The financial system of the United States and of the Western world had come to a pass which we had not seen in our professional lifetimes. We are confronting a series of difficulties which will not be overcome by ordinary processes of market adjustment in a very short period of time, nor by minor regulatory fixes and interventions. The macroeconomic implications of this problem would become essentially the dominant economic issue within a reasonably short period of time. And we need new solutions. This was the theme of the conference organized in November 2008 by Economists for Peace and Security, the Charles Leopold Mayer Foundation Initiative for Re-thinking the Economy, and the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College.