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How the 2008 financial panic can help us face coronavirus

The Honorable Henry M. Paulson, Jr.

BY Henry M. Paulson Jr. (Original source The Washington Post) 

In 2008, the United States faced a classic financial panic. As treasury secretary, I worked to help stem the panic and restore the economy amid a witches’ brew of a bursting housing bubble, collapsing financial system, rapidly spreading fear and deeply polarized politics.

Twelve years later, the world faces the prospect of another panic, one I hope is still avoidable. The immediate cause is a novel virus, not financial markets or the economy, which remain strong. But fear is again the enemy. And lessons we learned in 2008 can be a useful guide to action. Four of these lessons are particularly important.

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