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We discuss the merits and viability of ideas to stimulate the economy, including borrowing from retirement accounts to pay credit card debt, creating a federal sales tax and making it easier to get small business permits. Our guests are Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy, and Anthony B. Sanders, a professor of real estate finance at George Mason University.
Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, DC. Mr. Baker previously worked as a senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute and an assistant professor at Bucknell University. He has also worked as a consultant for the World Bank, the Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Congress, and the OECD's Trade Union Advisory Council.
Mr. Baker has written several books, his latest being "The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive." His other books include "Taking Economics Seriously," which thinks through what we might gain if we took the ideological blinders off of basic economic principles, "False Profits: Recovering from the Bubble Economy" about what caused - and how to fix - the current economic crisis. In 2009, he wrote "Plunder and Blunder: The Rise and Fall of the Bubble Economy," which chronicled the growth and collapse of the stock and housing bubbles and explained how policy blunders and greed led to the catastrophic - but completely predictable - market meltdowns.
Anthony B. Sanders is Distinguished Professor of Real Estate Finance in the School of Management at George Mason University. He has previously taught at University of Chicago (Graduate School of Business), University of Texas at Austin (McCombs School of Business) and The Ohio State University (Fisher College of Business). In addition, he served as Director and Head of Asset-backed and Mortgage-backed Securities Research at Deutsche Bank in New York City. Mr. Sanders has testified twice in the U.S. House of Representatives on the TARP.
He has served as a consultant to various firms on the subjects of real estate asset risk, mortgage design, mortgage-backed securities (MBS) and commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS), and risk management. He has served as an expert witness on behalf of the U.S. Department of Justice, Merrill Lynch, UBS/Paine Webber, and Wachovia/First Union Bank.
Earlier this month, the House of Representatives passed the 21st Century Cures Act in a rare bi-partisan effort. The bill is meant to speed the development of lifesaving treatments, but critics warn it may also allow ineffective or even harmful drugs onto the market.