Author Simon Johnson Presents White House Burning: The Founding Fathers, Our National Debt, and Why

Union League Club of Chicago Authors Group

Business Book Roundtable

April 11, 2012: 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM

In "White House Burning," Simon Johnson and James Kwak - authors of the national best-seller "13 Bankers" and cofounders of "The Baseline Scenario," a widely cited blog on economics and public policy - demystify the national debt, explaining whence it came and, even more important, what it means to you and to future generations.


Union League Club of Chicago
65 West Jackson Boulevard
Chicago, Illinois

Driving Directions:

Valet parking and indoor parking available on site.

Dress code:  business or business casual attire required.  Jeans are not allowed

ULC Information

Event Details


America is mired in debt—more than $30,000 for every man, woman, and child. Bitter fighting over deficits, taxes, and spending bedevils Washington, D.C., even as partisan gridlock has brought the government to the brink of default. Yet the more politicians on both sides of the aisle rant and the citizenry fumes, the more things seem to remain the same.

In White House Burning, Simon Johnson and James Kwak—authors of the national best seller 13 Bankers and cofounders of The Baseline Scenario, a widely cited blog on economics and public policy—demystify the national debt, explaining whence it came and, even more important, what it means to you and to future generations. They tell the story of the Founding Fathers' divisive struggles over taxes and spending. They chart the rise of the almighty dollar, which makes it easy for the United States to borrow money. They account for the debasement of our political system in the 1980s and 1990s, which produced today's dysfunctional and impotent Congress. And they show how, if we persist on our current course, the national debt will harm ordinary Americans by reducing the number of jobs, lowering living standards, increasing inequality, and forcing a sudden and drastic reduction in the government services we now take for granted.

But Johnson and Kwak also provide a clear and compelling vision for how our debt crisis can be solved while strengthening our economy and preserving the essential functions of government. They debunk the myth that such crucial programs as Social Security and Medicare must be slashed to the bone. White House Burning looks squarely at the burgeoning national debt and proposes to defuse its threat to our well-being without forcing struggling middle-class families and the elderly into poverty.

Carefully researched and informed by the same compelling storytelling and lucid analysis as 13 Bankers, White House Burning is an invaluable guide to the central political and economic issue of our time. It is certain to provoke vigorous debate..




Book is not included but will be available for sale at the event.


Register Online

Please register by Tuesday April 10th to assure seating.


Deadline: 4/10/2012


11:30 AM-1:30 PM: Reception, noon lunch, author presenation & Q&A, book signing

Speaker Profiles

Simon Johnson (Speaker)
Ronald A. Kurtz Professor of Entrepreneurship, MIT Sloan School of Management

Simon Johnson is Ronald A. Kurtz Professor of Entrepreneurship at MIT's Sloan School of Management and a senior fellow of the Peterson Institute for International Economics. He is coauthor, with James Kwak, of The Baseline Scenario, a leading economic blog, described by Paul Krugman as "a must-read" and by Bill Moyers as "one of the most informative news sites in the blogosphere."



Dana Damyen, '02 
TwoRoads Solutions, Principal

Other Information

Chicago Booth Business Book Roundtable - celebrating our 10th year anniversary

The Business Book Roundtable provides a forum for alumni, students, faculty and the Chicago community to discuss relevant and current business issues presented in recent business publications. If you wish to be notified of upcoming events, subscribe to our e-mail list below. Announcements on upcoming meetings are also made through various University of Chicago publications and the Roundtable web site. Fill out an Online Survey of any of our events.

Leadership opportunities with the Business Book Roundtable. Talent and leadership needed to take the BBRT to the next level. Specific needs in the following areas / roles: Strategic planning and execution, Treasurer, Marketing & Social Media, Event Production. Interested University of Chicago alumni and students, please contact Dana Damyen.

To Subscribe

Join us on LinkedIn: