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Stream every public session from the 27th annual Global Conference right here on our website.

Center for Financial Markets

What We Do

The Center for Financial Markets conducts research and constructs programs designed to facilitate the smooth and efficient operation of financial markets—to help ensure that they are fair and available to those who need them when they need them.

Capital Access in the US

Financial capital fuels businesses and shapes the livelihoods of the population.


Only 20 percent of businesses in the US are minority-owned despite the fact that minorities make up 40 percent of the population.


Americans live in economically distressed communities. Between 2000 and 2015, more than half of these communities experienced a decline in jobs.


Over two-thirds of job growth comes from small businesses, for whom the most important variable for success is access to capital.

Stories from the Field
In this Stories from the Field series, Natalie Cohen, senior fellow, Milken Institute Center for Financial Markets, interviews leaders in the field of public finance to trace their career paths and identify innovative accomplishments from which others can learn. We hope our readers and listeners—whether new to the field or experienced and seeking to advance their public finance careers—will learn more about the area and find inspiration from their innovation.
Ghana’s Daakye Bond Program: An African Securitization Case Study

This case study provides a deep dive into Ghana's Daakye securitization program and the lessons learned from this innovative financing approach.

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COVID-19: The Impact on Minority Owned Businesses

Aron Betru, Director of the Center for Financial Markets, appears on Yahoo Finance to discuss the impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on minority-owned small businesses.

An Initiative to Build Smart Growth

The Center for Financial Markets joined the Center for Regional Economics, Center for Strategic Philanthropy, and the Innovative Finance team to address the financing needs of America’s infrastructure.

Virtual Session: FinTech in the Middle East

The Milken Institute’s Mike Piwowar joins a panel of industry experts to discuss the rise of FinTech and crypto across the Middle East.

A Blueprint for Reforming the Housing Finance System

Our blueprint for administrative reform details an effective plan for the housing finance system—keeping Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in conservatorship, while ensuring the continued operation of the overall system.

Big Tech's Invasion of Banking

Almost a decade after the passage of the Dodd-Frank Act, what keeps bankers awake at night is not regulation by Washington, but competition from Silicon Valley. At first, competitors took the form of financial technology startups, whose avowed aim was to relegate the banks to the ash heap of history. The real threat, the bankers are coming to recognize, is big tech, not FinTech.

COVID-19 in Africa: The Road to Economic Recovery

Aron Betru, managing director of the Center for Financial Markets, speaks to Africa 54's Linord Moudou about the steps the continent could take towards economic recovery in light of the pandemic.

PPP: Protection or Problem

In the Milken Institute Review, Aron Betru and Ragini Chawla consider the effectiveness of PPP and how it could better fulfill its original purpose.

Leveraging OZs for an Equitable Post-Covid Recovery

Is figuring out how to implement Opportunity Zones, an admittedly arcane initiative, worth the effort? Center for Financial Markets’ Dan Carol and Ragini Chawla address this question in relation to post-COVID recovery.

It’s T-0 to Go Faster Than T+2

In The Wall Street Journal, executive director Michael Piwowar explains why it's time to re-evaluate the length of the securities-transaction cycle.

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The $3 Billion That Can Kickstart US Infrastructure Spending

Center for Financial Markets director Dan Carol on how the US Economic Development Administration can improve the infrastructure system in the United States.

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11 Ideas to Advance African American (Financial) Access to the American Dream

Center For Financial Markets managing director Aron Betru offers 11 ideas to improve capital parity for minority-owned business enterprises.

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