NYU Stern

Weekly Column on Forbes.com

America's Financial Illiteracy

Protecting consumers in the confusing world of modern finance. (January 13, 2009)

The Real Bank Pay Scandal

Shareholders' and managers' interests are already better aligned than you think. (January 6, 2009)

Thomas F. Cooley On The Global Economy

Higher taxes for all? (December 21, 2009)

Grading Financial Reform

The highs and lows of the recently passed House bill. (December 16, 2009)

Lobbying Against Reform

The K Street crowd has a vested interest in avoiding change. (December 9, 2009)

Why We Have An Independent Fed

And why it should stay that way. (December 2, 2009)

The Gathering Geithner Storm

The Treasury secretary and his friends take a beating. (November 25, 2009)

Obama Has Very Few Economic Choices

More debt-financed stimulus isn't one of them. (November 11, 2009)

Fiddling Over Reform

Paul Volcker and Mervyn King are slapped down. (October 28, 2009)

Too Proud To Learn?

Repeating our mistakes with too-big-to-fail banks. (October 14, 2009)

We Aren't There Yet

Unwarranted optimism about the U.S. recovery. (October 7, 2009)

Global Trade Alert

The G-20 continues its hypocrisy on foreign commerce. (September 30, 2009)

Was The Sacrifice Of Lehman Worth It?

For answers, look back to LTCM. (September 16, 2009)

Animal Planet Vs. Economic Reasoning

Do ''behavioralists'' really offer a solution to the crisis? (September 9, 2009)

The Stimulus Is Definitely Working?!

Proponents ignore both fact and reasoning. (August 26, 2009)

The Pay Czar's Dilemma

Washington takes on Wall Street compensation. (August 19, 2009)

The Rocky History Of Fed Independence

The inherent contradictions of the Federal Reserve System. (August 12, 2009)

Fed Cred

Ben Bernanke is the best man for the job. (August 5, 2009)

The Soaring Twenties

What made the decade before the Depression so special? (July 29, 2009)

There's No News Like Bad News

More reflections on the beleaguered middle-class. (July 1, 2009)

A Dog's Breakfast

In regulatory reform, politics trumps economic logic. (June 24, 2009)

Has Rising Inequality Destroyed The Middle Class?

Let's ignore anecdotes and look at the data. (June 3, 2009)

The Need For Failure

If a firm is ''too big to fail,'' it is ... too big. (May 27, 2009)

Is The Federal Reserve Overreaching?

Systemic risk, and the best way to regulate it. (May 20, 2009)

The Federal Reserve Needs To Be Boring Again

Fed policies are undermining its independence. (May 13, 2009)

Are There Any Rules In The Bailout Game?

For the Obama administration, the answer is ''no.'' (May 6, 2009)

Elizabeth Warren's Holy Crusade

The chair of a congressional oversight committee wages war on banks. (April 22, 2009)

A Captive FDIC

Has another regulator caved in to the banking industry? (April 15, 2009)

The Museum Of Clear (Economic) Ideas

Time-consistency and the challenge for the Fed. (April 8, 2009)

Why We Can't Get Along

Understanding the world's resistance to U.S. policy lectures. (April 1, 2009)

The Slow News Is Good News

"Demography is destiny. But does the Lou Dobbs circuit get it?" (March 25, 2009)

Moral Hazard On Steroids

"There is no doubt that government intervention in the midst of a financial crisis is called for. But, interventions can easily sow the seeds of the next crisis." (March 11, 2009)

Fixing A Failed Financial System

"Many individuals and groups have put forward proposals for fixing the system and that is a good thing. The bad part is that the debate will inevitably be political not rational. Only rarely do they coincide." (March 4, 2009)

Regulation By Evolution, Or Revolution?

"Let me be clear about where this discussion is going. There is no doubt that important parts of the regulatory system have failed, and there is a good reason why people detect echoes of the 1930s. While we have not seen large numbers of bank failures, a number of very large banks have failed, and more may be insolvent. But to think clearly about how to fix this we need to understand what to regulate—and how." (February 25, 2009)

Stress Test For The Obama Stimulus

"If there is one lesson Timothy Geithner must have learned over the past year, it is that the public and the markets desperately want clarity from economic officials. They demand to know that there is a plan. Not a plan to make a plan, but a course of action with measurable milestones. That's the sort of thing real leaders provide." (February 18, 2009)

Zombie Firms And Zombie Banks

"Financial crises are, in fact, quite plentiful. Mexico and Chile in the 1980s, Japan in the 1990s, Sweden, Norway and Finland in the 1990s, to name just a few. The interesting thing about the countries just listed is that they pursued very different policies in response to the financial crises and had very different experiences as a result. What are the themes that emerge? " (February 11, 2009)

Bonuses For Boneheads

"If there is a more compelling "what were they thinking?" story than last week's revelations about bonus pools on Wall Street, I don't know what it is." (February 4, 2009)

Swedish Banking Lessons

"Sweden is very different from the U.S.—our economy is huge, Sweden's is small; what happens here has worldwide systemic effects, what happens in Sweden largely stays in Sweden. Nevertheless, there may be something to be learned from the way the Swedes dealt with the crisis." (January 28, 2009)

Ninety-Nine Days And Counting

"We can hope President Obama has the determination of Roosevelt without the headlong rush to "do something" fast. What is needed is a thoughtful approach to the restructuring and regulation of our financial system." (January 21, 2009)

The Fed On A High Wire

"...Ben Bernanke is rewriting the rules of central banking because he wants to help the economy deal with the sharpest contraction of the post-war period." (January 14, 2009)

Doubts About The Stimulus

"Not everyone is a stimulus enthusiast, and there are some very good reasons to have modest expectations for the likely impact. My colleague David Backus has presented a list of reasons why he is skeptical about the likely success of the stimulus. Some of his concerns are simply practical--it is difficult to get organized to spend the amounts of money being contemplated, let alone figure out how to spend it wisely." (January 7, 2009)

Raise The Gas Tax Now

"What ordinary citizens need are not gimmicks, but sensible energy policy. The case for raising the tax on gasoline has been made so many times and so well that it seems crazy to rehearse it again here. But, let me have another go in the hope that this is the golden moment to restate the case." (Dec. 31, 2008)

The First Day Of Stimulus My Government Gave To Me...

"It seems to me we are not being nearly creative enough in thinking about how to stimulate our economy in this, the Great Recession of the 21st century." (Dec. 24, 2008)

Intelligent Design

"Here is the question: Given the attention that has been devoted to the problem of troubled mortgages and the number of programs that have been put forward to address them, why so little impact? The simple answer is that the programs are badly designed." (Dec. 10, 2008)

Three Ways To Float A Sinking Boat

"In the immediate aftermath of the passage of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), it quickly became clear that the Treasury's proposal that toxic assets be bought at auction was a complete non-starter. Many critics pointed out at the time that it was not a good way to recapitalize banks. Subsequently, the Treasury changed course and decided to inject capital directly into key financial institutions." (Dec. 3, 2008)

Prime The Pump With Education Spending

"Stimulus spending on the whole scope of lifetime education promises truly impressive returns. If students do graduate from high school and are ready for college, the returns are truly impressive. The education premium--i.e., the average value of a college degree to an individual's lifetime earnings -- has gone up from 40% in the 1980s, to 70% and more today. But college affordability is increasingly a challenge and the chaos in credit markets has made student loans less accessible." (Nov. 26, 2008)

What Should We Stimulate, Exactly?

"Not all stimuli are the same, and we have plenty of past and recent experience to learn from. A number of people have argued for a stimulus that will get people back in the stores shopping--a tax cut or rebate. We might want to ask two questions: Is further stimulating consumption desirable, and would a further tax rebate or cut be effective?" (Nov. 19, 2008)

How We Got Here

"It's all very well to say that he who doesn't remember the past is bound to repeat it. But it is sometimes hard to figure out which past to remember, and whether the way that the past is shaped into popular recollection is at all true to the circumstances themselves." (Nov. 12, 2008)

Change I Believe In

"Indeed, recognizing that the key to the future prosperity of the U.S. economy is — as it has always been — rising productivity driven by innovation, Mr. Obama has announced new immigration policies that will open America's doors to talented workers to meet the needs of American companies — something that Bill Gates and other great innovators have been urging for many years." (Nov. 5, 2008)

Bazooka In Your Pocket

"One lesson learned is that you really do need a plan. The announcement of a big new initiative, with bold assertions and panicky pronouncements, does no good without substance to support it. Market participants need to have some idea of how the Fed and the Treasury will respond when banks and financial firms get in trouble. Without that, the crisis cannot be managed." (Oct. 29, 2008)

Are Redistributive Taxes 'Fair'?

"Why shouldn't we have better infrastructure, more energy independence and a more rational health care delivery and insurance system? The political will to achieve these things is the main ingredient that has been missing. Well, that and a few details, including a fiscally responsible plan to pay for all of it. " (Oct. 22, 2008)

Another Great Depression?

"What do we know about the road that leads from a financial crisis to a severe and prolonged downturn—and how can we avoid it?" (Oct. 15, 2008)

Bailout For The Bankrupt

"The extraordinary events of the last several weeks have wrought profound changes in the world of finance that will reverberate for decades to come." (Oct. 8, 2008)

Home Truths

"As important as it is to restore the liquidity of the financial system, it is equally imperative to help economically viable households repair their balance sheets. We need to turn Main Street right-side up." (Oct. 1, 2008)

Sack Attack

"The key players in creating the new financial landscape don't seem to include the SEC. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson is calling the plays in the rescue of the financial system, and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke is actively involved in creating a new supervisory regulatory environment centered on the Federal Reserve." (Sept. 24, 2008)

Hamilton's Bones

"As we sit shiva for Lehman brothers, watch Merrill disappear into Bank of America's bear hug, and follow the life struggle of AIG and a host of banks, we have to wonder if moral hazard created by the Bear Stearns rescue and sale didn't sow the seeds for what is happening now." (Sept. 17, 2008)

Other Perspectives by Dean Cooley

Wall Street Journal Op Ed with David Backus: Global 'Imbalances' and the Crisis

Don't blame international capital flows for the runup and crash in home prices. (January 11, 2010)

South China Morning Post

Financial Booms and Busts 'Are Inevitable' and Investors Should Look at Long-term Returns (November 25, 2009)

Bloomberg Video:

NYU's Cooley Calls Fed as Risk Regulator a "Bad Idea." (November 4, 2009)

The New York Times: Red Ink Stains Bank and Banker

"[Morgan Stanley is] going for a much less risky, bread-and-butter kind of profile." (July 23, 2009)

CNN.com Interview: Is the Worst of the Economic Downturn Over?

"[The financial crisis] was the ultimate teachable moment for our students to understand what went wrong and why." (May 11, 2009)

Newsweek Op-Ed: Are CEOs Paid Too Much?

Heroes and villains aside, it is useful to consider some facts. The problem of executive compensation is a classic principal-agent problem with unobserved information — how do you structure rewards for agents (managers) so that they make decisions that are in the long-term interests of the principals (the shareholders) when the strategies of the former are hardly discernable? (March 5, 2009)

Bloomberg Video:

Cooley Concerned About Job Creation Under Stimulus Plan (February 3, 2009)

Financial Times Op Ed: Thomas Cooley of Stern School of Business on Richard Cyert

"Having been in a leadership position for a number of years, I now understand more deeply how crucial the fundamental institutional culture is to a school's identity and, in this case, to the creation of a serious and genuinely productive research environment." (Jan. 26, 2009)

Forbes.com Op Ed: Teaching Business In A Time Of Crisis

"What has happened on Wall Street is the ultimate teachable moment for a business school. We are seeing not just an economic crisis of global proportions but the very rapid evolution of the whole international financial architecture." (Nov. 19, 2008)

Newsweek Op Ed with Lee Ohanian: Obamanomics

"Barack Obama's stunning election victory was a compelling mandate for change, especially in regard to the way the economy has been run. People's lives and livelihoods have been deeply affected by the financial crisis, and Americans are justifiably worried and angry. To set the economy on the right path again, new checks and balances to regulate our financial system are already being discussed and explored. But even as we start to search for new solutions, we have already come to a perilous fork in the road." (Nov. 12, 2008)

The Wall Street Journal Op Ed with other authors: We Can Keep People in Their Homes

"The world's turned upside down. For generations of Americans, family homes were assets to be bequeathed to our children. Today, instead, we are proposing to leave them billions of dollars in long-term debt issued by the federal government to prop up a housing market gone bad. This is unfair." (Oct. 29, 2008)

Newsweek Op Ed: The Leadership Vacuum

"The proposals being advanced to isolate bad assets, recapitalize the banking system and guarantee interbank lending are necessary, given the magnitude of the crisis. But the need for this dramatic action has yet to be explained in a way that makes sense to Americans on both Main Street and Wall Street." (Oct. 13, 2008)

Turmoil in World Stock Markets

Video clip from Dean Cooley's appearance on the Voice of America (Sept. 17, 2008)

Bloomberg News Clip:

Dean Thomas Cooley discusses the current US economy. (June 26, 2008)

The Economy: School is in


Dean Cooley talks about rising food and oil prices, jobs and real estate. (May 12, 2008)

Fox Business News Clip: Awaiting Results

Dean Thomas Cooley joins a discussion about the state of the economy and examines the recent Fed rate cuts. (May 1, 2008)

Mauling the Maestro - Cooley on Greenspan

"In good times, central bankers are the magicians of national wealth. In bad times, they are the Rasputins of the market. The truth is far more subtle." (April 23, 2008)

The Value in Paulson's Proposals

"It's clear that Mr. Paulson intends, at least in part, to forestall a regulatory reaction to the specifics of the current liquidity crisis. His proposals would not necessarily have prevented liquidity problems, but they put in place a structure that is better equipped to handle such shocks to the credit market." (April 7, 2008)

BBC Clip: New Regulation for US Markets

Dean Thomas Cooley examines the US regulatory system, in light of Henry Paulson's plan to overhaul the country's financial oversight. (April 1, 2008)

The Values Proposition: How Stern is Bridging the Dialogue Between Business and Society

"Business education can't "teach" values, but a discussion of values and the social importance of business is an essential and ongoing part of our conversation. How else would the next generation of business leaders grasp the full scope of their action in the business arena and its consequence in the rest of the world?"

Perspectives on Business Education

"Business schools have come under attack in the press, and the value of the MBA education has been called into question."

Why Today's MBA is Relevant


Read the complete white paper Diagnosing the Ills of Business Education: Is the Doctor Sick or is the Patient Healthy?