Origins of the Economic Crisis in One Chart

by: Jeffrey Frankel

Every two years, Harvard Kennedy School hosts the newly elected Members of Congress for a three-day “briefing” on a wide variety of topics. We had an excellent turnout this week: 40 of the 50 new congresspeople, from both parties. I participated in a panel titled “Understanding the Economic Crisis,” along with Greg Mankiw, Elizabeth Warren and Robert Lawrence (on video).

Trying to explain the financial crisis and recession in ten minutes, even to the extent any of us understands it, was a tall order. But I tried to cram it all into a single slide. Here it is:

Flowchart of Origins of Economic Crisis