Ken Rogoff is the Professor of Public Policy and the Professor of Economics at Harvard University and was previously the Economic Counsellor and Director of the Research Department of the IMF. He is one of the world’s leading advisers on the economic crisis.
After studying at Yale and MIT (the latter being interrupted by a nascent professional career as a chess Grandmaster), Ken worked as a professor at Harvard (in economics) and Princeton (in international affairs). He then served as an economist at the International Monetary Fund and also on the Board of Governors of the US Federal Reserve.
A widely published author on fiscal and monetary economics and macroeconomics, Ken has become best known for his work on financial crises. His book This Time is Different (co-authored with Carmen Reinhart), has become essential reading for the world’s finance ministers and central bank chiefs. The award-winning book is noted as the definitive history of financial crises over the last eight centuries and highlights the wide variety of mistakes and flawed solutions that have marked major economic events and the stark similarities between them. Looking at examples from sixty-six countries across five continents, Ken points out the common causes of financial crashes in both rich and poor nations, and explains why they occur unexpectedly and in clusters, and why the same short-term policy errors are just as likely to happen again.
Ken has been consulted by US and European governments on the causes, effects and best routes out of the global financial crisis, although he is cynical about governmental influence in financial crises. He states recoveries from debt-driven recessions are slower than recoveries from business cycle recessions and that it could still take Europe a decade to resolve its debt issues. He argues that when a state’s debts exceed 90 per cent of GDP, they will reduce the economic potential of the country.
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