77 North Washington Street

  Hassett and Glassman

JAMES K. Glassman and Kevin A. Hassett, who in their separate careers have written widely about economic matters, arrived at Washington's American Enterprise Institute a few years ago, and soon fell into conversation. They were curious about the same phenomenon: the stock market kept going up even as market professionals worried that it must soon come crashing down. Glassman and Hassett decided to look into the matter, and eventually concluded that traditional methods of assessment have badly undervalued the stock market. Today's stock prices, they argue, are therefore not too high, and don't represent an irrational "bubble"; indeed, prices are probably destined to go much higher. The fruits of Glassman and Hassett's collaboration are found in this month's cover story, "Dow 36,000."

Glassman and Hassett bring an extraordinary amount of expertise to their investigation. Kevin Hassett has taught economics at the Graduate School of Business of Columbia University and also served as a senior economist for the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. His commentaries are aired frequently on CNN, CNBC, and other television outlets.

James Glassman, who describes his professional interests as "public-policy issues that arise at the intersection of finance, economics, and politics," will be familiar to many readers as a syndicated Washington Post columnist, and to television viewers as the host of CNN's Capital Gang Sunday and a commentator on PBS's From 1988 to 1993 Glassman was the editor and a part owner of Roll Call, the highly regarded newspaper that covers Congress. His association with The Atlantic Monthly has been a long one. He served for two years as this magazine's publisher during the mid-1980s, and he has contributed articles to the magazine since his earliest days as a journalist. His very first Atlantic article -- "SDS at Chicago" -- was published thirty years ago this fall.

The premises of "Dow 36,000" are certain to generate a lively, even heated, discussion. "We have gotten two kinds of reactions," Glassman says. "There are those who think we've come up with an intriguing and important idea. And then there are those who respond with outrage, because we're challenging everything they've believed about the stock market for thirty or forty years. A lot of people aren't ready to be open-minded on this subject."


Photograph by Philip Birmingham.

The Atlantic Monthly; September 1999; 77 North Washington Street - 99.09; Volume 284, No. 3; page 8.