Tag: Council of Economic Advisers

The formal programming of the immersion course in Washington DC began at the Brookings Institution on May 23. Ian Dubin, Associate Director of Brookings Executive Education, the partnership of the Brookings Institution and Olin Business School, welcomed and introduced us to the long history between the Brookings Institution and Washington University. Philanthropist Robert S. Brookings, the founder of Brookings Institution, was also president of the WashU Board of Trustees from 1895 to 1928. Besides devoting his time, Mr. Brookings also gave his fortune, and later his personal estate, to revitalize the university. It immediately reminded us of Brookings Hall and the Brookings Quadrangle back on campus in St. Louis.

The first guest speaker of the day was a correspondent for The New York Times and an author. He briefed us on the political situation in Washington D.C. under the current administration; he saw it as an interesting time in current American politics, especially because one party controlled the the White House, the Senate, and the House of Representatives at the same time. The Trump administration is seeking a wide range of changes in tax policy, health care policy, and global trade. The speaker also discussed the vital role that automation will play in the US manufacturing industry, offering us another way to think about the future of manufacturing in the US. Later, the Q&A session also covered topics such as over regulation/deregulation, the tax cut, and budget cuts.

Next, we learned from an individual with an impressive resume in academia, high levels of government, and financial institutions. She first gave us a brief introduction to the role of the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA), which is to provide academic views and economic insight on current micro economic and macroeconomic trends to the White House. She then shared with us more insights about serving as an economist with the CEA on a daily basis. Primarily, her role had four responsibilities: consulting on policy process to get certain legislation to pass Congress, advising the President by briefing and writing memos of pros and cons of relevant issues, updating the President on recent research, and providing external reports on certain economic events. She felt honored that their work was highly valued by the President since he incorporated their thoughts into his thinking. Overall, her speech was inspiring and insightful.

After lunch, our next speaker was a fellow in Economic Studies at the Brookings Institution, where he focuses on financial regulation and technology, macroeconomics, and infrastructure finance and policy. Today’s speech was focused on the Dodd-Frank Act, which he has worked on significantly. The act promotes financial stability, accountability, and transparency in the financial systems. He then discussed Dodd-Frank’s significant impacts on the financial regulatory environment, and the balance between economics of scopes and scale and the added costs brought by the Act. Also, he mentioned the fact that the current administration is attempting to roll back certain components of the Dodd-Frank Act and the rationale behind it.

Our speaker then introduced the history of American financial regulations, ranging from Glass-Steagall Act (1933), Community Reinvestment Act (1977), Sarbanes-Oxley Act Section 404 (2002), to the Volcker Rule (2010). During the Q&A session, he answered one of the student’s questions and talked a little about the geographical distribution of the US population and its regional features.

With the evolution of the influence of the Federal Reserve on financial markets and the implications of the Federal Reserve’s actions on the US economy currently being significant, our final speaker was perhaps the best person to provide insight on the institution. She has a significant history with the Federal Reserve, and continues to monitor it closely. With the U.S. economy in its 8th year of recovery, monetary policy having clearly been effective in the recovery process, is currently not particularly controversial. However, it is expected that over the next 12 months, the Federal Reserve may look to make a couple of small increases in short-term interest rates and attempt to reduce the large size of the Fed’s balance sheet, which is primarily due to the quantitative easing during the Global Financial Crisis (2008).

In a forward-looking view on the U.S. economy, our speaker held a positive view on where things are currently heading. However, she highlighted four significant challenges the country faces moving to the future: the aging workforce, climate change, looming federal debt, and income inequality. She also shared how the Clinton administration was able to generate a fiscal surplus, primarily due to the complementary work done by monetary and fiscal policy.

To conclude her speech, she addressed the causes leading into the Global Financial Crisis and the lessons they had learned or probably should have learned from the Asian Financial Crisis (1997). With the four speakers of the day providing us with insight on a diverse set of topics, we left Brookings for the day only to look forward to what awaits us the next day.

Guest Bloggers: Xin Hu, Krishna Chaitanya Mutya, Hanyi Zhou, Bingjie (Zoe) Zou (GMF 2017)

This is a series of blogs chronicling the experiences of 42 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. Names of speakers and presenters at firms are anonymous at the request of the firms and course organizers.

Photo: President Obama signs the Dodd-Frank Act in 2010.

The White House has called on business schools to expand initiatives for women pursuing business degrees and prepare them for the the 21st century workplace. Dean Gupta and Mark Brostoff, associate dean and director of Olin’s Weston Career Center, are attending a convening at the White House hosted by the White House Council on Women and Girls and the Council of Economic Advisers on Aug. 5, 2015.

The White House Council on Women & Girls & the Council of Economic Advisors Convening on the Working Families Economic Agenda

The White House Council on Women & Girls & the Council of Economic Advisors Convening on the Working Families Economic Agenda

More than 40 business schools met with industry leaders to discuss recruiting, training, and retaining leaders for the 21st-century workplace and the importance of implementing policies that work for families. The meeting considered a proposed set of Best Practices for Business Schools to Lead in Expanding Opportunities for Women in Business and Adapt to the Changing Workforce. The document was drafted after a meeting in April 2014 of senior administration officials and business school deans.

Olin Business School announced its commitment to the four key areas set out in the Best Practices for Business Schools to expand opportunities for women:

  • Ensuring access to business schools and business careers for women
  • Building a business school experience that prepares women for the workforce of tomorrow
  • Ensuring career services that go beyond the needs of traditional students
  • Exemplifying how organizations should be run as equitable workplaces

“ Olin Business School is committed to providing an educational and cultural experience for our women students in undergraduate and graduate programs that prepares them to be leaders in the workforce of tomorrow,” said Dean Mahendra Gupta.

At the White House meeting, The dean submitted a specific list of initiatives and opportunities at Olin designed for undergraduate, graduate, and professional women as they prepare for and further their careers in the changing workforce.


  • Enrollment of women has increased to 40% in the Olin MBA Program (Class of 2017). Historically, this is the highest enrollment of women in the Olin graduate program, up 11% from last year. The percentage of women admitted to the undergraduate program has increased from 38% to 45% for the incoming class this fall.
  • Olin is a long serving member of the Forte Foundation and we currently have a staff representative on the Forte School Advisory Board. Forte Foundation is a non-profit consortium of leading companies and top business schools working together to launch women into fulfilling, significant careers through access to business education, opportunities, and a community of successful women. We fulfill this mission by:
  • Olin is a founding member of the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management, an organization that works to diversify the ranks of corporate America – and the student bodies of its 15 member schools – by providing full-tuition scholarships to candidates who are committed to this mission.
  • New Saturday Part-Time Professional MBA (PMBA) Curriculum established to meet the growing needs of the diverse workforce in St. Louis, specifically targeting women in care giving positions who want to pursue a graduate business management degree.


  • Diversity and Inclusion training opportunities are being increased campus wide. The MBA program is expanding training beyond orientation to a required semester- long course.The University’s new Center for Diversity & Inclusion is providing additional programs year-round for students, faculty, staff, and the community to engage in on-going conversations about race and ethnicity. Through these programs, we aim to cultivate and foster a supportive campus climate for students of all backgrounds, cultures and identities
  • Olin Women in Business Association (OWIB). We partner with OWIB graduate student association in carrying out plans to attain their four primary goals:

Help to recruit strong and talented women to future classes of the Olin MBA program;
Help to set a program of personal and professional development for women MBA students while at Olin;
Help to identify and set an environment of inclusiveness and sensitivity that pervades the entire Olin community;
Strive to insure gender balance and representation in academics, guest speakers,extracurricular activities, etc.

  • Olin Women’s Mentor Program pairs local women executives with sophomores to help build hard and soft skills and networking activities.
  • OWN IT Women’s Empowerment Conference will be hosted at Olin Business School this fall. OWN IT bridges the gap between female leaders of the 21st century and the millennials who admire them…creating game-changing moments to inspire young women.


  • Weston Career Center Diversity Recruitment Initiative ensures that women and underrepresented minorities have equal access to recruiters during major on-campus recruitment activities, providing guidance to recruiters seeking workplace diversity and offering part-time graduate students and working professionals a dedicated career advising team who can assist students and alumni in the transition to non-traditional employment and alternative workplace arrangements.
  • Women’s Leadership Forum and Certificate Program sponsored by Olin Business School Executive Education Program sharpens the skills of mid-career women leaders who are preparing to succeed in higher executive level positions, including C-suite, that require enterprise-wide management. Topics include how to make decisions confidently, exert power and influence wisely, negotiate strategically, and manage change effectively.


  • The Diversity and Inclusion Committee for the Olin Business School is charged with focusing on issues related to gender and ethnic diversity in faculty and staff recruitment; facilitating mentorships for women and underrepresented minorities; and providing support for students, faculty and staff with care giving responsibilities.
  • Diverse faculty recruitment. Since 2007, a 113% increase in faculty members with diverse backgrounds and a 143% increase in female faculty members at Olin Business School.

Image: President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama walk from Marine One on the South Lawn upon arrival at the White House following a trip to California, June 16, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)