B School for Public Policy

Better-informed policymaking through a deeper understanding of economics.

Attend monthly, 90-minute classroom-style sessions on Capitol Hill. Perfect for policy professionals, each “master class” covers a different issue in business and economics. Learn in an intimate and interactive experience taught by faculty from Penn and Wharton — one of the world’s leading institutions for business education.

Featured Content:

Shining a Light on the Federal Reserve’s Foreign Affairs

Throughout its history, the U.S. Federal Reserve has engaged in international diplomacy, outside the bounds of (and sometimes in conflict with) the priorities of the White House and U.S. State Department. In directing monetary policy, the Fed’s primary concern is to benefit the U.S. economy. In the process, the Fed at times acts in concert with foreign central banks, as was the case in setting new bank regulations after the 2008 financial crisis. At other times, the Fed acts in ways that other countries view as detrimental to their economic interests. Either way, the Fed operates with little public accountability, and can wind up complicating the work of U.S. diplomats. This brief addresses the questions of whether and how greater oversight of the Fed’s international activities should be pursued. The brief recommends not an overhaul of the Fed’s structure or the elimination of its role in international affairs, but instead calls for greater disclosure of its international activities. The authors suggest that the Fed should provide testimony to Congress twice per year on its foreign policies, just as it does for monetary and regulatory policy. This kind of disclosure permits broader discussion of the Fed’s activities without eliminating the benefits of its institutional independence for monetary policy.

Nation Branding: Which Countries Ranked Highest This Year?

Every year, US News and World Report compiles a list of the best countries, the list looks at a country’s wealth and success, but also policies that create opportunity, the people that lead the change, and that country’s history. The 2019 list was just released, and joining us to highlight this year’s list, the man who compiles it, Wharton marketing professor Dave Reibstein.

Financing Small, Innovative Firms

The overwhelming majority of U.S. enterprises are small businesses. Given their importance to the U.S. economy, ensuring that small businesses have access to capital is a central policy concern. This seminar by Wharton Professor David Hsu will explore the issue from the business person’s perspective, highlighting the management challenges that small business owners face in securing their capital needs.