Recap

High unemployment, low economic growth, declining property values and precipitous drops in other income-producing activities, have dealt a major blow to state and city governments’ tax revenues, creating unprecedented budget shortfalls at a time when these governments are already straining to cover their expenses, especially growing pension obligations. Today’s policymakers are struggling to deal with this short-term budget crisis while also achieving long-term fiscal responsibility. Experts on public pensions, state and local governance, and urban economics discussed how government will accomplish this feat. Speakers included Olivia Mitchell, Professor of Insurance and Risk Management at the Wharton School, Bob Inman, the Richard King Mellon Professor of Finance at the Wharton School, Jack Dorer, Managing Director of public finance at Moody’s Investors Service, and Burrell Ellis, CEO of Dekalb County, Georgia. The panel was moderated by Nora Fitzpatrick, Regional & Community Outreach Specialist of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. This event was co-sponsored by the Fels Institute of Government.

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