Regulation has a vital role in a financial system—and changes in regulation were clearly needed in the wake of the financial crisis. However, banking and other financial services cannot be entirely de-risked, at least not without losing the benefits of what we as a society expect from the financial sector. The key challenge is to ensure that financial institutions cannot put taxpayers or the broad economy in peril when their business decisions do not work out. This briefing will discuss potential policy improvements that the 115th Congress can make to ensure that the regulatory system protects consumers and the broader economy from undue harm without putting undue downward pressure on economic growth and financial innovation.
Michael Bright is a director at the Milken Institute’s Center for Financial Markets (CFM), where he leads the housing program. In addition to housing finance, Bright works on issues related to international and domestic financial market regulation and policy. Prior to joining the Institute, Bright worked at PennyMac, an innovative mortgage finance firm founded in the wake of the housing crisis. Earlier, he was with the asset management company BlackRock. Bright worked in the office of U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, a Tennessee Republican, for four years. He advised on a range of Senate Banking Committee issues, including monetary policy, Dodd-Frank Act implementation, global market liquidity, and housing finance. Bright also spent two years in large bank supervision at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. Prior to coming to Washington, Bright spent six years as an interest rate derivatives trader and market-maker for both Wachovia Bank and Countrywide Financial. He holds a B.A. in international relations from Johns Hopkins University and an M.A. in the same discipline from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.
Edward Knight is Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Nasdaq. In his role as General Counsel, Knight is responsible for providing legal counsel to senior management and for overseeing the quality of legal services across the global organization. He is also responsible for government relations, listing qualifications, market regulation and the office of economic research. In addition, Knight oversees the Office of Corporate Secretary, which is responsible for all of Nasdaq's corporate governance activities and maintaining the Corporate Record. Knight is the Chief Regulatory Officer of the NASDAQ Exchange. Knight served as the Chief Legal Officer of the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD, now FINRA) from June 1999 until becoming Nasdaq’s General Counsel in 2001. Before joining the NASD in 1999, Knight served as General Counsel of the U.S. Department of the Treasury from September 1994 to June 1999. A Texas native, Knight received his B.A., with honors, in Latin American Studies from the University of Texas at Austin and his J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law.
Phillip Swagel is a senior fellow at the Milken Institute and a professor at the School of Public Policy of the University of Maryland. Swagel was assistant secretary for economic policy at the Treasury Department from December 2006 to January 2009. In that position, he served as a member of the TARP investment committee and advised Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson on all aspects of economic policy. Swagel previously worked at the White House Council of Economic Advisers, the International Monetary Fund and the Federal Reserve, and taught economics at Northwestern University, the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University. He received a bachelor's degree in economics from Princeton University and a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University.