Tag: government regulation

The Executive MBA program’s Washington, DC, residency is a unique immersion experience into policy making, regulations, appropriation and budget processes, and legislative action—and how each impacts business.

Washington University’s exclusive relationships with the Brookings Institution, one of the world’s most respected and quoted think tanks, provides a level of access to legislators, administrators, and power brokers that is unique to our DC residency.

So naturally, when the Executive MBA program reintroduced “The Business of Policy” back into the curriculum last year, there was a lot of interest.

“When our alums learned about the new residency, we knew we had to give them a chance to experience this priceless opportunity,” says Meg Shuff, assistant dean of Executive MBA Admissions.

In October, alumni were invited to a mini-residency at Brookings, where they were literally rubbing elbows with key legislative decision makers and some of the leading scholars at Brookings who are working to solve important global issues—essentially, the primary players who keep the engine of our Nation’s capital running. It was a packed two days, with topics ranging from the vital relationship between business, government, and the regulatory process, to combating poverty and the role of media in public policy.

The mock residency sold out quickly, with 24 alumni from eight different cohorts across the country—traveling from St. Louis, Kansas City, Denver, Phoenix, Tampa, Las Vegas, and Atlanta. At the end of two action-packed days, the group had established high-level contacts with influencers in their respective industries, and felt confident in the science of policy entrepreneurship and the art of determining where, when, and how to advance their own interests.

“The Brookings experience was a fantastic way to learn about the intersection of business and policy, which complemented the education I gained at WashU during the EMBA program,” says Executive MBA alum Craig Armstrong, CEO at Loquient. “This residency is a true differentiator that really sets the WashU curriculum apart from the rest.”

He’s against breaking up big banks. He doesn’t favor a return to Glass-Steagall’s separation of commercial and investment banking. And he’d like to see most of the Dodd-Frank Act dismantled. William Cohan made it clear at the second annual Wealth & Asset Management Conference at Olin that he’s against tight regulation of the finance industry where he spent most of his career.

Cohan was a headline speaker at the conference sponsored by the Wells Fargo Advisors Center for Finance and Accounting Research held Aug. 22-23. Cohan’s current career involves writing books about how big finance works behind the headlines. Cohan discussed his latest work, Why Wall Street Matters, with Rich Ryffel, senior lecturer in finance.

So, how would Cohan propose preventing the next financial crisis if regulation won’t help? David Nicklaus at The St. Louis Post-Dispatch covered their conversation in his Aug. 25 column:

Cohan proposes that the top 500 or so executives at each big bank be required to pledge their entire net worth as backing for the firm’s liabilities. They could still earn bonuses and stock options when things were going well, but another bad bet like subprime mortgages could cost them everything.

“It’s in the DNA of Wall Street to have your own skin in the game,” Cohan says. “You’re not going to take Goldman Sachs or Wells Fargo private, but my idea would recreate some of the old partnership structure.”

Today’s first lecture was given by Peggy Peterson, a Senior Advisor at Baker Hostetler and former Deputy Chief of Staff for Congressman Michael Oxley. As a versatile member of the government policy group, she has a solid background in policy and communications.

Today’s speech was about the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX), which was passed by the U.S. Congress to protect investors from the possibility of fraudulent accounting activities by corporations, therefore improving the accuracy of corporate disclosures. Ms. Peterson first shared some fond memories of Mr. Oxley and then detailed the creation of the Act beginning in 2001. After fully discussing its impact, she answered several questions from us with insightful answers.


Next, we visited the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Our guest speaker, Marc Mealy, Vice President of Policy on the US-ASEAN Business Council, is very passionate, and had over 20 years of experience in international trading and economics.

Mr. Mealy first gave us a brief introduction to ASEAN and the role they play during the trading process. Next, he discussed the 1997 Asian financial crisis, and what the Asian countries learned from the crisis. He then introduced the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). We really enjoyed the site visit and enjoyed enhanced awareness about international trading.

After a trip to the exterior of the White House, we had an opportunity to listen to a speech given by two directors from the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR): Alexandra Victor and Mitch Gainer. Ms. Victor began with a detailed introduction of USTR. She mentioned the USTR’s mission and expertise, and emphasized its relationship with the trade policy advisory committee system and Congress. After Mr. Gainer spoke, the Q&A session started. The speakers first answered a question about intellectual property, and then pointed out that messaging was also a focus of USTR, in addition to economic gain. Next, they stressed the importance of negotiation when mediating the conflicts among TPP members. Finally, Mr. Gainer shared his experience of working for the Obama campaign.

Next, Kara Miller of the Office of Enforcement within the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau spoke to the group. She gave us an overview of the CFPB, the functions of each department, and multiple tools for consumer protection in order to improve fairness and transparency of the market. Many of our classmates asked challenging questions, and we had a great conversation with Ms. Miller.


Our last speaker of the day was Jared Bernstein, Senior Fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and former Chief Economic Advisor to Vice President Joe Biden. We were grateful to listen to his speech, which was so insightful, as Mr. Bernstein is a passionate and knowledgeable professional. He answered different questions with regard to the different aspects of the economy, and whether it is in the midst of a strong recovery or a recession. He was willing to share his opinions on what the government has gotten wrong and what the government can do to improve. His view on the current political economy gave us a general perception of the overall economy which is fascinating. After a great day today, we look forward to our trip tomorrow!

Guest Bloggers: Ziwen (Jason) Huang, Daiwei Shi, Junyan (Eric) Zhang, Dong An (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.

After a whirlwind week in New York, we headed south to Washington, D.C. to immerse ourselves in the workings of government and financial regulation with Olin’s Brookings Executive Education (BEE) team as our guide. The day started with welcoming remarks and introductions from Ian Dubin, Associate Director, and Chris Mancini, Program Coordinator. They explained the general agenda for the week, and the long and special history between the Brookings Institution and Washington University in St. Louis.

Day 6 - Brookings Ian DubinAfter the brief introduction, Mr. Dubin gave us an overview about the basic structures of U.S. government and legislative processes to set the stage for the week. He explained the unique roles of the Executive Branch, Senate and House of Representatives, and the complexity of the legislative process.

We also learned about the Brookings think tank and how it contributes to making public policy. The Brookings Institution is one of the most important and influential public policy research think tanks in the world.

The rest of the day was spent learning more about the various key financial sector regulators as well as learning directly from current and former regulators from both the Department of the Treasury and the Federal Reserve.

First, we learned from David Wessel, who is the Director of the Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy. He briefly explained the function of the United States Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC), and also introduced 10 micro-prudential regulators in the system, such as the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and The Federal Reserve, to name a few. Although the FSOC provided the chairperson of each of the 10 agencies with the opportunity to communicate with each other, he stated that those 10 chairs have different missions and have issued regulations on financial institutions (banks) that are conflicting. This resulted in banks having a hard time fulfilling the requirements outlined by different regulators. He also touched upon the importance of Macro-Prudential Regulation (FSOC role), and highlighted the differences between finance and other industries, especially in terms of contagion risk. Last but not the least, he compared the FSOC structure with that of the Bank of England.

Winthrop Hambley speaks to Olin students during their visit with Brookings Executive Education.

Winthrop Hambley speaks to Olin students during their visit with Brookings Executive Education.

Our last speaker of the day was Winthrop Hambley, former Senior Advisor, Board of Governors, The Federal Reserve. He first introduced the structure of the Federal Reserve and its key monetary policy-making body, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC).

He then proceeded to explain to us both traditional monetary policies as well as non-traditional monetary policies, which were introduced after the financial crisis–namely, large scale asset purchases, forward guidance, and maturity extension.

Last but not least, to address the popular topic of the Fed rate hike expectation, he spent some time explaining to us the rate normalization process and considerations during Q&A.

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

Murray Weidenbaum, PhD, the Edward Mallinckrodt Distinguished University Professor in Arts & Sciences and honorary chairman of the Weidenbaum Center on the Economy, Government, and Public Policy, died Thursday, March 20, 2014, in St. Louis. He was 87.

Murray Weidenbaum

Murray Weidenbaum

A highly influential economist and policy adviser, Weidenbaum has a legacy in the academic and governmental realms that began in the early 1960s. He served as the first chairman of President Ronald Reagan’s Council of Economic Advisers.

“Murray Weidenbaum was an important and influential economist, a great educator and scholar, and a wonderful colleague,” said Washington University in St. Louis Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton. “Washington University was fortunate to have him as a part of our community for so long.

“He was a wise and trusted university colleague for about 50 years, and we have many reasons to be proud of the ongoing scholarship that takes place at the Weidenbaum Center at Washington University.”

“Not long before he passed,” Wrighton said, “I had the great privilege of meeting with Murray and informing him that the university has established the Murray Weidenbaum Distinguished Professorship in Economics.”

“I know he was pleased – as are his colleagues – that his name will continue to live on here at Washington University, but he will surely be missed by all those who had the honor to know and work with him,” Wrighton said.

During his career, Weidenbaum served under or advised five U.S. presidents, spending much of the time teaching, writing and conducting research. During the administrations of Harry S. Truman and Dwight D. Eisenhower, he served on the staffs of what was then known as the U.S. Bureau of the Budget.

Read the complete WUSTL  News obituary here

New York Times obituary