How Will the Financial Markets React: The Potential Implications of the Fiscal Cliff

June 27, 2012

Washington, D.C.
By invitation only


Jason Cummins, Ethan Harris, Russ Ramsey, Rohan Williamson
Milken Institute-Georgetown University Congressional Briefing


As part of the Milken Institute's ongoing monthly briefing series on Capitol Hill with the Georgetown University McDonough School of Business, we convened more than 50 key congressional staff in the U.S. Capitol Building for a briefing, "How Will the Financial Markets React: The Implications of the Fiscal Cliff."

The purpose of this briefing series is to bring greater understanding and expert knowledge of the financial markets to a cross-section of Senate and House staff who handle these issues for their member of Congress or for a committee of jurisdiction. This specific briefing topic is an excellent example of the Milken Institute's convening of financial market experts in Washington on timely, critical issues the country is facing.

The speakers were the following:

Jason Cummins has been the chief US economist and head of research of Brevan Howard Inc since 2004. Brevan Howard is an international hedge fund management group with over $35 billion under management as at May 2012. In his role, he develops the firm's outlook for the economy, politics, and markets, advises the traders on portfolio management, and manages the global research/strategy team. Cummins is also a member of the Treasury Borrowing Advisory Committee, a government-appointed panel of external experts that has served the country for almost half a century. Formerly, Cummins was senior economist at the Federal Reserve Board, where he ran the macro forecasting team. Cummins began his career in 1995 as an assistant professor of economics at New York University and also taught at Harvard University. Cummins earned a Ph.D. in economics from Columbia University and graduated with high honors from Swarthmore College.

Ethan Harris is co-head of Global Economics Research at Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Research. He is also responsible for formulating and communicating the North America economic outlook and the Fed interest rate call. In addition, he works in close partnership with the Rates Strategy Research team on longer-term yield curve forecasts. Previously, Harris worked at Barclays, formerly Lehman Brothers, where he was the chief U.S. Economist beginning in 2003. Prior to joining Lehman Brothers in 1996, Harris worked at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York for nine years. Previously, he worked for several years as an international economist at J.P. Morgan. Harris is the author of Ben Bernanke's "Fed: The Federal Reserve After Greenspan." He holds a Ph.D. in economics from Columbia University, where he was a University Fellow.

Russ Ramsey is Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer of Ramsey Asset Management (RAM) -- a long/short equity hedge fund business based in the Washington, D. C. area. Prior to starting Ramsey Asset Management in 2001, Mr. Ramsey was the co-founder and co-Chief Executive Officer of Friedman, Billings, Ramsey Group (FBR), a middle market investment bank and related companies. Co-founding FBR in 1989, Mr. Ramsey led the company from a startup research organization to a successful IPO and growth into one of the 10 largest investment banks in the United States. He also oversees, along with his wife Norma, the Russ and Norma Ramsey Foundation.

Rohan Williamson, the moderator, is a Professor of Finance and Stallkamp Faculty Research Fellow at Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business. He specializes in international finance, corporate governance, corporate investment decisions, and risk management. His research has appeared in leading scholarly publications including the Journal of Finance, the Journal of Financial Economics, the Review of Financial Studies, and the Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis. Dr. Williamson's work has also been featured in other publications such as the National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper Series. Dr. Williamson earned his PhD in finance and MA from the Ohio State University, his MBA from Atlanta University, and his BS in mechanical engineering from the University of Dayton.

For more information on this briefing, please contact Dianna Dunne, Director of Government Affairs, at