This course explores key issues in contemporary US economic policy. The class combines a 2-hour introductory module on Tuesdays, followed by a 2-hour seminar session on Thursdays during which we will discuss specific case studies. Attendance of both classes is mandatory. The topics covered in depth include: US monetary policy under Greenspan and Bernanke; the US housing bubble and the financial crisis of 2008/09; the growth of the financial sector and financial regulation; the decline of the savings rate; the debate about fiscal policy; long-term challenges for public finances; the economics of health reform; outsourcing and energy policy. Course requirements: The requirements are active participation, biweekly 1-page response papers to the required readings and a final 15 page essay. The seminar will be taught in English. Homework and essays can be written in German or English. Ability and willingness to read English texts is essential in any case. Texts will be made available on Blackboard. Registration: students wishing to participate in this seminar need to register early with the department of economics (R 232, Tel. 838 536 03, firstname.lastname@example.org) If interest exceeds capacity, a preliminary assessment will determine who can participate. Students absolutely need to attend the first session.