Smeal professor testifies before Congress on financial stability

University Park, Pa. – John Liechty, professor of marketing and statistics at the Penn State Smeal College of Business and director of the Center for the Study of Global Financial Stability, testified before the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services, Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, on July 14 regarding oversight of the newly created federal Office of Financial Research (OFR).

The OFR, which was formed last year with the passage of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, is charged with collecting data on the financial system to allow the government to effectively monitor its stability and ward off potential threats. The agency is the brainchild of Liechty, who spent 18 months gathering industry support and meeting with members of Congress to push its establishment.

In his testimony last week, Liechty explained the significant challenges associated with monitoring the modern global financial system and outlined why the OFR is necessary.

"Understanding our financial system is one of the great scientific challenges of our generation," Liechty said during his prepared remarks. "This is a challenge that is extremely important and that will take an ongoing concerted effort -- an effort that the OFR is mandated to help lead."

He concluded his prepared statement by calling on the Obama administration to quickly appoint a director of the OFR.

Liechty's complete written remarks and video of the hearing are available on the House banking committee's website.

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Last Updated July 22, 2011