Economic challenges take center stage at Open Classroom

On Wednesday, former Har­vard pres­i­dent and Obama adviser Larry Sum­mers joined Gre­gory Mankiw, an adviser to Mitt Romney, for a standing-​​room-​​only dis­cus­sion hosted by the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs.

3Qs: Coping with cascading crises

Finan­cial prob­lems can arise in many forms, from the plunging economy to the after­math of nat­ural dis­as­ters. We asked Randy Colvin, an asso­ciate pro­fessor of psy­chology at North­eastern, to dis­cuss the psy­cho­log­ical impacts of a looming double-​​dip reces­sion paired with the dev­as­ta­tion caused by nat­ural dis­as­ters such as Hur­ri­cane Irene — as well as ways people can improve their emo­tional health in the face of such stress.

3Qs: Getting the story on the debt ceiling

The con­tentious debate over the debt ceiling became one of this summer’s hottest news sto­ries. We asked Dan Kennedy, assis­tant pro­fessor of jour­nalism at North­eastern Uni­ver­sity, to assess the overall cov­erage as well as the chal­lenges jour­nal­ists face when reporting any polit­i­cally charged story.

3Qs: Warning signs forecasted latest economic plunge

Last week, the stock market suf­fered its worst stretch since 2008, while Stan­dard & Poor’s down­graded the government’s credit rating for the first time in his­tory. We asked finance expert Jef­frey Born, a pro­fessor in the Col­lege of Busi­ness Admin­is­tra­tion, to weigh in on the S&P down­grade, the impact of fiscal tur­moil in Europe on the Amer­ican economy and the risk of a double-​​dip reces­sion — all fac­tors weighing down investor sen­ti­ment when it comes to the world’s major economies.

3Qs: Buying into the knockoff factor?

Retail titans Apple, Nike and Ikea have to com­pete with impostor replicas of their retail stores that have popped up in the southern dis­trict of Kun­ming city in south­west China and other parts of the world. These stores hawk knockoff prod­ucts to some­times unknowing cus­tomers. Tony Gao, an assis­tant pro­fessor of mar­keting in Northeastern’s Col­lege of Busi­ness Admin­is­tra­tion, inter­prets the broader impli­ca­tions to con­sumer wel­fare, intel­lec­tual prop­erty rights pro­tec­tion and how these com­pet­i­tive behav­iors affect inter­na­tional marketing.

3Qs: Despite debt deal, damage done

Con­gress and Pres­i­dent Obama reached a last-​​minute agree­ment on Tuesday to raise the nation’s debt ceiling, and avoid default. How­ever, the crisis has dam­aged the United States’ standing in the world’s economy, according to Kamran Dad­khah, an asso­ciate pro­fessor of eco­nomics at North­eastern University.