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SCS Helps China Group Understand Economic Crisis
A Chinese delegation is learning about the global economic crisis and how the United States played a role from Georgetown professors and other experts as part of an outreach effort by the university's School of Continuing Studies (SCS).

The 40-member delegation -- comprising economists and government leaders in representing banks, the energy and aerospace sectors and other areas -- has been traveling around the country since Oct. 19, and will end its tour in Washington on Nov.13.

“They're trying to figure out from a U.S. context not only how the global economic crisis happened, but how the U.S. has responded,” said SCS Dean Robert Manuel.

The delegation has specifically focused on the role of regulating agencies, how public policies are being created, how the government is intervening and how the states interact with the federal government.

SCS, Law Center and Georgetown Public Policy Institute (GPPI) professors have been focusing on how the American government influences China's economic policy during the last leg of the four-week program.

The delegation, thus far, has met with Jim Feinerman, the James M. Morita Professor of Asian Legal Studies and director of the Asian law and policy studies department; GPPI visiting professor Alice Rivlin, who has served as vice chair of the Federal Reserve Board; SCS adjunct professor Roy Bernardi, a former deputy secretary at HUD, and a number of other faculty members. Co-director of the Brookings Institution's Economic Studies Program and former GPPI associate professor Ted Gayer will speak to the delegation on Nov. 5 about environmental economics.

“This was an attempt to create living case studies, where we put together in a single room the leaders in the U.S. who are experienced in crafting policy with the leaders from China who are trying to figure out their own issues while intellectuals from Georgetown try to engage everyone in the conversation,” said Manuel. “This experience allows us to talk about something very contemporary and timely with people who have access to positions that will change the course this financial crisis.”

For the first couple of weeks, the Chinese officials met with senior leadership across the country from the private sector, including Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, Caterpillar Corporation, CGI and the Chicago Board of Trade.

The meetings allowed Chinese officials to ask industry leaders questions while seeking solutions for their own concerns about overpopulation and energy consumption, Manuel said. But he added that the conversations also proved educational for all participants.

“Here you have the rare opportunity to have conversations with a group of Chinese who run some of the largest banks in the world as well as the regulating agencies in China,” he explained. “So, the dialogue coming from these meetings is rich with information for the faculty and all participants.”

The delegation returned to Washington on Oct. 25 and shortly after began meeting with leaders from the Department of Treasury, the Federal Reserve, Housing and Urban Development, Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, the S.E.C, Federal Home Loan Bank, IMF and The World Bank. They also will have the opportunity to speak with leadership from Capitol Hill and the White House.

-- Nia Hightower

(November 3, 2009)
'This experience allows us to talk about something very contemporary and timely with people who have access to positions that will change the course this financial crisis.' -- Robert Manuel, School of Continuing Studies dean

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