2017 MFM Summer Session Reflection

It was my great privilege to participate in the 2017 Macro Financial Modeling Summer Session for Young Scholars held at the Omni Hotel at Mt. Washington in Bretton Woods, NH. This was my first visit to Bretton Woods.

The location has much history attached to it. In 1944, 730 delegates from 44 countries participated in a forum to reshape the commercial and financial interactions around the world. Prominent economists such as John Maynard Keynes were actively involved in the conversations. Coming out of Bretton Woods were a set of rules and institutions to oversee the international monetary system. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) were created, the gold standard was embraced, and it set the stage for fixed exchange rate regimes. The gathering was at the same hotel, the Mt. Washington Hotel, as this year’s summer camp.

Myself and MFM project co-director, Andy Lo, MIT

It was my pleasure to participate. The lectures covered a wide variety of topics including liquidity, financial network modeling, histories of financial crises and exchange rate regimes, housing finance, along with methods for estimation, inference and model comparison. Many elite scholars gave informative lectures. A lot (perhaps too much) was packed into the first two days of the camp. Two of the speakers, Maryam Farboodi and Luigi Bocola were 2013 MFM fellowship awardees.

Like last year, my co-director Andy Lo and I found value in having private sector and public sector panels with research support leaders adding their perspectives on the important policy challenges and open research questions. Leo Melamed, CME Group Chairman Emeritus’ talk was a real highlight, as he provided a personalized discussion of the breakdown of the fixed exchange rate regime and the resulting emergence of derivative claims markets.

I was particularly impressed with the student engagement, both formal and informal. There were some terrific poster sessions and some nice short talks given by MFM scholars. The MFM project has provided research support for 61 graduate students, and the camp provided an opportunity for some of this research to be presented. Dinners were fun for me because they were engaging. I enjoyed talking to many of the students. I even joined them at the Mt. Washington Hotel bar, The Cave, but embarrassed myself in my attempts to table shuffleboard. It is truly terrific to see such young and energetic talent enter the macrofinance field, and I look forward to watching them develop in the future.

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