Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Patt Morrison for Weds, May 6


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

1-3 p.m.


1:00 – 1:30




1:30 – 2:00

This is your Bank on Xanax: Stress-Test Results are Coming…

To say that the American economy, led by the nation’s banks, is stressed out is an extreme statement of the obvious—the differing levels of stress could go a long way to figuring out how to best solve the credit crunch.  On Thursday the Federal Reserve plans to deliver the results of stress tests on U.S. banks that may show that 10 or more companies need additional capital to weather a deep recession.  The stress tests have been equally criticized and lauded as a way to shed light on true health of banks.  Will the tests bring transparency or cause a panicked run by stressed-out customers on stressed-out banks?



Robert Litan, senior fellow in economic studies at the Brookings Institute; vice president of policy & research at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation


  • Litan has also served as an associate director of the Office of Management & Budget and a deputy assistant Attorney General in the Justice Dept.’s Antitrust Division.
  • On the stress tests:  “I think the stress tests will help sort out the good from the bad, and that helps restore some market discipline. But the worst case scenario may not been worst case enough, or the tests weren't sufficiently stressful.”


Joseph Mason, professor of finance & banking at Louisiana State University and senior fellow at the Wharton School; former economist with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency


  • On the stress tests:  “The Treasury and Federal Reserve have not yet articulated a comprehensive strategy for dealing with banks that colloquially “fail” the stress tests, only stating that from a policy perspective no bank will “fail.”  The problem with today’s policy is that it doesn’t matter what the stress tests show because there is no mechanism for resolving their weakness.”





2:00 – 2:30




2:30 – 3:00

The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Diet

Love pizza just a little too much?  Can’t stop yourself from eating that whole bag of chips?  It might not be completely your fault.  In his new book, former FDA food commissioner David Kessler examines America’s battle with overeating and obesity.  Kessler maintains that today’s food industry is manipulating the American public to overeat in the same way that the tobacco industry manipulated it to smoke. 



David Kessler, author



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