The Project on Global Finance

Project on Global Finance is an interdisciplinary, multi-platform economic policy initiative designed to develop and promote the frameworks, policies, and institutions that would productively and fairly re-align financial markets and incentives for the benefit of society.

Our work set out to address derivative regulation, off balance sheet transactions, “too big to fail” institutions, regulatory structure, resolution power, and related areas, with the goal of providing a sober, coherent set of policy choices to be broadly publicized among decision makers, the media, and the public.  We are proud to report below on our accomplishments toward this goal; indeed, our team of leading progressive voices effectively informed policy that was enacted in some of the best components of the Dodd-Frank legislation, and we continue to work on implementation strategies. Further, we have connected with other advocacy groups in Washington, DC and New York City toward sustaining the case for continued reform and accountability 

Among other outcomes, our March, 2010 “Make Markets Be Markets” conference successfully revived Elizabeth Warren’s idea for a consumer financial protection agency.  Our efforts came to a climax in the summer of 2010 when the Dodd-Frank bill was passed, Warren was appointed Special Advisor to the President, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) was created.  Our follow-up conference, "Financial Reform: Will It Work?  How Will We Know?" took place on October 4, 2010. The program targeted implementation and accountability of Dodd-Frank legislation.  The conference brought together scholars, organizers, practitioners and legislators to look at a range of conceptual and quantitative metrics that could track whether the legislation’s central reforms—“too big to fail," derivatives, ratings agencies, and securitization—are working. 

In December, 2010, at their event, "Deficits, Democracy, & the Road to Recovery," the Project on Global Finance issued three more white papers:

  • Principles and Guidelines for Deficit Reduction by Joseph Stiglitz outlines proposals to reduce the deficit by more than $4 trillion, increase growth, reduce the deficit/GDP ratio, and put the country on a more sustainable path. It offers an enunciated set of criteria against which we can judge the framework of shared sacrifice proposed by the Fiscal Commission.
  • A World Upside Down? Deficit Fantasies in the Great Recession by Thomas Ferguson and Rob Johnson demonstrates that the current hysteria over deficits in the US is unjustified, finding that markets for even long term US government debt are strong.
  • Democracy in Peril: The American Turnout Problem and the Path to Plutocracy by Walter Dean Burnham analyzes American voter turnout patterns exploring the ratio of big money in politics and voter activity. The paper examines the effect of the New Deal on voter turnout, and, using Census data, considering how factors such as ethnicity and social class have influenced voter mobilization and demobilization, especially as the New Deal coalition has ebbed.  It considers whether recent trends indicate an emerging crisis.

On April 27th and on May 9th, the Project on Global Finance co-hosted two events on the "Future of the Fed" with the New America Foundation.  Click here to see video of Nobel Prize Winner Joseph Stiglitz, former Chief Economist of the Senate Banking Committee Rob Johnson, and many others.

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Deficit White Paper PDF v2_0.pdf749.33 KB
Stiglitz White Paper final.pdf230.71 KB
Burnham White Paper PDF_0.pdf1.69 MB