Hall of Mirrors: The Great Depression, the Great Recession and the Uses — and Misuses — of History

January 6, 2015

6:30pm - 8:00pm

Santa Monica


Barry Eichengreen, professor of economics and political science at the University of California, Berkeley
Moderated by Michael Hiltzik, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author



Hall of Mirrors

As the world slowly shakes off the lingering effects of the Great Recession, a renowned economist, author and policy advisor identifies the similar causes and responses that hampered recoveries from the 2008 financial meltdown and the Great Depression.

At this Milken Institute Forum, Barry Eichengreen discussed his book, “Hall of Mirrors: The Great Depression, the Great Recession and the Uses — and Misuses — of History.” Eichengreen makes the case that the two worst economic crises of the past 100 years were preceded by credit booms, questionable banking practices and a fragile global financial system.

Eichengreen asks why policymakers in the U.S. and Europe didn’t do better in 2008, given that the lessons of the crash of 1929 were so well known. In his comparison of the two crises, Eichengreen examines the responses of governments on both sides of the Atlantic to explain the missteps that have made the current recovery so slow.


Author photo Eichengreen Barry Eichengreen is the George C. Pardee and Helen N. Pardee Professor of Economics and Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley. His previous books include “Exorbitant Privilege: The Rise and Fall of the Dollar and the Future of the International Monetary System” and “Golden Fetters: The Gold Standard and the Great Depression, 1919-1939.” He is a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research in Cambridge, Mass., and is a research fellow of the Centre for Economic Policy Research in London. In 1997-98 he served as senior policy advisor at the International Monetary Fund.



LAT portrait 1 Michael Hiltzik is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author who has worked for the Los Angeles Times for three decades covering finance, politics and technology. He also wrote about Africa and Russia as a foreign correspondent for the newspaper. Hiltzik’s book, “The New Deal: A Modern History,” was published in 2011. His next book, “Big Science: Ernest O. Lawrence, the Cyclotron, and the Birth of the Military-Industrial Complex,” will be published next year. Hiltzik was awarded a Pulitzer in 1999 for investigative articles exposing corruption in the entertainment industry.