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James R. Barth is the Lowder Eminent Scholar in finance at Auburn University, a senior fellow at the Milken Institute, and a fellow at the Wharton Financial Institution Center. His research focuses on financial institutions and capital markets, both domestic and global, with special emphasis on regulatory issues. He served as leader of an international team advising the People's Bank of China on banking reform. Barth also participated in the US Speaker and Specialist Program of the US Department of State in China in 2007, India in 2008, Russia in 2009, and Egypt in 2010. Also in 2008, Barth spoke on "Competition in the Financial Sector: Challenges for Regulation" at the G-20 Workshop on Competition in the Financial Sector, Bali, Indonesia.
Barth was an appointee of Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush as chief economist of the Office of Thrift Supervision and previously the Federal Home Loan Bank Board. He has also held the positions of professor of economics at George Washington University, associate director of the economics program at the National Science Foundation, and Shaw Foundation Professor of Banking and Finance at Nanyang Technological University. He has been a visiting scholar at the US Congressional Budget Office, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and the World Bank.
Barth has testified before several US Congressional Committees. He has authored more than 300 articles in professional journals and has co-authored and co-edited several books, including The Great Savings and Loan Debacle, American Enterprise Institute Press; The Reform of Federal Deposit Insurance, Harper Business; Rethinking Bank Regulation: Till Angels Govern, Cambridge University Press; Financial Restructuring and Reform in Post-WTO China, Kluwer Law International; The Rise and Fall of the US Mortgage and Credit Markets: A Comprehensive Analysis of the Meltdown, John Wiley & Sons (Prose Honorable Mention Award); and China's Emerging Financial Markets: Challenges and Opportunities, Springer.
His most recent books are Guardians of Finance: Making Regulators Work for Us, MIT Press (Prose Honorable Mention Award) in 2012; Fixing the Housing Market: Financial Innovations for the Future, Wharton School Publishing-Pearson in 2012; Research Handbook on International Banking and Governance, MIT Press in 2012; The First Great Financial Crisis of the 21st Century: A Retrospective, World Scientific in 2016; and Regulation and Governance of Financial Institutions, Edward Elgar Publishing in 2016. He has been quoted in publications ranging from the New York Times and Wall Street Journal to Barron's and Newsweek and has appeared on various broadcast programs and National Public Radio.
Barth is the overseas associated editor of the Chinese Banker and included in Who's Who in Economics: A Biographical Dictionary of Major Economists, 1700 to 1995.