Robert E. Wright

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Robert E. Wright (born 1969[1] in Rochester, N.Y.) is a business, economic, financial, and monetary historian and the inaugural Rudy and Marilyn Nef Family Chair of Political Economy at Augustana College in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.[2] He is also a research economist at the National Bureau of Economic Research,[3] a former editor of Pickering & Chatto’s Financial History and Perspectives in Economic and Social History series, and an editor for Financial History, the magazine of the newly revamped Museum of American Finance.[4] He is also director of the Thomas Willing Institute for the Study of Financial Markets, Institutions, and Regulations and editor of Cambridge University Press's "Slavery Since Emancipation" book series.[5]

Education and research[edit]

After graduating from Fairport High School in 1987, Wright took degrees in History from Buffalo State College, where he was a member of the All-College Honors Program,[6] and the University at Buffalo (Ph.D., 1997).[7] Since 2001 he has authored or co-authored six books on early U.S. financial and political history, two tomes about major corporations (Guardian Life and publisher John Wiley & Sons),[8] a popular exposé of the economic and contractual problems plaguing the U.S. construction industry, an open Money and Banking textbook available for free on the website of textbook publisher Flat World Knowledge and a major critique of U.S. public policies related to bailouts and the banking, construction, health care, higher education, and retirement savings industries.[9] New England Publishing Associates agents his work.[10]

Wright’s One Nation Under Debt (formerly “Born in Debt”),[11] was published by McGraw Hill in early 2008.[12][13][14][15][16][17][18] His earlier research also won some minor awards.[19] Wright has several books forthcoming, including an edited volume called Bailouts: Public Money, Private Profit for the Social Science Research Council,[20] and a book on the role the real estate mortgage crisis of the 1760s played in the coming of the American Revolution discussed at length in the New York Times.[21][22][23][24][25][26][27][28][29][30][31][32]

Wright taught at New York University’s Stern School of Business from 2003 until 2009. Before that, Wright taught economics at the University of Virginia,[33] where he worked with Virginia economist Ron Michener in a dispute against Farley Grubb, an economist at the University of Delaware, over the nature of colonial and early U.S. money and monetary systems.[34]


  • The WSJ Guide to the 50 Economic Indicators That Really Matter: From Big Macs to "Zombie Banks," the Indicators Smart Investors Watch to Beat the Market (2011). ISBN 978-0-06-200138-2
  • Fubarnomics: A Lighthearted, Serious Look at America's Economic Ills (2010). ISBN 978-1-61614-191-2
  • Bailouts: Public Money, Private Profit (2010). ISBN 978-0-231-15055-2
  • One Nation Under Debt: Hamilton, Jefferson, and the History of What We Owe (2008). ISBN 978-0-07-154393-4
  • Knowledge for Generations: Wiley and the Global Publishing Industry, 1807-2007 (2007). ISBN 978-0-471-75721-4
  • Broken Buildings, Busted Budgets: How to Fix America’s Trillion-Dollar Construction Industry (2007). ISBN 978-0-226-47267-6
  • Financial Founding Fathers: The Men Who Made America Rich (2006). ISBN 978-0-226-91068-0
  • The U.S. National Debt, 1787-1900 4 vols. (2005). ISBN 978-1-85196-816-9
  • The First Wall Street: Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, and the Birth of American Finance (2005). ISBN 978-0-226-91026-0
  • History of Corporate Governance: The Importance of Stakeholder Activism 6 vols. (2004). ISBN 978-1-85196-769-8
  • Mutually Beneficial: The Guardian and Life Insurance in America (2004). ISBN 978-0-8147-9397-8
  • The History of Corporate Finance: Development of Anglo-American Securities Markets, Financial *Practices, Theories and Laws 6 vols. (2003). ISBN 978-1-85196-749-0
  • Hamilton Unbound: Finance and the Creation of the American Republic (2002). ISBN 978-0-275-97816-7
  • The Wealth of Nations Rediscovered: Integration and Expansion in American Financial Markets, 1780-1850 (2002). ISBN 978-0-521-81237-5
  • Origins of Commercial Banking in America, 1750-1800 (2001). ISBN 978-0-7425-2087-5


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Augustana can thank cheese for creation of economic chair |". Argus Leader. Retrieved 2009-06-04. [dead link]
  3. ^ "Robert E. Wright". Retrieved 2009-06-04. 
  4. ^ "Editorial Board". Retrieved 2009-06-04. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ "All College Honors Program - Buffalo State College - About the Program - Alumni". 1999-02-22. Retrieved 2009-06-04. 
  7. ^ "Department of History, University at Buffalo". Retrieved 2009-06-04. 
  8. ^ "The Winthrop Group, Inc". 2008-10-27. Retrieved 2009-06-04. 
  9. ^ Wright, Robert E (2000-10-09). "Results for 'au:Wright, Robert E'". Retrieved 2009-06-04. 
  10. ^ "Sales List". Retrieved 2009-06-04. 
  11. ^ "History Books". Beneath the Cover. Retrieved 2009-06-04. 
  12. ^ "One Nation Under Debt, Robert E. Wright, Book - Barnes & Noble". Retrieved 2009-06-04. 
  13. ^ "WOR News Talk Radio 710 HD - Joey Reynolds- March 5, 2008- 4A-5A". 2008-03-05. Retrieved 2009-06-04. 
  14. ^ "Welcome to the Dr. Pat Show Online!". Retrieved 2009-06-04. 
  15. ^;
  16. ^ "Press Releases at The Larry Kane Report". Retrieved 2009-06-04. 
  17. ^ "Choice Reviews Online". Retrieved 2009-06-04. 
  18. ^
  19. ^;
  20. ^ "SSRC Books » Privatization of Risk Series". Retrieved 2009-06-04. 
  21. ^ Arango, Tim (2008-11-30). "The Housing-Bubble and the American Revolution". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-05-22. 
  22. ^ "NYU Stern". Retrieved 2009-06-04. 
  23. ^ "Bailouts, Then and Now | WBUR and NPR - On Point with Tom Ashbrook". 2008-10-06. Retrieved 2009-06-04. 
  24. ^ Greising, David (2008-09-23). "Rescue must weigh safety vs. freedom - Chicago Tribune". Retrieved 2009-06-04. 
  25. ^ Phillips, Michael M. (2008-09-20). "Government Bailouts: A U.S. Tradition Dating to Hamilton -". Retrieved 2009-06-04. 
  26. ^ Ward, Jon (2008-10-03). "Bill gives Paulson unprecedented power". Washington Times. Retrieved 2009-06-04. 
  27. ^ Arango, Tim; Creswell, Julie (2008-10-05). "End of an Era on Wall Street: Goodbye to All That". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-05-22. 
  28. ^ By DAVID LAZARUS, CONSUMER CONFIDENTIAL October 05, 2008 (2008-10-05). "$10.1-trillion national debt? Let's cut taxes! - Los Angeles Times". Retrieved 2009-06-04. 
  29. ^ Wright, Robert E. (2008-03-18). "The party's over; Democrats and Republicans offer no choice when it comes to the economy. Let's start fresh". Retrieved 2009-06-04. 
  30. ^ June 2008 Print Edition. "The Coming Recession: Seven observers debate the (sorry) state of the economy. - Reason Magazine". Retrieved 2009-06-04. 
  31. ^ DECEMBER 2008 • Robert E. Wright. "Financial crisis and reform - The McKinsey Quarterly - Financial crisis and reform: Looking back for clues to the future - Strategy - Strategic Thinking". The McKinsey Quarterly. Retrieved 2009-06-04. 
  32. ^ "Rx for a Vulnerable Economy: Cut Down on Debt". Retrieved 2009-06-04. 
  33. ^ "4/12/2002: A Market Solution to the Oversupply of Historians". The Chronicle. Retrieved 2009-06-04. 
  34. ^