Empire State Building

Michael S. Piwowar - March 24, 2014

"Aftermath of the Financial Crisis: Challenges for Regulators and Opportunities for Students."

Michael S. Piwowar was appointed by President Barack Obama to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and was sworn in on August 15, 2013.

Most recently, Dr. Piwowar was the Republican chief economist for the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs under Senators Mike Crapo (R-ID) and Richard Shelby (R-AL). He was the lead Republican economist on the four SEC-related titles of the Dodd-Frank Act and the JOBS Act. Dr. Piwowar also worked on a number of important SEC-related oversight issues under the jurisdiction of the Committee, such as securities, over-the-counter derivatives, investor protection, market structure, and capital formation.

During the financial crisis and its immediate aftermath, Dr. Piwowar served in a one-year fixed-term position at the White House as a senior economist at the President's Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) in both the George W. Bush and Barack Obama Administrations. While at the CEA, Dr. Piwowar also served as a staff economist for the Financial Regulatory Reform Working Group of the President's Economic Recovery Advisory Board.

Before joining the White House, Dr. Piwowar worked as a Principal at the Securities Litigation and Consulting Group (SLCG). At SLCG, he provided economic consulting to law firms involved in complex securities litigation and technical assistance on market structure, regulatory policy, and risk management issues to domestic and international securities regulators and market participants.

Dr. Piwowar's first tenure at the SEC was in the Office of Economic Analysis (now called the Division of Economic and Risk Analysis) as a visiting academic scholar on leave from Iowa State University and as a senior financial economist. In those roles, he provided economic analyses and other technical support to the Commission and other SEC Divisions and Offices on a wide range of rulemaking, compliance, and enforcement matters.

Dr. Piwowar was an assistant professor of finance at Iowa State University where he focused his research on market microstructure and taught undergraduate and graduate courses in corporate finance and investments. He published a number of articles in leading academic publications and received several teaching and research awards.

Dr. Piwowar received a B.A. in Foreign Service and International Politics from the Pennsylvania State University, an M.B.A. from Georgetown University, and a Ph.D. in Finance from the Pennsylvania State University.

Amity Shlaes - September 24, 2013

"More Than Predictable: What We Really Know about the Great Depression Causes and Why We Seem to be Recreating Them."

Amity Shlaes, a sought-after keynote speaker who places the current economy in the context of the past has given speeches and lectures covering a wide range of topics to financial institutions, corporations, colleges, universities, and historical societies. She writes a syndicated column for Forbes, is Chairman of the Board of the Calvin Coolidge Memorial Foundation, directs the 4% Growth project at the George W. Bush Presidential Center, and teaches at New York University's Stern School of Business in the MBA program. Shlaes is the author of three New York Times best-sellers,The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression (named byThe Wall Street Journal as one of the best books to read during a financial crisis), The Greedy Hand, and Coolidge, which debuted at number three on theTimes nonfiction list and was a Times "Editor's Choice." Coolidge is a comprehensive biography and reassessment of President Calvin Coolidge (president from 1923 to 1929) whose style of management discipline can be applied to today's fiscal crisis.

Shlaes has written for Bloomberg, the Financial Times, and The Wall Street Journal, where she was an editorial board member, as well as for TheNew Yorker, Fortune, National Review, The New Republic, and Foreign Affairs. She has appeared on PBS's News Hours with Jim Lehrer, Comedy Central'sThe Daily Show, Fox News' Glenn Beck, ABC's Good Morning America, Charlie Rose, CNBC's Kudlow, contributes to Public Radio International's Marketplace, and appears on Bloomberg radio. She chairs the jury of the Manhattan Institute's Hayek Book Prize and has won both the Hayek and the Bastiat Prize for Journalism. Shlaes is a trustee of the Calvin Coolidge Memorial Foundation.

Coolidge is both follow up and precursor to her much lauded The Forgotten Man, a book that continues to spark discussion and debate. In Coolidge she delivers a brilliant and provocative reexamination of America's thirtieth president and the enormous economic growth he helped to produce. After a divisive period of government excess and corruption, Coolidge restored national trust in Washington and achieved what few other peacetime presidents have: he left office with a federal budget smaller than the one he inherited. In her Coolidge talks Shlaes shows that the restraint that sometimes earned him ridicule was in fact his greatest strength: he reduced the federal budget during this time in office even as the economy grew, wages rose, taxes fell, and unemployment dropped. Her speeches reveal the lessons that financial institutions, municipal governments, politicians, corporations, insurance companies, philanthropic organizations, and educators can take away from Coolidge's vastly under-rated presidency.

Shlaes graduated magna cum laude from Yale and studied at the Free University in Berlin on a DAAD fellowship. Yale named her to its "Who's Been Blue," list of most distinguished alumni. She lives with her family in New York.