News Release

Brookings, Wharton Launch Joint Initiative to Examine Key Financial Policy Issues

March 25, 1997

The Brookings Institution and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania will inaugurate a major new examination of issues facing the financial services industry—including the creation of an annual forum and policy journal designed to attract key public and private sector participants.

“The collaboration is designed to bridge the gap between domestic and international policymakers, industry leaders, and academics,” said Anthony Santomero, director of the Wharton Financial Institutions Center and a leading authority on the operation of American financial institutions. “This is particularly important today with the merging of different components in what was once a highly segmented industry.”

The forum and journal, tentatively titled The Brookings-Wharton Papers on Financial Services, will examine issues in all relevant sectors of finance including banking, securities, insurance and mutual funds.

“The journal will be modeled on the successful Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, which for 25 years has been one of the nation’s leading journals on macroeconomic policy questions, and Brookings Papers on Microeconomic Activity, which in the five years of its existence has established a parallel position in microeconomics,” said Robert E. Litan, director of Brookings’ Economics Studies Program. “At the same time, it will benefit Wharton’s recognized strength in finance and it’s Financial Institutions Center’s reputation within the financial community.”

The first Wharton-Brookings conference will be held October 29-30 in Washington. Litan and Santomero will serve as managing editors of the journal, which will be published following the conference.

The new journal will draw on the expertise of leading practitioners and policymakers participating in Wharton-Brookings conferences. To bring a broad and fresh perspective to financial policy issues, journal authors will present papers to the conference, generating formal comments by other experts as well as by a panel of permanent senior advisers comprised of noted scholars and industry representatives.

Tentative journal topics will include information technology, risk management, a user’s perspective on the financial sector to evaluate how well various industry segments meet the needs of consumers and businesses, employment dynamics, regulatory issues, financial reporting, alternative sources of funding, mutual funds, and consumer financial decision making.

In addition to Litan and Santomero, the journal will be guided by an Academic Advisory Board. Board members include Michael Brennan of the Anderson School, UCLA; J. David Cummins, The Wharton School; Eugene F. Fama, University of Chicago; Edward J. Kane, Boston College; Jonathon R. Macey, Cornell University; Robert C. Merton, Harvard Business School; Geoffrey P. Miller, New York University; Stewart C. Myers, The Sloan School, MIT and Robert J. Shiller, Yale University.

Financial support for the journal so far has been provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, McKinsey & Co., the Chase Manhattan Corporation, the Citicorp Foundation, the Investment Company Institute, the Walter Shorenstein Center at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, the Bank of America, and the Bankers Trust Company Foundation.

Additional industry and foundation funding sources are expected to be added during the course of the year.

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.