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Bloomberg Television and Intelligence Squared U.S. Announce Lineup for Third “That’s Debatable” Episode, Premiering on Friday, December 4 at 7:00 PM

November 23, 2020

Debating the Motion “Stop Worrying About National Deficits”: Stephanie Kelton & James Galbraith vs. Todd Buchholz & Otmar Issing On Friday, December 4 at 7:00 PM ET Bloomberg Television will...

Debating the Motion “Stop Worrying About National Deficits”: Stephanie Kelton & James Galbraith vs. Todd Buchholz & Otmar Issing

On Friday, December 4 at 7:00 PM ET Bloomberg Television will present the third episode of “That’s Debatable,” presented in partnership with Intelligence Squared U.S. and sponsored exclusively by IBM, with an episode debating the motion “Stop Worrying About National Deficits.” As governments around the world have spent large sums to combat the economic impacts of coronavirus, what does rising government debt mean for our future? A new crop of economists has a bold proposition: Don't worry about it. In a modern economy, they argue, deficits are no excuse to halt state spending on things like education and healthcare. But others are far warier, warning that unless political leaders balance the books, soaring federal debt could undermine a nation's economic future and compromise national security.

Arguing in favor of the motion “Stop Worrying About National Deficits” are Stephanie Kelton, senior economic adviser to Bernie Sanders' presidential campaigns, and James Galbraith, who was Executive Director of the Joint Economic Committee in Congress. Arguing against the motion are Todd Buchholz, director of economic policy under President George H. W. Bush, and Otmar Issing, former chief economist of the European Central Bank.

Filmed in front of a live virtual audience, “That’s Debatable” will be conducted in the traditional Oxford-style format with two teams of two subject matter experts debating over four rounds, moderated by veteran Intelligence Squared U.S. moderator John Donvan. The live virtual audience will vote via mobile for or against the motion to determine the winner, to be announced at the conclusion of the program.

“That’s Debatable” also presents some of the first AI-aided debates, designed to demonstrate how AI can be used to bring a larger range of voices and opinions to the public square. During the debate, IBM Watson plans to use Key Point Analysis, a new capability in Natural Language Processing (NLP) developed by the same IBM Research team that created Project Debater, which is designed to analyze viewer submitted arguments and provide insight into the global public opinion on each episode’s debate topic.


*  Stephanie Kelton: Economist & Author, "The Deficit Myth"

Stephanie Kelton is the bestselling author of "The Deficit Myth" and a leading authority on Modern Monetary Theory, a new approach to economics that has been embraced by leaders like Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio Cortez. Kelton served as chief economist on the U.S. Senate Budget Committee and was a senior economic adviser to Sanders' presidential campaigns. She was named one of the 50 people most influencing the policy debate in America by POLITICO and is currently a professor at Stony Brook University.

* James Galbraith: Professor of Public Affairs & Former Executive Director, Congressional Joint Economic Committee

James Galbraith is an economist and professor of public affairs at the University of Texas at Austin. He was executive director of the Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Congress in the early 1980s and previously chaired the board of Economists for Peace and Security. Galbraith is the author of several books, including "Inequality: What Everyone Needs to Know."


* Todd Buchholz: Former White House Director of Economic Policy & Author, "The Price of Prosperity"

Todd Buchholz a leading expert on the economy, stock market, and politics. He was director of economic policy under President George H. W. Bush and managing director of the Tiger Management hedge fund. He is the author of "New Ideas from Dead Economists" and “The Price of Prosperity: Why Rich Nations Fail and How to Renew Them.”

* Otmar Issing: Former Chief Economist, European Central Bank

Otmar Issing is a former chief economist and member of the board of the European Central Bank. Issing chaired the Advisory Council on a New Financial Order appointed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel (2008-2010) and was as an international adviser to Goldman Sachs (2007-2018). He currently serves as president of the Center for Financial Studies at Goethe University, Frankfurt.

About Bloomberg Media:

Bloomberg Media is a leading, global, multi-platform brand that provides decision-makers with timely news, analysis and intelligence on business, finance, technology, climate change, politics and more. Powered by a newsroom of over 2,700 journalists and analysts, it reaches influential audiences worldwide across every platform including digital, social, TV, radio, print and live events. Bloomberg Media is a division of Bloomberg LP. Visit for more information.

About Intelligence Squared U.S.:

A non-partisan, non-profit organization, Intelligence Squared U.S. was founded to address a fundamental problem in America: the extreme polarization of our nation and our politics. Their mission is to restore critical thinking, facts, reason, and civility to American public discourse. The award-winning debate series reaches millions of viewers and listeners through multi-platform distribution, including public radio, podcasts, live streaming, newsletters, interactive digital content, and on-demand apps including Roku and Apple TV. With over 180 debates and counting, Intelligence Squared U.S. has encouraged the public to "think twice" on a wide range of provocative topics. Author and ABC News correspondent John Donvan has moderated IQ2US since 2008.

About IBM Watson:

Watson is IBM’s AI technology for business, helping organizations to better predict and shape future outcomes, automate complex processes, and optimize employees’ time. Watson has evolved from an IBM Research project, to experimentation, to a scaled set of products that run anywhere. With more than 30,000 client engagements, Watson is being applied by leading global brands across a variety of industries to transform how people work. To learn more, visit:

To learn more about Natural Language Processing and how new capabilities like Key Point Analysis are designed to analyze and generate insights from thousands of arguments on any topic, visit:

For more information on Intelligence Squared U.S., please contact Ray Padgett ( or Mark Satlof ( at Shore Fire Media.

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