Tag: congress

An analysis of the Republican tax plan in the House of Representatives in The New York Times’ Dealbook column cites research by Olin associate professor of finance Mark Leary. Leary and his co-authors studied corporate debt levels throughout the 20th century and the relationship to corporate tax rates.

“In a 2014 paper that studied a century of borrowing at American corporations, John R. Graham of Duke University, Mark T. Leary at Washington University in St. Louis and Michael R. Roberts at the University of Pennsylvania did not find strong evidence that corporate tax rates (and thus the deductibility of interest) had a clear influence on companies’ borrowing levels. “On aggregate, the effects were much more muted than what you’d expect,” said Mr. Leary, an associate professor.

“Conversely, of course, that means that removing the deductibility of interest may have less of an impact on how companies finance themselves than many people expect. “It could be muted in the other direction,” Mr. Leary added.”

Link to New York Times article.


Carlton Fields Jorden BurtOur morning session on May 26 kicked off with Jason Gould and Richard Choi, two inspiring speakers from Carlton Field Jorden Burt. Carlton Fields is a leading provider of legal and consultation services, mostly to financial institutions, offering solutions to compliance systems and fighting for clients in court. They described the necessity of regulation and the degree of regulation that will protect the industry as well as avoid burdening the business. After various meetings with legislative representatives, we complete our tour in D.C. by hearing from the other side of the aisle. We saw their passion and commitment to speak for regulation objectives and represent their interests. Regulation and legislation together make the financial industry healthy and secure.

Next, we departed for Capitol Hill and met with Mr. Ron Klein, a former U.S. Congressman for Florida in the House of Representatives. He served on the full Financial Services Committee, and was also a member of the subcommittee on capital markets, insurance, and government-sponsored enterprises, in addition to the subcommittee on financial institutions and consumer credit. With all this experience, he shared with us his opinions on the mortgage industry, Sarbanes Oxley, the 2007-2009 financial crisis, Fintech, government regulation, student loans, and even his thoughts on the TV series House of Cards.

Day 9 - Capitol Clock

During the speech, we heard the buzzers from the clock on the wall several times. Mr. Klein explained to us that if there are 5 bells and 5 lights on the left, there is a five-minute vote taking place. If there are 3 bells, a pause, and 5 more bells, there is a 15-minute quorum call immediately after the five-minute recorded vote.

After a short lunch break, we headed to International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a meeting to learn about its history and current role. The speaker began by sharing with us the history of the IMF, and providing insight into the IMF’s roots and its founders. Basically, it is an international central bank which promotes financial stability and cooperation between countries. We have come to appreciate its role as an international corporation. In the Q&A session, one student asked about how to determine if a country’s currency is undervalued or overvalued. The speaker spent a good deal of time answering the question, solving the doubt for students.

Day 9 - IMF

After leaving the IMF, we finally got the chance to explore the mysterious and globally renowned Brookings Institute. We then came back to the conference room and learned from Mr. Paul Gumagay, Senior Special Counsel, Office of International Affairs at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Day 9 - SEC

Mr. Gumagay’s speech was very comprehensive. He started from the very beginning of the SEC and outlined the history and structure of the organization. His presentation was also full of stories from the finance world, which helped us better understand the significance of financial regulations.

In the Q&A session, Mr. Gumagay answered questions concerning regulation of crowdfunding, lending clubs, and other kinds of financial technology firms. Combining this with what we’ve already learned about Fintech and regulation, we now have a more thorough understanding of the concept of Fintech, and how people can better utilize it to make the financial world more efficient and accessible.

Guest Bloggers: Qu (Ashley) Chen, Jialu (Lily) Zhu, Zhiru (Shirley) Lin, Mengchuan (Kitty) Wang (GMF 2016)

This is a series of blogs chronicling the experiences of 41 Global Master of Finance (GMF) dual degree students during their two week immersion course in New York and Washington, DC. Each blog will be written by a small subset of students during their experience.

Brookings Legis Fellows

The new year welcomed the Brookings’s Legis Congressional Fellows—Class of 2014. Participants in the Legis Fellows program acquire an in-depth understanding of the legislative process that helps their agency or company interact more effectively with Congress, gain an insider’s knowledge of congressional affairs and public policy, and build their resume with a unique fellowship. Fellows chose a seven-month fellowship or a twelve-month fellowship to serve in a wide variety of congressional and committee offices.

“Though threads of policy thought is more or less consistent, the spin of politics that swirl around policy can … well … leave one’s mind spinning. After a year of up-close observation and involvement Brookings Legislative Fellows will never read, blogs, journals, news or watch cable public affairs (read entertainment) content the same way again. Their understanding and insights will be levels above their peers.”

– Bob Carr, Former Congressman (D-MI); Senior Advisor, Brookings Executive Education

On January 2, Legis Fellows from federal government agencies such as Department of Commerce, Department of Agriculture, Central Intelligence Agency, Department of Defense, Department of Energy, Environmental Protection Agency, Department of State, and several others gathered to begin their eight day orientation program. The intensive orientation was led by experts at the Brookings Institution and on Capitol Hill.

“Every year I look forward to the start of the new class and finding out their unique identity. Each year, each class presents new ideas and is truly distinct.”

– Ian Dubin, Director, Legis Fellows, Brookings Executive Education

Within 10 days of orientation completing nearly 100% of the Legis Fellows were placed in congressional and committee offices. Brookings Legis Fellows are currently serving in the following offices:

  • Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI)
  • Congressman Matt Cartwright (D-PA17)
  • Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD)
  • Congresswoman Kay Granger (R-TX12)
  • Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)
  • Senator Bob Casey (D-PA)
  • Senator Jon Tester (D-MT)
  • Congressman Devin Nunes (R-CA22)
  • Congressman Devin Nunes (R-CA22)
  • Congressman Bill Posey (R-FL8)
  • Senate Foreign Relations Committee (Majority)
  • Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)
  • Senator Mark Warner (D-VA)
  • Congresswoman Diana DeGette (D-CO1)
  • Congressman Charles Boustany (R-LA3)
  • Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR)
  • Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI)
  • Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
  • Congressman Michael McCaul (R-TX10)
  • Congressman Charlie Rangel (D-NY13)
  • Senator Jack Reed (D-RI)
  • Congressman Charlie Rangel (D-NY13)
  • Congressman Robert Aderholt (R-AL4)
  • Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA)
  • Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (Maj)
  • Senate Budget Committee (Maj)
  • Congressman Scott Peters (D-CA52)
  • Senator Benjamin Cardin (D-MD)
  • Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)
  • Congressman Mike Thompson (D-CA5)
  • Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV)

“The opportunity to witness the adaptation of participants from the Executive branch of the government to the Legislative branch is remarkable and exciting. Fellows become ingrained in the culture of this once unfamiliar system.  At the end of their year on the Hill they leave the institution with a fundamental understanding of Congress and how to effectively navigate it in the future; that is truly the unique value of the fellowship.”

– Trevor Corning, Legis Program Manager

Trevor Corning served as a legislative fellow this summer in the office of Representative John Lewis. He shares highlights from his experience with one of the leaders of the Civil Rights movement.

After working at Brookings Executive Education (BEE) for two and half years, I wanted to  experience first-hand the Brookings Legis Fellows experience. This summer, I had the opportunity to have a Legislative Fellowship in the office of Congressman John Lewis, the Senior Chief Deputy Whip for the House Democratic Caucus.

Rep. John Lewis.

In my role as a Legislative Assistant, it was my responsibility to cover a set of issues and keep the Congressman up to date on any proposed bill in those disciplines, how the issues affect the district’s constituents, the political environment, and act as a resource for him to decide on a course of action.

I was the primary staff member for the Congressman when drafting both a simple resolution and a standalone bill. I acted as a policy advisor to the Representative on hundreds of amendment votes, and staffed him in caucus strategy meetings regarding significant legislative action.

In addition to the nuances of maintaining a legislative portfolio, Capitol Hill is always an exciting place to work. I was particularly fortunate to work for Congressman Lewis this summer as it marked the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington as well as the Supreme Court’s two landmark rulings which he has been and continues to be significantly involved with: The repeal of Defense of Marriage Act and striking section 4 of the Voting Rights Act.

I am happy to now return to Brookings Executive Educationwith a new perspective on the institution to more effectively educate our audience, but I implore everyone to explore an opportunity to serve in our country’s federal legislative system.

Legis Congressional Fellowship

Legis Fellows graduation.

Understanding how and why ideas and bills do or do not become law provides a baseline to begin working with our lawmakers to write and alter policy in order to make our country more free, equal, and just. I hope you will join us in some of our upcoming courses where I can share my insider’s perspective.

Legis Graduation Brookings

A number of the BEE Legis Congressional Fellows recently completed the half year term.  Senate Historian, Donald A. Ritchie, spoke and graduates received their certificates of completion at a luncheon ceremony on August 29, 2013.

Policy and leadership were smoothly woven together in the Brookings Executive Education (BEE) course Politics and Policymaking. This open enrollment program is one of the required courses for the MS-Leadership.

Combining academic expertise and illustrious experience from Capitol Hill, this course brought to life the intersection of these two essential learning elements. Lynn Ross, PhD, of Georgetown Public Policy Institute introduced the class to the policy process via the policy windows framework. This model provides participants with the means to actively engage in the process as policy entrepreneurs.

Dennis Hastert, Former Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, BEE

Dennis Hastert, former Speaker of the United States House of Representatives

Steven Smith, professor of political science, and director of the Weidenbaum Center on the Economy, Government, and Public Policy at Washington University in St. Louis, discussed real world examples of rational choice theory and spatial theory.This additional analysis provides participants with a tool to assess the likelihood of policy change.

Closing the program was former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Dennis Hastert. Speaker Hastert emphasized the way to learn is to jump in and do it.  Nothing can duplicate personal experience. He additionally advised that knowledge is the greatest power an individual can acquire and the key to being effective is to stay savvy on key issues. In essence, Hastert said, “knowledge is power”.

Capitol dome photo by: SMSGT Munnaf Joarder, U.S. Army familymwr