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CHF 2008: Thinking Big

Jeffrey Sachs: Bubbles Burst and Bursting

Franke Lecture on Economics

Recorded on October 30, 2008.

Jeffrey Sachs is one of the world’s leading international economists and crusaders against the scourge of global poverty. He has provided counsel to government and international agencies worldwide for more than twentyyears. His research interests include the links of health and development, economic geography, globalization, the transition to market economies in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, international financial markets, international macroeconomic policy coordination, emerging markets, economic development and growth, global competitiveness, and macroeconomic policies in developing and developed countries. 

The author of The End of Poverty (2005) and Common Wealth (2008), both landmark books focused on enlightened, sustainable, and environmentally aware global development, Sachs considers those themes in the context of recent developments, including the 2008 American presidential election, which occurred less than a week after this lecture. A highly prized and profoundly inspiring speaker, Sachs provides a recent historical context to help us better understand the recent financial meltdown and the origins of the recession, and highlights the predictors that should have forewarned policymakers and bankers of the looming crisis. But, he cautions, we must realize that there are four even more important bubbles requiring our immediate attention—namely, those of environmental degradation, skyrocketing population, extreme poverty, and the growing underclass. He speaks of practical solutions to these problems, but we must act quickly and intelligently.

This annual lecture recognizes the significant contributions to the Chicago Humanities Festival made by its founder and chairman emeritus Richard J. Franke.

Teachers: Interactive Lesson Plan

The Chicago Humanities Festival has prepared an interactive lesson plan for this program. Visit the Facing History and Ourselves Lesson Plan now!

Speakers and Performers

Jeffrey Sachs

Jeffrey Sachs is Director of The Earth Institute, Quetelet Professor of Sustainable Development, and Professor of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University. He is also Special Advisor to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. From 2002 to 2006 he was Director of the UN Millennium Project and Special Advisor to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan on the Millennium Development Goals, aiming to reduce extreme poverty, disease, and hunger. Sachs is also President of Millennium Promise Alliance.

CHF Suggests      Related links and resources for further study

Leaders And Thinkers

Jared Diamond (b. 1937)
Professor of geography and physiology at UCLA influenced by Sachs
Alan Greenspan
Former chairman of the Federal Reserve (1987-2006)
John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946)
Economist opposed to laissez-faire economic policies and influential to Sachs

Related Events

Columbia University, Department of Economics
Colloquia and workshops
Harvard University, Department of Economics
Seminars and workshops
The University of Chicago, Department of Economics
Workshops and more

Good Reads

Jeffrey Sachs on the Geithner-Summers Plan
From The Huffington Post
Op-Eds, Articles, and Publications at the Earth Institute
Sachs on the global money supply, carbon costs, and more
Reaganomics
The perspective Sachs opposes

Online Resources

Audio: Webchat with Jeffrey Sachs (05/09/2007)
With the BBC's economics editor, Evan Davis
Audio and Video: Jeffrey Sachs
Sachs on global capitalism, African aid, economic and environmental crises, and more
Jeffrey Sachs Teachers' Guide
Lesson plans related to this lecture