News Release

Brookings Launches the Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy

December 4, 2013

David Wessel Tapped to Lead Effort Looking at Tax and Budget Policy and Central Bank Action  

Washington, D.C. — The Brookings Institution today announced the establishment of the Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy, which will focus on the important roles of and interplay between fiscal and monetary policy and will bring together the best new evidence and analysis from the research community with the informed, practical perspectives of the business community and policymakers. Wall Street Journal columnist and New York Times best-selling author David Wessel will serve as the Center’s founding director. Housed within the Economic Studies program, Wessel will join Brookings as a Senior Fellow.

The creation of the Center has been made possible by the generous support of Brookings Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees Glenn Hutchins, whose $10 million grant from The Hutchins Family Foundation will underwrite the center’s operational activities during the first five years of the Center as well as provide ongoing endowment support. Hutchins, co-founder of Silver Lake, a global technology investment firm, is also a director of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and recently endowed the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University, his alma mater. He is also serving as chair of Brookings’ Second Century Campaign, in celebration of Brookings’ 100th anniversary. This year also marks the 100th anniversary of the Federal Reserve.

“We hope to create a center of excellence which will foster world-class research and analysis of monetary and fiscal policy – as well as of the interaction between the two,” said Hutchins. “The next decade of economic policy-making will be dominated by these questions and our goal is for the Center to be at the heart of the discussion. I can think of no one better equipped to lead this effort than David Wessel.”

“We are grateful to Glenn Hutchins for his multifaceted engagement with Brookings as one of our leading Trustees,” said Strobe Talbott, President of the Brookings Institution. “Fiscal and monetary policy has never been more important than it is today and will be for years to come.  With Glenn’s counsel, leadership, and support, Brookings will be able to make high-impact, independent contributions to the public debate and the policy process.”

“Good policy starts with a rigorous understanding of the economic issues at hand, paired with a thorough examination of how policy affects outcomes,” said Vice President and Economic Studies Director Ted Gayer.  “The lessons from the trials of the Great Recession are only beginning to be learned, let alone translated into guidance for future policymakers. David Wessel is uniquely positioned to lead our new effort, given his years of following fiscal and monetary policy in Washington. Under his leadership, along with the deep bench of scholarly expertise already at Brookings, this new center will routinely deliver fresh policy analysis and prescriptions for economic stability and growth.”

“I’ve been a daily journalist since the day after I graduated from college in 1975, and I’m finishing my 30th year at The Wall Street Journal.  It’s time to try something new. The opportunity to work closely with Glenn Hutchins, Ted Gayer and the distinguished Brookings team to build a new non-partisan center that sheds light on the crucial fiscal and monetary policy challenges of our time is exciting,” said Wessel, who currently writes The Wall Street Journal’s weekly Capital column and will continue to contribute to The Journal regularly.

The Hutchins Family Foundation was established by Debbie and Glenn Hutchins to expand research and community initiatives in public policy, education, the environment and public health. Initiatives funded by the Hutchins Family Foundation encourage collaboration among leading public servants, scholars and educators to advance the public good.

About Brookings

The Brookings Institution is a nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C. Our mission is to conduct in-depth, nonpartisan research to improve policy and governance at local, national, and global levels.