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, Chair, Executive Advisory Council, Center for Monetary and Financial Alternatives, former President and CEO, Cato Institute, and former Chairman and CEO, BB&T Corporation
  • Sean Fieler, President of Equinox Partners, L.P. and the Kuroto Fund, LP
  • 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, United States Director, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
  • 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 Emeritus (Economics), 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, former Chairman, Economic Development and Review Committee, OECD (Paris) andformer Economic Adviser and Head of the Monetary and Economic Department, Bank for International Settlements
  • Geoffrey Wood, Professor Emeritus (Monetary Economics), University of Buckingham
  • Randall Wright, Ray Zemon Professor of Liquid Assets and Professor of Economics, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Leland B. Yeager (1924-2018, served 2014-2018), Professor Emeritus (Economics), Auburn University and University of Virginia

Of Special Note

Wall Street vs. The Regulators: Public Attitudes on Banks, Financial Regulation, Consumer Finance, and the Federal Reserve

Wall Street vs. The Regulators: Public Attitudes on Banks, Financial Regulation, Consumer Finance, and the Federal Reserve

A new Cato Institute 2017 Financial Regulation national survey of 2,000 U.S. adults finds that Americans distrust government financial regulators as much as they distrust Wall Street. Nearly half (48%) have “hardly any confidence” in either. Americans do not think that regulators help banks make better business decisions (74%) or better decisions about how much risk to take (68%). Instead, Americans want regulators to focus on preventing banks and financial institutions from committing fraud (65%) and ensuring banks and financial institutions fulfil their obligations to customers (56%).

Read more


The Regulators Are Coming for Bitcoin

As cryptocurrencies hit new highs, is federal regulation far behind? And if it is, can regulators really do anything to crack down on these decentralized networks? Jerry Brito of Coin Center offers an analysis.


CMFA Briefing

Should Cryptocurrencies Be Regulated like Securities?

In less than a decade, cryptocurrencies have moved from the fringes of financial market activity to a $300 billion asset class traded on exchanges and owned by mainstream investors. Yet a great deal of regulatory uncertainty still surrounds cryptocurrencies. A new paper from Cato scholar Diego Zuluaga discusses how cryptocurrencies fit established regulatory practice, and proposes a framework to provide greater regulatory certainty to market participants and enable the growth of this new technology while fulfilling the policy objectives of the relevant regulatory agencies.

Read the paper

Financial Inclusion: The Cato Summit on Financial Regulation

New financial tools are bringing more people into the modern financial world — changing how households save, borrow, invest in their futures, and pay for everyday needs, while helping serve the unbanked and underbanked in society. What innovations are making access to financial services easier, more affordable, and safer? How are regulators adapting to such rapid change? Is our regulatory framework helping or hindering progress toward more inclusion? Join us for the 5th annual Cato Summit on Financial Regulation as we explore the policy framework for financial inclusion.

Register for the Summit