MIB: Peter Conti-Brown, Financial Historian at Wharton

This week, we speak with Peter Conti-Brown, a financial historian and legal scholar at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Conti-Brown studies central banking, financial regulation and public finance, with a particular focus on the history and policies of the U.S. Federal Reserve System. He is the author of “The Power and Independence of the Federal Reserve.”

The issue of what is money — and who gets to decide — has been the central debate of the Federal reserve for its entire history. This also helps to explain why the Fed has attracted conspiracy theorists and bashers and other assorted crazies.

We also discuss the turmoil at Wells Fargo (WFC). Senior corporate management had created a terrible incentive system that had predictably disastrous results. Conti-Brown is encouraged by the new Wells chairwoman, former Federal Reserve governor Elizabeth Duke. He notes this is likely an inflection point, and suggests that the board is very serious about both changing their corporate culture at WFC as part of their turnaround plan.

His favorite books are here, and our conversation transcript is posted here.

You can stream/download the full conversation, including the podcast extras on iTunesBloombergOvercast, and Stitcher. Our earlier podcasts can all be found at iTunesStitcherOvercast, and Bloomberg.

Next week, we speak with Howard Marks, founder and chairman, Oaktree Capital, author of the new book Mastering the Market Cycle: Getting the Odds on Your Side.

 

 

 

Peter Conti-Brown Authored Books

The Power and Independence of the Federal Reserve by Peter Conti-Brown

When States Go Broke: The Origins, Context, and Solutions for the American States in Fiscal Crisis by Peter Conti-Brown

 

Peter Conti-Brown Favorite Books
The Bankers’ New Clothes: What’s Wrong with Banking and What to Do about It by Anat Admati

Les Miserables by Victor Hugo

More Money Than God: Hedge Funds and the Making of a New Elite by Sebastian Mallaby

The Man Who Knew: The Life and Times of Alan Greenspan by Sebastian Mallaby

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