Spend time talking with Ben Golub and some things become abundantly clear: He believes in the power of education as a key change agent—for an individual, and for the world at large. He expresses his gratitude for help provided him by being generous himself. And he strongly supports the idea that serious scholarship is the key to creating a better future.
Golub acted on these principles in May 2016 when he made a gift to support the MIT Center for Finance and Policy, since renamed the Bennett W. Golub Center for Finance and Policy in recognition of his generosity. This gift supports the Golub Center’s research, some of which has already addressed certain aspects of the financial crisis of 2007-2008 and the Great Recession, as well as the Center’s ongoing outreach efforts. The research results have caused regulators, policymakers, and other stakeholders to rethink elements of the crisis, including its causation, the government’s response, and ways to try to prevent or mitigate future financial disruptions.
Golub says, “I believe MIT is uniquely capable of providing a platform for rigorous and nonpartisan research in risk management, financial regulation, and systemic risk. This research is sorely needed, as we all have been witness to the unfortunate economic consequences when the financial system fails. My hope is that this gift will permit the Center to leverage the outstanding talent at MIT to help improve the safety and efficiency of the financial system.”
The Golub Center’s research and outreach activities are designed to bring greater transparency about financial policy, provide informative materials, and develop innovative programs—with the goal of providing tools and ideas that will elevate the quality of public-policy debate and decisions.
MIT Sloan Professor, Robert Merton, co-director of the Golub Center, says, “Ben’s generous gift underscores that the need for rigorous financial analysis of public policy has never been greater.”
Golub believes that the principles and techniques developed by Merton and MIT’s other academic luminaries could be applied to improve the structure of the financial system. “Financial regulation involves application of finance, economics, and the law,” explains Golub. “I hope the Center will draw in talented people from across MIT and Cambridge to engage in deliberate study and provide information to facilitate smart policy decisions that are based on their economic substance, as opposed to only politics and ideology.”