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ABOUT THE PROGRAM The Economic Policy Program at Washington Semester provides an up-close examination of domestic and international economic policy making by key U.S. Federal agencies, the White House and Congress; as well of policy shaped at multilateral institutions and by bilateral agencies in DC. The seminar combines on-site discussions with policy makers, regulators, and scholars based in Washington DC with an intensive course of readings, workshops, policy simulations, research and writing. Students keep abreast of current policy issues and debates through daily review of newspapers, “policy digests”, seminar papers and journal articles, congressional testimonies and reports. By the end of their Economic Policy semester, students expect the following four main learningoutcomes: one, basic familiarity with key U.S. federal policy making institutions – their history, mandate, and workings; two, a deeper understanding of current policy issues – both domestic and international; three, an increased ability to critically analyze real world events and their policy-relevance; and four, a better appreciation of the various sources of information, influence, and knowledge that shape the policy world in Washington, and beyond.




SUMMARY OF PROGRAM ACTIVITIES 54 External-Seminars; 27 Class Lectures and Workshops; 79 Guest Speakers; 2 Committee Hearings; 3 books, Innumerable articles and reports, 4 group presentations, 4 Policy-Memos, 1 Written Exam, 1 Class Debate, 1 Major Simulation Exercise, 2 Documentaries, 6 Independent Policy-Research Projects, and 4 Museum Visits. A full list of policy issues covered, seminars, speakers, readings, and site visits -- in DC and New York -- is provided in the next five Chapters.


CHAPTER I: SEMINARS ON DOMESTIC ECONOMIC POLICY 1. Doing Economic Policy Research in Washington DC

The Great Hall, Jefferson Bldg, Library of Congress

Briefed by Michael Matos, Business and Economics Reference Librarian, Bender Library, American University. Briefings and Professional Visitor’s Tour at the Library of Congress, on researching the LOC exclusive economics and business data bases, and a special preview of archival material from the Great Depression period. Briefing and hands-on demonstration on the use of economic and business databases such as Bloomberg and Thomson Reuters Terminals. Seminar by Dr. Octavian Ionici, Executive-in-Residence Professor of Finance in the Department of Finance and Real Estate at Kogod School of Business, and Director of the Financial Services Lab.


2. Sources of Economic Data and State of the US Economy

Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. Dept. of Commerce

Visited the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), US Department of Commerce, Washington DC, for seminars with Clifford Woodruff, Chief, Regional Product Branch, Regional Product Division and Ian Mead, Division Chief.

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Labor Dept. of Labor

Visited the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), US Department of Commerce for seminars with Mary Bowler, Economist; Susan Fleck, Division Chief, Major Sector Productivity; and Chris Sparks, International Comparisons Division.


Pew Charitable Trusts

Visited the PEW Charitable Trusts, Washington DC for a panel of seminars by Ingrid Schroeder, Director Pew Fiscal Analysis Initiative; Ernest Tedeshi, Senior Associate, Pew Fiscal Analysis Initiative; Lori Metcalf, Senior Associate, Subsidyscope Project; Emily Askew, Senior Associate, Subsidyscope Project; Scott Greenberger, Senior Officer, Pew Fiscal Analysis Initiative; Erin Currier, Project Manager, Economic Mobility Project, and Douglas Walton, Associate, Federal Budget Reform Initiative.

Hosted Neil Irwin, Washington Post for seminar on the Financial Crisis, Stimulus, and Prospects for Recovery. Visited the Economic Policy Institute, Washington, DC, for seminar with Dr. John Irons, Research and Policy Director.



Theory, Models, and the Making of Economic Policy

Heritage Foundation

Visited the Heritage Foundation, Washington DC, for seminar with William Beach, Director, Center for Data Analysis. Visited the White House Council of Economic Advisers (CEA), Washington DC, for seminars with Dr. Jay Shambaugh, Chief Economist and Dr. Steven Braun, Director of Macroeconomic Forecasting,

Brookings Institution

Visited the Brookings Institution, Washington DC for seminar with Dr. Clifford Winston, Senior Fellow, Economic Studies. 6

Visited the American Enterprise Institute, Washington DC for seminar with Dr. Kevin A. Hassett , Senior Fellow and Director of Economic Policy Studies. 4.

Financial Crisis and U.S. Policy Response

Students at the Geithner Hearings, Financial Services Committee

Attended the September 22, 2010 Hearings of the Financial Services Committee, US House of Representatives, on the “State of the International Financial System, Including International Regulatory Issues Relevant to the Implementation of the Dodd-Frank Act” with Witness Testimony provided by The Honorable Timothy Geithner, Secretary, U.S. Department of the Treasury. Attended the September 22, 2010 Hearings of the Senate Budget Committee, US Senate, on “Assessing the Federal Fiscal Policy Response to the Economic Crisis,” with expert-witness testimonies provided by Dr. Alan Blinder, Gordon S. Rentschler Memorial Professor of Economics and Public Affairs, Founder and Co-Director, Economic Policy Studies, Princeton University; Dr. Mark Zandi, Chief Economist, Moody’s Analytics; and Dr. John Taylor, Mary and Robert Raymond Professor of Economics, Stanford University & the George P. Shultz Fellow in Economics, The Hoover Institution. 7

Seminar at the Movies: Saw Charles Ferguson's documentary "Inside Job"


Banking, Housing Finance, and Regulation


Visited the US Federal Deposit Insurance Commission (FDIC), Washington DC, for seminars with Clarette Kim, Financial Analyst, Division of Insurance and Research, and Phillip Shively, Chief, Economic Analysis Section.

Anthony Cain, Federal Reserve System

Hosted Mr. Anthony Cain, Supervisory Financial Analyst, Division of Banking Supervision and Regulation—Special Situation and Emerging Issues, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.


Bert Ely, Ely & Co., Inc.

Hosted Bert Ely, Principal in Ely and Co., Inc., a Financial Institutions and Monetary Policy consulting firm for seminar on Regulation and the Financial Crisis. Participated in Kay Luncheon Seminar on "Congress Acts: Are Banks Too Big To Fail?" with Lisa Donner Director, Americans for Financial Reform; and Heather McGee, Washington Director, DEMOS.


U.S. Securities and Commodity Futures Visited the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Washington DC, for seminar with John Heine, Chief, Office of Public Affairs. Visited the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission for seminars with Dr. James Moser, Deputy Chief Economist; Dr. Gregoy Kuserk, Economist in the Market Oversight Division; and, Dennis Holden, Associate Deputy Director, Office of Public Affairs, Office of the Chairman.




U.S Federal Reserve System and Monetary Policy

Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System

Visited the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, Washington DC, for a seminar with Winthrop Hambley, Senior Advisor to the Board.



Fiscal Policy and U. S. Debt Burden Hosted Dr. Andrew Yarrow, Senior Policy Analyst, Independent Sector for seminar on Financing Social Security and Medicare and the InterGenerational Debt Burden.


Visited the U.S. Congressional Budget Office (CBO), Washington DC for seminars by Sandy Davis, Special Assistant to the Director, US Congressional Budget Office (CBO); Jeffrey Holland, Chief, Projections Unit, and Robert Arnold, Macro-Economic Analysis. 9.

Islamic Banking and Finance in the U.S. Visited the The Fairfax Institute for seminar with Dr. Yaqub Mirza, President of Sterling Management Corporation, an Islamic investment venture in Virginia.


Islamic Banking


Health Care Reform Visited the American Enterprise Institute, Washington DC for seminar with Dr. Joseph R. Antos, Wilson H. Taylor Scholar in Health Care and Retirement Policy. Visited Families USA Washington DC for seminar with Lydia Gottesfeld, Field Associate.


Energy Policy Visited the American Petroleum Institute, Washington DC for seminar with Sara Banaszak, Senior Economist.

American Petroleum Institute



Trade Policy and Theory Visited the United States International Trade Commission, Washington DC for a seminar with Dr. Arona Butcher, Chief, Country and Regional Analysis Division, Office of Economics.


Visited the United States Trade Representative, Washington DC for a seminar with Mitch Ginsburg, Office of the Chief Economist.


Hosted Mr. Dan Ikenson, Associate Director, Center for Trade Policy Studies, Cato, for seminar on US-China Trade Relations and Policy.


Dan Ikenson, Cato


Role of Labor Unions in the U.S.


Visited the AFL-CIO, Washington DC, for seminar with Mr. Damon A. Silvers, Director of Policy and Special Counsel. Hosted Mr. Gary Hubbard, Public Affairs Director, USW (United Steel Workers Union) for seminar on role of labor unions in the U.S.


Gary Hubbard, USW


Immigration Policy Visited the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Washington DC, for seminar with Michael W. Dendas, Manager, Immigration Policy.

Lily Qi & Karla Silvestre, Mont. County

Hosted Ms. Lily Qi, Asian & Middle Eastern American Liason and Coordinator, and Ms. Karla Silvestre, Community Liason, Office of Community Partnerships, Montgomery County, Maryland for seminars on Role of Immigrants in the local community and economies. Hosted Roy Beck, CEO, NumbersUSA, Washington DC for seminar on U.S. Immigration Policy.




Commodity and Futures Exchange Visited the New York Mercantile Exchange, CME Group, New York, for an educational tour of the futures and commodities trading floor, and seminars with Mr. Howard Hopkins, Director, Marketing, Chicago Mercantile Group/New York Mercantile Exchange, New York.

New York Mercantile Exchange Boardroom


Role of Credit Rating Agencies Visited Standard and Poor’s, New York, for a seminar with Olga Kalinina, Director, Latin America Sovereign Ratings Group.

Standard & Poor's, New York



Globalization, Economic and Political Freedom Visited the Cato Institute, Washington DC for seminar with Ian Vasquez, Director, Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity.

Embassy of South Africa

Visited Embassy of the Republic of South Africa, Washington DC for seminar with Ms. Lerato D. Mataboge, Economic Minister, Department of Trade & Industry. Visited the Organization of American States, Washington DC for seminar by Sherry Stephenson, Head Institutional Relations Department of International Affairs and Nelly Robinson, MOAS Program Coordinator, Department of International Affairs.

Organization of American States


Visited the Heritage Foundation, Washington DC for seminar with Ambassador Terry Miller, Director, Center for International Trade and Economics.

Heritage Foundation


European Union and the Debt Crisis in the Euro-zone Visited the Delegation of the European Union to the United States, Washington DC for seminars with Sarah Cartmell, Economist, Economic and Financial Affairs Section, and Amy Medearis, Senior Economist, Economic, Financial and Development Affairs Section.

Delegation of the EU to the U.S.



Economic Development and Foreign Aid Visited the World Bank for a seminar on Foreign Aid and Economic Development. Visited the Millennium Challenge Corporation, Washington DC, for seminar with Dr. Franck Wiebe, Chief Economist.

Millennium Challenge Corporation

Participated in Book Lecture and Discussion on “The Day After Tomorrow: The Future of Economic Policy in the Developing World� at the Center for Latin American & Latino Studies by Dr. Marcelo Guigale, Director of Poverty Reduction & Economic Management, the World Bank; Robert Blecker, Chair, Department of Economics, American University; and Eric Hershberg, CLALS Director. 4.

IMF and International Monetary Stability Visited the International Monetary Fund, Washington DC, for seminar with Patrick Cirillo, Deputy Chief of Operations in the Secretariat.


IMF Boardroom


China and India

Embassy of the People’s Republic of China

Visited the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China, Washington DC, for seminar with Dr. Qin Haijing, First Secretary for Economic Affairs.


Participated in at the Kay Luncheon Seminar on China and the US: Development Models in Africa With Fanta Aw, Assistant Vice President of Campus Life, American University, Dr. Sharon T. Freeman, President, AASBEA Lark-Horton Global Consulting, IFTISD, Ambassador David Shinn, Adjunct Professor, George Washington University. Former U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia and Burkina Faso Attended The Fourth Annual Caroline and Ambassador Charles Adair Memorial Lecture by Honorable J. Stapleton Roy, U.S. Ambassador, on "US-China Relations: the Challenge for US Diplomacy." Visited the US-China Business Council, Washington DC, for seminar with Erin Ennis, Vice-President. Visited the US Chamber of Commerce for seminar with Ron Somers, President, US-India Business Council. Visited the Embassy of India, Washington DC, for seminar with Mr. V.S. Senthil, Minister (Economic); and Mr. Bhalla, Economic Counselor.

Embassy of India



Spin-Free Economists, The Newseum

Visited the NEWSEUM. Toured the Organization of American States Main Historic Building. Toured the United States Capital and Visitor’s Center. Toured the Jefferson Building and Exhibits, Library of Congress.



A. Books Behravesh, Nariman (2009) Spin-Free Economics: A No-Nonsense, Non-Partisan Guide to Today’s Global Economic Debates. McGraw Hill, New York. The Economist Guide to Economic Indicators: Making Sense of Economics, 6th Edition (2007), Bloomberg Press, New York. The Economic Report of the President 2010. Executive Office of the President, Council of Economic Advisers, Washington DC.

B. Articles, Reports, Speeches, Testimonies & Class Handouts “How the Great Recession has Changed Life in America,” PEW Research Center, June, 2010. A YEAR OR MORE: The High Cost Of Long-Term Unemployment by Pew Charitable Trust, April 2010 “With Consumers Slow To Spend, Businesses Are Slow To Hire.” by Neil Irwin, Washington Post, August 21, 2010. “Capturing the Economic Implications of Public Policy Change: Why Macroeconomic Policy Should Matter More in Policy Making.” Chapter in forthcoming book by William Beach, Heritage Foundation. “The Recovery is Loosing Steam, Fast” by Neil Irwin, Washington Post, August 24, 2010. “Durable Goods Orders Disappoint, “ Neil Irwin, Washington Post, August 25, 2010 Class Handout: “Who is the FDIC?” Remarks by FDIC Chairman Sheila C. Bair to the Independent Community Bankers of America's 2010 National Convention and Techworld; Orlando, Florida, March 19, 2010. Remarks by FDIC Chairman Sheila C. Bair to the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania International Housing Finance Program; Philadelphia, Pa. June 18, 2010. Remarks by FDIC Chairman Sheila C. Bair to the Council of Institutional InvestorsSpring Meeting; Washington, D.C., April 12, 2010.


Speech by SEC Chairman: Moving Forward: The Next Phase in Financial Regulatory Reform. Speech by SEC Staff: Remarks before the Committee on Federal Regulation of Securities; Section of Business Law; American Bar Association. Class Handout: “The Investor's Advocate: How the SEC Protects Investors, Maintains Market Integrity, and Facilitates Capital Formation.” Class Handout: Financial Regulatory Reform Chairman Ben S. Bernanke: Causes of the Recent Financial and Economic Crisis Before the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, Washington, D.C. September 2, 2010 Testimony of Chairman Gary Gensler Before the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, July 1, 2010. Remarks before SIFMA Post-Financial Reform Conference,” By Chairman Gary Gensler, July 15, 2010. Bad Rules Produce Bad Outcomes: Underlying Public-Policy Causes of the U.S. Financial Crisis,” By Bert Ely (Cato Journal, Vol.29, No.1, 2009). GSE Reform: Re-privatizing Mortgage Credit Risk Covered Bonds,” a presentation by Bert Ely, at the SIFMA, July 13, 2010. “The immorality of our national debt”, By Andrew L. Yarrow “America’s Looming Fiscal Crisis and Why Students Need to Be Informed About Our “Looming Fiscal Crisis:,” By Andrew L. Yarrow and Cecilia M. Orphan “Demand Deficit Reduction,” By Diane L. Rogers, and Andrew L. Yarrow. “The Budget and Economic Outlook: An Update Summary August, 2010” by CBO “The Budget and Economic Outlook: Fiscal Years 2010 to 2020”, CBO, January 2010. Various Handouts on Islamic Banking and Principles “Economic Scarring: The Long Term Impacts of the Recession” by John Irons, Economic Policy Institute, Sept 30, 2010, Washington DC “Still No Good News for ObamaCare,” By Joseph Antos, AEI, Thursday, September 23, 2010. “The President’s 2010 Trade Policy Agenda” by Ambassador Ron Kirk, United States Trade Representative, March 1, 2010.


Class Handout: “USTR: Mission and History”. Class Handout: “USITC: About Us” Class Handout: “USITC: What USITC IS AND ISN’T” Class Binder on the EU and Euro-zone Crisis Class Binder on South Africa Class Binder on the 2010 Economic Freedom Index “Trade unions statement to the Pittsburgh G-20 Summit: GLOBAL UNIONS PITTSBURGH DECLARATION,” 24-25 September, 2009 “GLOBAL UNIONS STATEMENT TO THE G-20 SEOUL SUMMIT,”11-12 November 2010. “How We Got Into This Mess: Trade, the war on unions, and underfunded schools all lowered wages. Cheap credit propped us up—but now, the debt is due. Herewith, a national economic strategy to turn America around.” By Damon Silvers, AFL-CIO, The American Prospect, May 2008. “Economists Ignore the Facts in Supporting Chinese Currency Legislation” by Dan Ikenson, Cato. “Media Darken Americans’ Perceptions of Trade” by Dan Ikenson, Cato. “Appreciate This: Chinese Currency Rise Will Have a Negligible Effect on the Trade Deficit” by Dan Ikenson, Cato. “Manufacturing Discord: Growing Tensions Threaten the U.S.-China Economic Relationship” by Dan Ikenson, Cato. “People-smuggling: No safe passage. Add drugs gangs to the long list of dangers facing migrants” The Economist, Sep 9th, 2010. “Debunking Myths About International Students and Highly Skilled Immigrants” by Stuart Anderson, NFAP (National Foundation for American Policy). “2009 Member Priorities Survey Result: US Companies’ China Outlook: Recession Stings but Does Not End Market Optimism.”, U.S.-China Business Council (USCBC), Washington DC. “China's economy: Not just another fake”, Economist, January 14th, 2010.


“Business in India: A Bumpier but Freer Road,” Economist, September 30th, 2010. “India’s Economy: India’s Surprising Economic Miracle,” Economist, September 30th, 2010.

Web Sites US Bureau of Labor Statistics Bureau of Economic Analysis, (See especially their Regional Division Web page at: White House Council of Economic Advisers, / Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Securities & Exchange Commission US Federal Reserve Financial Services and Information Technology Lab at the Kogod School, AU: 91 US Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Public Agenda Financial Services Committee, US House of Representatives, Congressional Budget Office


Families USA, The Hidden Health Tax: Americans Pay a Premium (May 2009) +Lives on the Line (February 2010) A Helping Hand for Small Businesses: The Health Insurance Tax Credit (July 2010) American Petroleum Institute Office of the US Trade Representative US International Trade Commission Organization of American States The European Union: NFAP Index of Economic Freedom The World Bank NumbersUSA The IMF, “IMF Board Approves Far-Reaching Governance Reforms,” at See also the video -- posted on the main IMF webpage -- of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, IMF MD, announcing and discussing the above Reform in IMF-Member Quota Shares.


The Millennium Challenge Corporation The US China Business Council AFL-CIO (The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organization: USW (United Steelworkers Union






Global Economics and Business  
Global Economics and Business  

Semester Report