Christine Desan, Managing Editor
Christine Desan is the Leo Gottlieb Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and the author of Making Money: Coin, Currency, and the Coming of Capitalism (Oxford University Press, 2014). The book argues that a radical transformation in the way societies produce money ushered in capitalism as a public project. From creating money as a direct credit (coined or not) that linked the political community to members, sovereigns moved to intermediating the public medium. They issued it through investors, nascent central bankers, and enshrined the profit motive as the incentive that regulated money’s production. Those innovations exploded old strictures on money creation and revolutionized attitudes towards self-interest.
Desan’s research more generally explores money as a constitutional (small “c”) project that structures material life and governance. Earlier work focused on the adjudicative power of legislatures and sovereign immunity. Desan teaches courses on the constitutional law of money, globalization as a monetary phenomenon, and monetary reform. She is co-founder of Harvard’s Program on the Study of Capitalism, an interdisciplinary project that brings together classes, resources, research funds, and advising on that subject and has taught the Program’s anchoring research seminar, the Workshop on the Political Economy of Modern Capitalism, with Professor Sven Beckert (History, Harvard University) since 2005. Desan is on the Board of the Institute for Global Law and Policy and is an editor of the journal Eighteenth Century Studies. She has been a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study and at the Massachusetts Historical Society, and served on her municipality’s committee on campaign reform for ten years. Recent work includes edited volumes A Cultural History of Money in the Age of Enlightenment (2019), and, with Sven Beckert, American Capitalism: New Histories (Columbia University Press, 2018).
Dan Rohde, Assistant Editor
Dan Rohde is an S.J.D. Candidate at Harvard Law School, where his research focuses on the intersection of monetary institutions, business firms and employment. His dissertation will look historically at how the creation of modern monetary institutions paved the way for the development of the employment relationship.
Prior to enrolling at Harvard Law School, Dan practiced in labor and employment law at a leading union-side law firm in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, as well as at a legal clinic that specializes in cases with a systemic impact on those living in poverty throughout Ontario. He also worked briefly as an elementary school teacher in Brooklyn, NY.
Dan has a B.A. from the New School University, an M.S. in Education from Brooklyn College, and a J.D. from the University of Toronto Faculty of Law. After law school, he clerked at the Ontario Court of Appeal for Associate Chief Justice Alexandra Hoy, Associate Chief Justice Dennis O’Connor and Justice Eileen Gillese.
Susan Smith, Site Coordinator
Susan Smith is a faculty assistant at Harvard Law School. Before coming to HLS, she was a course manager, project evaluator and mentor for students working through online programming courses at Udacity.
Susan has a B.A. from Framingham State University, and an A.L.M. from the Harvard University Extension School.
Mehrsa Baradaran is a professor of law at the University of California, Irvine School of Law. Baradaran writes about banking law, financial inclusion, inequality, and the racial wealth gap. Her scholarship includes the books How the Other Half Banks and The Color of Money: Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap, both published by the Harvard University Press. The Color of Money: Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap was awarded the Best Book of the Year by the Urban Affairs Association, the PROSE Award Honorable Mention in the Business, Finance & Management category. Baradaran was also selected as a finalist at the 2018 Georgia Author of the Year Awards for the book in the category of history/biography.
Baradaran has also published articles including “Jim Crow Credit” in the Irvine Law Review, “Regulation by Hypothetical” in the Vanderbilt Law Review, “It’s Time for Postal Banking” in the Harvard Law Review Forum, and “Banking and the Social Contract” in the Notre Dame Law Review. Baradaran and her books have received significant national and international media coverage and have been featured in the New York Times, the Atlantic, Slate, American Banker, the Wall Street Journal and Financial Times; on National Public Radio’s “Marketplace,” C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal” and Public Broadcasting Service’s “NewsHour;” and as part of TEDxUGA. She has advised U.S. Senators and Congressmen on policy, testified before the U.S. Congress, and spoken at national and international forums like the U.S. Treasury and the World Bank.
She earned her bachelor’s degree cum laude from Brigham Young University and her law degree cum laude from NYU, where she served as a member of the New York University Law Review.
Roy Kreitner is a professor at the law faculty of Tel Aviv University. His research focuses on private law theory, jurisprudence and legal history, and the history and theory of money. His scholarship includes Calculating Promises: The Emergence of Modern American Contract Doctrine (Stanford, 2007), and articles such as The Jurisprudence of Global Money (Theoretical Inquiries in Law, 2010); Legal History of Money (Annual Review of Law and Social Science, 2012); Toward a Political Economy of Money (in Research Handbook on Political Economy and Law, Hugo Mattei & John D. Haskell eds., 2015); Voicing the Market (Toronto Law Journal, 2019); and Money Talks: Institutional Investors and Voice in Contract (Theoretical Inquiries in Law, 2019).
Kreitner is currently working on a book manuscript on the history of money in the United States between the Civil War and World War I. The book details the transformation of money from a searing issue of electoral politics in the last third of the 19th century to an expert dominated issue of bank reform by the time of the establishment of the Federal Reserve. It tries to answer the question of how money could go from center-stage and fever pitch to non-partisan technocratic reform within a generation, and to explore the meaning of such a shift not only for money, but for the shape of American capitalism writ large.
Kreitner has been a fellow at the American Council of Learned Societies and at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, and a visiting professor at Brooklyn Law School, the University of Virginia, and the University of Toronto.
Lev Menand is a lecturer in law and postdoctoral research fellow at Columbia Law School. Lev’s research focuses on banking law and financial regulation in the United States, the origins and evolution of central banking, monetary policy, corporate law, white collar crime, administrative law, law and political economy, and the history of economic thought. During the Obama administration, Lev served as senior advisor to the Deputy Secretary of the Treasury and senior advisor to the Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Financial Institutions. He has also worked as an economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in both the Bank’s Supervision Group and in its Research and Statistics Group, where he helped to develop econometric models for the Federal Reserve System’s first Comprehensive Capital Assessment and Review. During his time at the New York Fed, Lev was seconded to the Financial Stability Oversight Council, where he helped to prepare the Council’s first financial stability report. Lev has a B.A. from Harvard College and a J.D. from Yale Law School. He clerked for Judge Jed S. Rakoff on the Southern District of New York and Chief Judge Robert A. Katzmann on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
Nadav Orian Peer
Nadav Orian Peer is an associate professor at the University of Colorado Law School. His scholarship and teaching focus on the law of financial institutions, including banking, capital markets, derivatives and community reinvestment.
Orian Peer’s research explores the intense framework of governance and regulation that undergirds the day-to-day functioning of financial markets. The design and operation of this framework has profound implications for the distribution of credit and economic opportunity in society. His recent articles include Negotiating the Lender-of-Last-Resort: The 1913 Fed Act as a Debate Over Credit Distribution (15 NYU Journal of Law & Business, 2019) and Your Grandfather’s Shadow Banking: Clearing and Call Loans in Gilded Age New York, forthcoming in Inside Money: Re-Theorizing Liquidity (Christine Desan ed.). Orian Peer’s current research focuses on policy proposals to increase access to credit for important social goals like fair housing, and climate mitigation efforts.
Before joining Colorado Law, Orian Peer worked as a visiting assistant professor in Tulane Law School, as well as a business economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago (Financial Markets Group). He completed an S.J.D. at Harvard Law School, where he taught as a Byse Fellow. As a member of the Israel Bar Association, he also practiced commercial litigation, specializing in bankruptcy and secured transactions.
Morgan Ricks is Professor of Law at Vanderbilt University Law School. He studies financial regulation. From 2009-10, he was a senior policy advisor and financial restructuring expert at the U.S. Treasury Department, where he focused primarily on financial stability initiatives and capital markets policy. Before joining the Treasury Department, he was a risk-arbitrage trader at Citadel Investment Group, a Chicago-based hedge fund. He previously served as a vice president in the investment banking division of Merrill Lynch & Co., where he specialized in strategic and capital-raising transactions for financial services companies. He began his career as a mergers and acquisitions attorney at Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz. He is the author of The Money Problem: Rethinking Financial Regulation (U. Chicago Press 2016).