M-RCBG Senior Fellow-Led Study Group: Tim Massad

A Crash Course on the Crash
The Key Things You Need to Know About the 2008 Global Financial Crisis

October 30, 4:00-5:30 Nye A (Taubman 520)

Every student of government and public policy, and anyone interested in the financial sector, should understand the 2008 global financial crisis.  It caused massive suffering—9 million jobs were lost in the U.S. alone, and trillions in savings wiped out.  And it profoundly shaped our financial system, financial regulation and our politics.   This fall marks the 10th anniversary of the crisis, a good time to reflect on its causes and consequences.
This study group will provide attendees with the basics:    

What were the primary causes of the crisis?  We will discuss what caused the housing bubble and how subprime mortgage lending, securitization and derivatives contributed to the crisis; the growth of nonbank financial institutions; and the gaps in our regulatory oversight.  

What did we do to combat the crisis?  We will discuss the actions taken by the Federal Reserve, the Treasury, the FDIC and other authorities to respond, as well as some of the most controversial questions about the response:  Why did the government not prevent the failure of Lehman Brothers?  Why weren’t there more criminal prosecutions?  

Could it happen again?  We will discuss the basic reforms undertaken since the crisis.  Are they sufficient to ensure financial stability?   And have we strengthened or weakened our ability to contain a future crisis?  

Timothy Massad.jpgTimothy Massad was at the Treasury Department from 2009 to 2014.  As the Assistant Secretary for Financial Stability, he oversaw the Troubled Asset Relief Program, and during his tenure Treasury recovered more on the TARP investments than was disbursed.  From 2014-2017, he served as Chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, where he was responsible for implementing post-crisis reforms of derivatives regulation.    
Prior to joining Treasury, he was a corporate lawyer for 25 years, specializing in financial transactions and financial markets.  He worked in New York, London and Hong Kong. Email: timothy_massad@hks.harvard.edu