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American University Experts Available to Comment on Financial Crisis

American University experts are available to provide analysis of the financial crisis, the rescue plan, the impact of both on the economy, small businesses and U.S. taxpayers. For complete expert profiles, see AU’s online Expert's Guide.

Barbara Bird, a management professor and entrepreneurship expert, says the crisis presents bad news and good news for small businesses. First, the bad news: “Small businesses without positive cash flow will be hit hard,” Bird says. “Any firm that relies on credit to make ends meet will struggle.” Now, the good news: “Times of chaos like this present great opportunities for start up businesses,” Bird says. “Companies will need help in interpreting and adapting to new financial regulation. Those laid off from firms such as Lehman Brothers could rise to fill that need.” 

Don Williamson, a taxation professor, can address the rescue plan’s tax implications for the average citizen. He says the plan will likely increase cancellation of indebtedness income. “People who are in danger of having their homes foreclosed upon will settle the amount they owe with their mortgage companies,” Williamson says. “Debt the homeowner cannot afford to pay will be cancelled by the mortgage company and counted as income for the homeowner.” Only people whose cancelled debt is more than $2 million will be taxed on it, but anyone who takes advantage of the deal would be wise to stay in their homes. “The value of the home is no longer what the homeowner originally agreed to pay for it,” Williamson says. “According to the law, the home is only worth the amount of debt the homeowner and mortgage company negotiated,"

Robert Carroll, a senior faculty fellow in AU’s Center for Public Finance Research and former Treasury Department official, can address the specifics of the bailout bill and the history of similar efforts. Carroll was the Treasury Department’s deputy assistant secretary for tax analysis and a senior economist on the Bush administration’s Council of Economic Advisers. He is vice president for economic policy at the Tax Foundation.

George Guess, director of the Center for Public Finance Research, can comment on the details of the bailout bill and how it compares to remedies for previous financial crises. Guess, an expert on public budgeting and finance, spent two years with the Fiscal Affairs Department of the International Monetary Fund and for more than 20 years, has served in numerous leadership positions to reform overseas central and local government systems.

Robert Losey, a finance professor, can talk about the impact of the crisis on Wall Street, banks, and the U.S. economy in broad terms. He is an expert on financial markets, investments, futures and options, banking, and corporate finance.

Robert Blecker, an economics professor, can address the crisis in terms of its broad impact on the U.S. economy. He teaches courses on international economics, macroeconomics, and political economy. He is the author of Taming Global Finance(Economic Policy Institute, 1999) and coauthor of Fundamentals of U.S. Foreign Trade Policy(Westview, 2003).


American University is a leader in global education, enrolling a diverse student body from throughout the United States and nearly 140 countries. Located in Washington, D.C., the university provides opportunities for academic excellence, public service, and internships in the nation’s capital and around the world.

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