Center for Monetary and Financial Alternatives

The Center for Monetary and Financial Alternatives is dedicated to revealing the shortcomings of today’s centralized, bureaucratic, and discretionary monetary and financial-regulatory systems and to identifying, studying, and promoting alternatives more conducive to a stable, flourishing, and free society. The Center brings together unparalleled expertise with an Executive Advisory Council made up of financial experts, an Academic Advisory Council that includes many of the world’s leading monetary economists, and multiple scholar affiliates as adjuncts, senior fellows, and full-time experts at Cato. The Center engages with policymakers, academics, students, and the public through original research, public policy analysis, educational events, multimedia resources, and its blog,

Executive Advisory Council

  • John A. Allison, Former President and CEO, Cato Institute, former Chairman and CEO, BB&T Corporation, and Chair, Executive Advisory Council, Center for Monetary and Financial Alternatives
  • Sean Fieler,  President of Equinox Partners, L.P. and the Kuroto Fund, L.P
  • Robert Gelfond, CEO and Founder, MQS Management
  • James Grant, Founder and Editor, Grant’s Interest Rate Observer
  • Richard Kovacevich, Chairman Emeritus, Wells Fargo and Co.
  • Robert L. Luddy,  Founder and CEO, CaptiveAire
  • George Melloan,  Former Deputy Editor, Wall Street Journal
  • Judy Shelton, Co-Director, Sound Money Project, Atlas Network
  • Jeffrey S. Yass, Managing Director, Susquehanna International Group

Council of Academic Advisors

  • Leszek Balcerowicz,  Professor of Economics, College of Europe; former Chairman of the National Bank of Poland, and former Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister
  • Guillermo Calvo, Professor of Economics and Director of the Program in Economic Policy Management, Columbia University
  • Kenneth French,  Carl E. and Catherine M. Heidt Professor of Finance, Tuck School of Business, Dartmouth College
  • Edward J. Kane, Professor of Finance, Boston College
  • George Kaufman, John F. Smith Jr. Professor of Finance and Economics, Loyola University Chicago
  • David Laidler, Professor of Economics (Emeritus), University of Western Ontario
  • Bennett T. McCallum, H. J. Heinz Professor of Economics, Carnegie Mellon University
  • J. Huston McCulloch, Professor Emeritus, Ohio State University, and Adjunct Professor, New York University
  • Vernon L. Smith, Nobel Laureate (Economics) and Professor of Economics, Chapman University
  • John B. Taylor, Mary and Robert Raymond Professor of Economics, Stanford University
  • Richard H. Timberlake, Professor Emeritus (Economics), University of Georgia
  • William R. White, Chairman, Economic Development and Review Committee, OECD  (Paris); former Economic Adviser and Head of the Monetary and Economic Department, Bank for International Settlements
  • Geoffrey Wood, Professor of Monetary Economics (Emeritus), University of Buckingham
  • Randall Wright, Ray Zemon Professor of Liquid Assets and Professor of Economics, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Leland B. Yeager, Professor Emeritus (Economics), Auburn University and University of Virginia

Of Special Note

The Repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act: Myth and Reality

The Repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act: Myth and Reality

The Glass-Steagall Act was enacted in 1933 in response to banking crises in the 1920s and early 1930s. It imposed the separation of commercial and investment banking. In 1999, Glass-Steagall was partially repealed by the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. When the United States suffered a severe financial crisis less than a decade later, some leapt to the conclusion that this repeal was at least partly to blame. In a new study, international financial regulatory expert Oonagh McDonald argues that the notion that repealing Glass-Steagall caused the financial crisis, and that bringing it back would prevent future crises, is not supported by the facts.

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John Allison Media Highlights

Best moments from John Allison’s discussion of the Fed and financial regulation during his December 2016 media appearances.


Educational Programs

EconTalk LIVE: David Beckworth on Monetary Policy and the Great Recession

The Cato Institute’s Center for Monetary and Financial Alternatives is pleased to announce another installment of its “live” edition of EconTalk. Join Russ Roberts as he interviews David Beckworth on the part that the Federal Reserve and other central banks played (and the part they ought to have played) in the Great Recession.

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Financial Crisis and Reform: Have We Done Enough to Fix the Government-Sponsored Entities?

While there is an ongoing debate about what caused the 2008 financial crisis, there is little disagreement that the housing market was at the heart of the problem. In the years since the crisis, Congress passed a massive new piece of legislation, the Dodd-Frank Act, and federal financial regulators have been actively issuing new regulations. But what about the government-sponsored housing entities, known as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac? What was their role in the crisis, and what has been done to reduce their potential harm in the future? Join us as we discuss these questions with experts from the policy world and the industry itself.


Sound Monetary Policy

Highlights from Center for Monetary and Financial Alternatives Executive Advisory Council Chair John A. Allison’s testimony before the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services.