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U.S. Economics

Policy Challenges Facing The Next President

Whoever takes the oath of office as President of the United States on January 20, 2009 will face a staggering array of policy challenges. It is not surprising that few of these difficult issues are being taken up in the election campaign to date. Yet it is not too soon for the American public to start thinking about them.

Let us focus on developing a possible action agenda for January 2009 and beyond. The most pressing item is responding to the adverse developments in the national economy. The normal concerns about dealing with the downturn phase of the business cycle are aggravated by unusual stresses and strains in financial markets. My foggy crystal ball does not tell me whether getting the economy growing again will be a more urgent objective than dealing with rising inflation but policymakers have to take both problems into account.

3 Restoring Trust in Financial Markets

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