Simon Johnson, senior fellow since 2008, was previously the International Monetary Fund's Economic Counsellor and Director of the Research Department (2007–08). At the IMF, Johnson led the global economic outlook team, helped formulate innovative responses to worldwide financial turmoil, and was among the first to propose new forms of engagement for sovereign wealth funds. He was also the first IMF chief economist to have a blog.
Johnson is the Ronald A. Kurtz (1954) Professor of Entrepreneurship at the MIT Sloan School of Management. He is also a cofounder of BaselineScenario.com, a member of the Congressional Budget Office's Panel of Economic Advisers, and a member of the FDIC's Systemic Resolution Advisory Committee. He is a member of the private sector systemic risk council founded by Sheila Bair in 2012. In July 2014, he joined the Financial Research Advisory Committee of the US Treasury's Office of Financial Research (OFR).
Johnson was named a Main Street Hero by the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) in 2013 "for his articulate and outspoken support for public policies to end too-big-to-fail." Over the past five years, Johnson has published more than 300 high impact pieces in the New York Times, Bloomberg, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Atlantic, New Republic, BusinessWeek, Huffington Post, Financial Times, and Project Syndicate.
Johnson holds a BA in economics and politics from the University of Oxford, an MA in economics from the University of Manchester, and a PhD in economics from MIT.
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Diane Rehm Show Debate Over Proposed Global Trade Agreements Audio | December 17, 2013 Simon Johnson discusses the pros and cons of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and what lessons can be drawn from NAFTA.
The Wall Street Journal Four Financial Books for Summer Reading March 9, 2013 The Wall Street Journal calls White House Burning by Simon Johnson and James Kwak a "page-turner," recommending it as a top financial book for summer reading.
NPR's All Things Considered EU Votes to Have a Single Regulator for Its Banks Audio with transcript | December 13, 2012 Nicolas Véron tells NPR the move to a single regulator for banks in the European Union is truly a significant and transformational step. Simon Johnson adds that for the first time in nearly a hundred years, regulators, not politicians, will have the most influence on the banks.
NPR's All Things Considered What Does LIBOR Mean to the United States? Interview with article | July 7, 2012 Simon Johnson tells NPR that the LIBOR reporting structure has given banks an incentive and an opportunity to use lying as a systematic approach to reporting on interest rates. Listen to related interview.
Voice of America Greece Eurozone Exit Would Be Felt Worldwide Video with article | May 31, 2012 Simon Johnson explains that because the European Union is more than a quarter of the world's economic output, their mismanagement of the euro crisis could have dire implications for many countries.
NPR 'Dire Consequences' If Greece Exits Euro Audio with transcript | May 17, 2012 Simon Johnson tells NPR's John Ydstie that the bank run in Greece paired with Greece's inability to form a government could force a disorderly exit from the euro before the next elections in June. Nicolas Véron then explains why he is more optimistic that a Greek exit from the euro area can be prevented.
Bill Moyers Are JPMorgan's Losses a Canary in a Coal Mine? Audio with transcript | May 16, 2012 Simon Johnson and Bill Moyers discuss Jamie Dimon and how JPMorgan Chase lost $2 billion "all because of the complex, now-you-see-it-now-you-don't trading in exotic financial instruments that he has so ardently lobbied Congress not to regulate."
Wall Street Journal At One Think Tank, Two Opposing Views on the Euro-Zone Outlook Article | January 19, 2012 The Wall Street Journal covers the Peterson Institute event in which two opposing views on the outcome of the euro area crisis were presented. Simon Johnson and Peter Boone presented dire predictions, while C. Fred Bergsten and Jacob Funk Kirkegaard remain more optimistic.
NPR | Planet Money What Is GDP? Video | October 27, 2011 NPR's Adam Davidson takes Simon Johnson through the supermarket to understand how GDP is measured.
PBS NewsHour Governments Push for Austerity, but Can it Really Revive Growth? Video with transcript | June 30, 2011 In the wake of the Greek Parliament's vote to approve a new austerity plan and a national civil servant strike in Britain, Simon Johnson discusses with Margaret Warner whether austerity measures will help those countries.
NPR: On Point Head in the Sand Economics Audio | June 27, 2011 Simon Johnson talks with Tom Gjelten about the budget deficits in Greece and in the United States. Johnson says the rhetoric in Washington over the debt crisis is doing nothing to fix the problem. The United States needs to lower its debt-to-GDP ratio while it still has time.
C-SPAN: Congressional Testimony US and Global Economic Growth Video with transcript | June 21, 2011 Simon Johnson testifies before the Joint Economic Committee of Congress at the hearing "Spend Less, Owe Less, Grow the Economy." The best way to bring the US debt-to-GDP ratio under control is to limit future spending increases, particularly in health care, and boost revenue while the economy continues to recover. See also Johnson's testimony[pdf].
NPR Economists Weigh In on Tax Compromise Audio with transcript | December 9, 2010 NPR's Guy Raz talks with economists Simon Johnson and Greg Mankiw about their thoughts on the tax compromise.
Diane Rehm Show Protests over Pension Reform in France Audio | October 20, 2010 The Diane Rehm Show hosts a discussion aimed at understanding the pension reform crisis in France and its relevance to austerity efforts elsewhere. Guests include Simon Johnson, PIIE and MIT; Ulysse Gosset, French Television; Ron Blackwell, AFL-CIO; and Justin Vaïsse, Brookings Institution.
Minnesota Public Radio The Impact of the Bailout Audio | September 29, 2010 Simon Johnson, PIIE and MIT, and David Cho, Washington Post, discuss the effectiveness of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) and the public's reaction to the program as it comes to an end. Johnson and Cho take audience call-in questions during the hour-long radio broadcast.
FoxBusiness News Greece and Portugal to Default Video | May 10, 2010 Simon Johnson tells FoxBusiness that the recent bailout package, while providing liquidity, does not address the underlying solvency issues in Europe.
Diane Rehm Show Europe's Expanding Debt Crisis Audio | April 29, 2010 Simon Johnson joins Eswar Prasad, Brookings Institution, and Uri Dadush, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, on the Diane Rehm show to discuss what the debt burdens in Greece, Portugal, and other European countries could mean for economies worldwide.
Bill Moyers Journal Banking Reform Video with transcript | April 16, 2010 Bill Moyers interviews Simon Johnson and James Kwak on what effective financial regulation reform should look like.