Fiscal Forum: The Political Economy of Rising Public Debt

Conf. Hall 2, HQ2-01A-830





Moderator: David Wessel

David Wessel is director of the Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy, which provides independent, non-partisan analysis of fiscal and monetary policy issues in order to further public understanding and to improve the quality and effectiveness of those policies. He joined Brookings in December 2013 after 30 years on the staff of The Wall Street Journal where, most recently was Economics Editor and wrote the weekly Capital Column. He is still a contributing correspondent to The Wall Street Journal and appears frequently on NPR’s Morning Edition.



Christine Lagarde

Christine Lagarde is Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund since July 2011. She held various ministerial positions within the Frenchgovernment, including Finance and Economy Minister (2007–11), Minister for Foreign Trade, and Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries. She has also been Chairman of the Global Exchange Committee and Global Strategic Committee of Baker & McKenzie.


Joaquim Levy

Joaquim Levy took office as the Finance Minister of Brazil in early 2015. Prior to his appointment, Mr. Levy was the President of Bradesco Asset Management, a division of Bradesco, Brazil's second largest private bank. He also held various positions in government and economics, such as Secretary of Finance for Rio de Janeiro, Vice-President of Finance and Administration at the IDB, Secretary at the National Treasury, Chief Economist, Ministry of Planning, Budget and Management, Deputy Secretary of Economic Policy at the Ministry of Finance, Visiting Economist at the ECB and Economist with the IMF. Mr. Levy is a graduate in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Chicago and a Master in economics from Getúlio Vargas Foundation.


Helen Clark

Helen Clark is the Administrator of the U.N. Development Programme (UNDP) and Former Prime Minister of New Zealand. As Prime Minister, she served three consecutive terms from 1999 to 2008. She was the first woman elected at a general election as the Prime Minister and the fifth longest serving person to hold that office. During the 1980s and early 90s, Ms. Clark held numerous Cabinet positions, including Minister of Housing and Minister of Health and Minister of Conservation. She held the position of Deputy Prime Minister for a year. Ms. Clark graduated from the University of Auckland in 1974 and became politically active in the New Zealand Labour Party as a teenager.