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Rob Johnson
Robert Johnson serves as the Executive Director of the Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET) and a Senior Fellow and Director of the Global Finance Project for the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute in New York.

Johnson is an international investor and consultant to investment funds on issues of portfolio strategy. He recently served on the United Nations Commission of Experts on International Monetary Reform under the Chairmanship of Joseph Stiglitz.

Previously, Johnson was a Managing Director at Soros Fund Management where he managed a global currency, bond and equity portfolio specializing in emerging markets. Prior to working at Soros Fund Management, he was a Managing Director of Bankers Trust Company managing a global currency fund.

Johnson served as Chief Economist of the US Senate Banking Committee under the leadership of Chairman William Proxmire (D. Wisconsin). Before this, he was Senior Economist of the US Senate Budget Committee under the leadership of Chairman Pete Domenici (R. New Mexico).

Johnson was an Executive Producer of the Oscar winning documentary, Taxi to the Dark Side, directed by Alex Gibney, and is the former President of the National Scholastic Chess Foundation. He currently sits on the Board of Directors of both the Economic Policy Institute and the Campaign for America’s Future.

Johnson received a Ph.D. and M.A. in Economics from Princeton University and a B.S. in both Electrical Engineering and Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Entries by Rob Johnson

The Political Underbelly of the Pensions Crisis: What Broke the System, and How Do We Fix It?

(67) Comments | Posted February 25, 2014 | 3:09 PM

The following is adapted from the author's forthcoming paper on the public pensions crisis.

Since the beginning of the Great Recession, policymakers and reporters have spoken of a growing crisis in public pensions. Many state and local governments are struggling to meet their obligations to retirees, and the easiest explanation...

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INET Video Series: Re-Examining Research on Financial Economics

(95) Comments | Posted April 21, 2012 | 11:50 AM

Any student of financial history would have to conclude that financial crises and the volatility created by the instabilities of finance in recent years are an organic and harmful element of our social system. Wars and financial crises are time and again the greatest sources of disruption of the social...

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Gandhi's Wings: Occupy Wall Street and the Redistribution of Anxiety

(111) Comments | Posted October 28, 2011 | 9:08 AM

It's my home -- last night I dreamt that I grew wings
I found a place where they could hear me when I sing

--"Wings" by Josh Ritter

Occupy Wall Street is about anxiety, and the courage of young people to fly into conflict on Gandhi's wings. This...

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A Symptom of Desperation? Querying QE3

(130) Comments | Posted August 19, 2011 | 8:48 AM

When an economy is in a slump and the fear of debt overhang and default surrounds us, there is a tendency to tighten our belts. But these actions only serve to deepen the slump. Economists suggest that to offset private caution, we should resort to public sector stimulus. Hopefully, such...

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From New Deal To Raw Deal: The Real Economics Of Cutting Social Security

(100) Comments | Posted July 7, 2011 | 8:03 PM

This morning the Washington Post reported that the White House is offering to cut Social Security as part of a broader budget deal with the Republicans. At last we have the answer to the question everyone has been asking about the Democrats: How far can they go?


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Who Is Influencing Obama's Budget Proposal? Follow the Funders

(122) Comments | Posted February 15, 2011 | 9:45 AM

President Obama is a smart man. When Gallup surveys suggest that unemployment is around 10 percent -- and that unemployment plus underemployment is 19 percent of the workforce -- then it's clear that the best way to raise revenues and close the deficit is to put people back...

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Deficit Commission Recs: We Gotta Get Out of This Place

(89) Comments | Posted November 12, 2010 | 10:18 AM

The Deficit Commission co-chairmen's report came out on Wednesday. The number of pundits and editorial boards who are trying to declare their first proposal as courageous or bold or balanced is testament to how silly the ritual has become. Many commentators are reveling in the fact that both the Left...

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"Rules of Our Society Should Not Be Bought and Sold": Roosevelt Election Roundup

(6) Comments | Posted November 3, 2010 | 3:44 PM

In the wake of a Democratic loss not seen in the House since 1938, upended Senate seats, and Republican gubernatorial wins, Roosevelt Institute Fellows weigh in. Was the vote a referendum on Democrats? What will it mean moving forward? This post originally appeared on New Deal 2.0.


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Double Dip and Dysfunction

(631) Comments | Posted August 19, 2010 | 11:36 AM

Standin at the crossroad babe
risin sun goin down
Standin at the crossroad babe
eee eee eee, risin sun goin down
I believe to my soul now,
Poor Bob is sinkin down

--"Crossroad Blues", by Robert Johnson (1936)

We've been hearing a lot...

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Help Take the Move Your Money Campaign to the Next Level

(57) Comments | Posted April 13, 2010 | 7:12 PM

In the short time since the Move Your Money project started, we've seen the movement grow beyond anything we ever anticipated. It's been an energizing and inspiring three months.

What started out as a conversation around a holiday dinner table among friends has turned into a full-fledged grassroots...

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FCIC Hearings Must Shatter the 'Sociopathic Nature' of Wall Street

(26) Comments | Posted January 13, 2010 | 2:55 PM

The Hearings of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission began belatedly this morning. Carrying a structure of decision making that appears to be designed to make it hard to get things done, Chairman Phil Angelides has a gargantuan task before him. The first session, which...

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Reviving Confidence in the American Economy: China, Investment and the Deficit Hawks

(29) Comments | Posted December 30, 2009 | 6:36 PM

Since the early 1980s, rises in the living standard of middle class United States citizens have not kept up with the gains in labor productivity. Wages in the middle class have been close to flat. At the same time, consumer spending continued to grow abetted by innovations in consumer finance...

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Move Your Money: A New Year's Resolution

(5117) Comments | Posted December 29, 2009 | 5:02 PM

First posted on December 29, 2009

Take the pledge to Move Your Money!

Too-big-to-fail banks are profiting from bailout dollars and government guarantees, and growing bigger. Tell us which community bank you use, and why.

Last week, over a pre-Christmas dinner, the two of us, along with...

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My Testimony Before the U.S. Senate on Reforming Financial Market Regulation

(9) Comments | Posted November 18, 2009 | 1:30 PM

Chairman Lincoln, Ranking Member Chambliss, and Members of the Committee, thank you for inviting me to testify before you today. The American people clearly sense that there is something deeply flawed in the current structure of our financial markets and the political process that has spawned them. One does not...

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Tragically Charismatic

(81) Comments | Posted November 4, 2009 | 1:01 PM

Barack Obama was elected to the White House just after the turmoil of TARP and the climax of the crisis of financial markets. People throughout the country had deep suspicions of the government and justifiably so. After all, the Bush years were a feeding frenzy for cronyism and corporate welfare....

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Opening Night in Chicago: Senator Durbin Denounces Unfairness; Calls for Reform

(49) Comments | Posted October 26, 2009 | 10:55 AM

"There were times when I thought I couldn't last for long
But now I think I'm able to carry on
It's been a long, been a long time coming
But I know a change is gonna come, oh yes it will"

-Sam Cooke: A Change is...

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2 to Go: Letter to the FCIC

(2) Comments | Posted September 17, 2009 | 11:14 AM

Today, the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, established by Congress to investigate the causes of the financial market collapse, will hold its first public meeting. The choice in front of us is stark. The public is concerned and rightfully so. Will we take this opportunity to find out what caused the...

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Jim Chanos Warned Brown, Geithner, and Others about Coming Financial Crash in 2007

(46) Comments | Posted September 1, 2009 | 7:18 PM

They say they didn't see it coming. They say there was no way they could have known.

But they were warned. And here's the proof.

On April 17, 2007, famed short-seller Jim Chanos and other hedge fund managers met under tight security at the World Bank in Washington for the...

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Squandered Honeymoon: How Botched Bailouts Hamper Healthcare Reform

(397) Comments | Posted August 27, 2009 | 12:52 PM

We live in an era where the effectiveness of government has been denigrated for more than 30 years. The echo chamber of the right, particularly since the election of Ronald Reagan, has sought to intimidate anyone who let the romantic notion into their head that government can help. They even...

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Ah, Wall Street. Seeing The Real You at Last.

(9) Comments | Posted July 29, 2009 | 3:50 PM

Well, I sailed through the storm Strapped to the mast, But the time has come And I'm seeing the real you at last.
--Bob Dylan, "Seeing the Real You at Last"

Innovation. It is a lovely word that teases the mind with the notion of expansive possibilities. Pushes...

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