be emerging more quickly from the crisis than are the European countries and the United States could also "complicate some of the cooperation you saw during the heart of the crisis" when world leaders took prompt action to avoid a total financial meltdown.

Paulson, who spoke on March 26 as part of the Shell Distinguished Lecture Series, recalled the difficulties getting Congress to move aggressively during the financial crisis. Paulson also discussed his new book, "On the Brink: Inside the Race to Stop the Collapse of the Global Financial System," and what he believes is the current need to scale back some of the measures he helped enact.

The discussion with Paulson was moderated by John Diamond, the Baker Institute"s Edward A. and Hermena Hancock Kelly Fellow in Public Finance.