Barbara Novick Joins the Advisory Board of the Center for Financial Stability

New York, September 25, 2017/ The Center for Financial Stability (CFS) is honored to announce that Ms. Barbara G. Novick joins its Advisory Board.

Ms. Novick is the Vice Chairman of BlackRock, and a member of BlackRock’s Global Executive Committee, Corporate Risk Committee and Global Operating Committee. From the inception of the firm in 1988 to 2008, Ms. Novick headed the Global Client Group and oversaw global business development, marketing and client service across equity, fixed income, liquidity, alternative investment and real estate products for institutional and individual investors and their intermediaries worldwide. In her current role, Ms. Novick heads the firm’s efforts globally on government relations and public policy. In addition, she serves as a board member to the BlackRock Equity-Liquidity and BlackRock Closed End fund families, and is a member of the Executive Committee of the Investment Company Institute.

Prior to founding BlackRock in 1988, Ms. Novick was a Vice President in the Mortgage Products Group at The First Boston Corporation. Ms. Novick joined First Boston in 1985 where she became head of the Portfolio Products Team. From 1982 to 1985, Ms. Novick was with Morgan Stanley.

Ms. Novick has authored numerous articles on asset management and public policy issues. Ms. Novick is a member of CFA Institute’s Future of Finance Advisory Council and MSCI’s Editorial Advisory Board. She currently serves as a Trustee of Cornell University and the HCM Foundation. Ms. Novick previously served on the boards of Robert Toigo Foundation (2007 – 2010), UJA-Federation (2009 – 2015) and Westchester Day School (2000 – 2005), served as both Treasurer and Trustee of Westchester Jewish Center (1994 – 2012) and coached in the Westchester Youth Soccer League (1999 – 2015). Ms. Novick earned a BA degree, cum laude, in economics from Cornell University.

Ms. Novick joins the 11 distinguished members of the CFS Advisory Board: Eduardo Aninat, Ph.D; Senator Bill Bradley; The Honorable Carole L. Brookins; Peter Flocos, Esq.; Charles Goodhart, CBE, FBA; Henry Kaufman, Ph.D.; Guillermo Ortiz, Ph.D.; Judge Richard A. Posner; The Honorable Randal K. Quarles; Richard L. Sandor, Ph.D., Dr. Sc.h.c.; and Nobel Laureate Myron Scholes, Ph.D.

It is a great joy to welcome Barbara to our Board.

 

Senate Banking Committee Votes on Key Administration Nominees

The U.S. Senate Banking committee voted to advance the nominees for two prominent banking regulatory positions. The two nominations will now proceed to the Senate floor for a confirmation vote.

Joseph Otting was approved to serve as Comptroller of the Currency. Mr. Otting most recently was managing partner of Ocean Blvd LLC and Lake Blvd LLC. He previously held positions as President and CEO of OneWest Bank and Vice Chair of U.S. Bancorp. Keith Noreika has served as Acting Comptroller of the Currency since Thomas J. Curry stepped down in May 2017 (see previous coverage).

Randal Quarles was approved to serve as Vice Chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (“FRB”). Mr. Quarles had served as Under Secretary for Domestic Finance under President George W. Bush, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for International Affairs and U.S. Executive Director of the International Monetary Fund. He is the founder and managing director of Cynosure, a private investment firm, and also was a partner at Davis Polk & Wardwell. Current FRB Vice Chair Stanley Fischer recently announced his intention to step down from his position in October 2017 (see previous coverage).

CFS Special Counselor Steve H. Hanke Honored by the University of Liechtenstein…

CFS congratulates Steve H. Hanke, CFS Special Counselor and Professor of Applied Economics and Co-Director of the Institute for Applied Economics, Global Health, and the Study of Business Enterprise at The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, on receiving a Doctorate Honoris Causa from the University of Liechtenstein.

At the University of Leichtenstein, located in Vaduz, Hanke was conferred the Doctorate by Rector Jürgen Brücker during a University Day ceremony. The ceremony concluded with a dinner hosted by H.S.H. Prince Phillip von und zu Leichtenstein and H.S.H. Prince Michael von und zu Leichtenstein.

Professor Hanke’s honor was in recognition of his standing as “one of the world’s leading authorities on currencies and alternative currency regimes” and as “the world’s authority on measuring and stopping hyperinflations.” This is Professor Hanke’s sixth Doctorate Honoris Causa.

For further detail: https://www.uni.li/en/news/a-festive-atmosphere-at-the-open-day

Fiscal Times: The National Debt is a Bigger Problem Than You Think…

Today, The Fiscal Times published my opinion piece on U.S. Treasury debt.  Key ideas include:

– The debt situation is worse than commonly realized – when evaluated back to 1946.
– Fortunately, a few debt management policy tweaks can yield great benefit with limited costs.
– It’s our debt.  It’s our problem.  Let’s fix it.

To view the full article:
http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Columns/2017/06/07/National-Debt-Bigger-Problem-You-Think

Allan Meltzer

It is with sadness that Center for Financial Stability (CFS) mourns the passing of internationally renowned economist and Carnegie Mellon Professor Allan Meltzer.  Author of more than 10 books and 400 papers, he was one of the leading experts on the Federal Reserve.

Allan was a brilliant economist with contributions of historic importance.  He moved through life with the highest level of integrity and tenacity.  Allan was an economic intellectual with a remarkable ability to get along with economists having diverse views.  He and Karl Brunner were the founders of the Shadow Open Market Committee, which often disagreed with Federal Reserve policy.  Nevertheless, Allan was greatly liked at the Fed and was regularly invited to serve on the semiannual Panel of Academic Advisers, who met in the Board Room with the Governors.  The Federal Reserve’s initial decision to start providing monetary aggregates to the public long ago was based upon advocacy by Allan at the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank.

Over decades, he influenced many CFS experts, colleagues, and friends.  Since the launch of CFS, Allan often took the time to voluntarily provide feedback or be involved in issues stretching from the Bretton Woods institutions, bank capital, Fed policy, to CFS Divisia monetary measures.  Allan was very familiar with the CFS Divisia monetary aggregates.  Soon after CFS Director William A. Barnett originated the Divisia money aggregates and presented his research in Tokyo, Allan served as a consultant to the Bank of Japan to produce and maintain Divisia monetary measures for Japan.

CFS thanks Allan for his meaningful and longstanding contributions.

Response to WSJ Comments…”What’s Money?”

Thank you for your interest in my letter highlighting how determinants of inflation can be better understood.  To clarify, two types of money exist ‘state money’ produced by the Fed and ‘bank money’ created by the private sector.  Bank money drives growth. Today, bank money includes the service value of traditional commercial bank products such as deposits as well as shadow banking services such as commercial paper, money market funds, and repurchase agreements. In fact, what constitutes money may change over time as new financial products are introduced.

So, it is essential that the Fed, economists, and market participants measure and monitor both state and bank money.  CFS Divisia accomplishes this feat by identifying assets that serve as money.  Importantly, not all of these monetary assets provide equal amounts of service as money to the economy.

Bill Barnett uses the example of measuring the service value of transportation.  Would a pair of roller skates and a locomotive provide equal value to the economy?  No.  So, CFS Divisia derives weights that vary over time.

For the theory, history and math behind CFS Divisia, please see Bill’s book Getting It Wronghttp://www.centerforfinancialstability.org/getting_wrong.php

For a practical application of CFS Divisia see http://centerforfinancialstability.org/research/why_cfs_divisia_071316.pdf

WSJ: What’s Money?

The Wall Street Journal weekend edition printed my letter highlighting how determinants of inflation can be better understood.

CFS Divisia money growth warned about rising inflation and clearly explained why it was low coincident with QE.

To be clear, CFS Divisia money monitors the output of the financial system and its role in the monetary transmission mechanism.  It is an essential barometer of the economy, whether one is a market practitioner, Keynesian, or monetarist.

Read the full letter – It May Make the World Go Round, but What’s Money

An Interview with William A. Barnett

CFS Director William A. Barnett is interviewed by Apostolos Serletis.  The conversation covers Bill’s life as a rocket scientist, work at the Federal Reserve Board, pioneer of monetary aggregation and complex dynamics, founding journals and societies, work at CFS, and more.

The interview is similar in construct to discussions with eminent economists in Bill’s book co-edited with Nobel Laureate Paul Samuelson – “Inside the Economist’s Mind.”

To view the full interview:
http://centerforfinancialstability.org/research/Barnett_Interview.pdf

I hope that you find the exchange about Bill and his remarkable career informative and enjoyable.

Bank of England conference in honor of William A. Barnett – Call for papers extended

We are delighted to announce a conference in honor of CFS Director William A. Barnett at the Bank of England on May 23 – 24, 2017.

The call for papers has been extended to March 15, 2017.

Liquidity plays a pivotal role in financial markets, the banking sector, and the economy as a whole. Since the 2008-09 financial crisis, it has become increasingly necessary to understand the creation, dissemination, measurement and management of liquidity.

This conference seeks and invites proposals to understand and assess the macroeconomic implications of liquidity, the liquidity creation process, and the impacts of liquidity on financial markets and economic activity. Theoretical, empirical, quantitative, qualitative, institutional, and historical perspectives that address current theory and policy questions are welcome.

For details to attend the conference or submit papers:
www.centerforfinancialstability.org/events/BoE_Barnett_conference_021417.pdf

Similarly, excellent peer reviewed papers will be considered for a special issue of the Journal of Financial Stability.

Today’s WSJ: ‘Focusing on Bank Size, Missing the Real Problem’…

Today, The Wall Street Journal published an op-ed titled “Focusing on Bank Size, Missing the Real Problem.”

CFS Board Member and former Treasury Under Secretary Randal Quarles and I note how:

The new president of the Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank, Neel Kashkari, along with Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Sherrod Brown believe that breaking up “too big to fail” institutions or turning them into regulated utilities is the only way the country can be confident that the 2008 bailouts won’t be repeated.

This proposal is misguided.

We offer three solutions:

– Facilitate orderly liquidation of failing or failed banks.
– Adopt a monetary policy rule to reduce the incentive for banks to take dangerous risks.
– Fully measure and evaluate the impact of Dodd-Frank before arbitrarily taking an ax to big banks and irreparably damaging the economy.

View the full article.