Gary Gorton, an expert in financial crises and a Yale University professor of finance, will speak Monday, March 30, at 7:30 p.m. in the Gund Gallery’s Community Foundation Theater. The speech is part of the Economics Department’s Shepherd Lecture Series.
“He’s probably in the top one or two innovative, original thinkers on the financial crisis of 2008 and 2009,” said Will Melick, the Bruce L. Gensemer Professor of Economics. Gorton’s approach is accessible because it’s not couched in a lot of equations, Melick added.
Policymakers and academics will argue for some time about the cause of the crisis and the best response, Melick said. “In that sense the topic is kind of timeless.”
Gorton, parent of Dani Gorton ’18, has written two books: Slapped by the Invisible Hand: The Panic of 2007 and Misunderstanding Financial Crises.
“Most people have no idea what actually happened (in 2007) because it was hard to observe it,” Gorton said. In previous crises, such as the Great Depression, people could be seen lining up at banks to withdraw money, he said. In the more recent crisis, companies were the ones withdrawing money, he explained
“The Federal Reserve is still trying to figure out what to do with its gigantic balance sheet that came about as a result of the crisis,” Melick said. “It’s still very much an interesting topic.”
Gorton graduated from Oberlin College in 1973 and earned his doctorate in economics from the University of Rochester. He has worked as a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, a director of research at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and a senior economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
In addition to his lecture, which is free and open to the public, Gorton will visit Melick’s “Money and Financial Markets” class, which read Misunderstanding Financial Crises.
By Madeleine Thompson '15