Financial Market Policies Foundation

Since its creation in January 2012, the Foundation has funded the establishment and continued operation of its flagship programme, the Political Economy of Financial Markets at St Antony's College at Oxford University. Now that the programme is firmly embedded as a core programme in St Antony's European Studies Centre, the Trustees have decided that the Financial Markets Policies Foundation has fully and successfully achieved its purpose, and is no longer needed. Accordingly it has now closed.

The Foundation supported and published academic research into:

The Trustees would like to pay tribute to the late Max Watson who inspired and led the Political Economy of Financial Markets programme in its formative stages.

If you are interested in supporting the continuing work of this programme, please contact St Antony's College directly.

Our Mission

The world economy suffered a severe shock in 2008 from which it has not as yet recovered. This shock was largely unanticipated. The complexity of relationships between financial institutions had obscured the consequence of failure of one component upon the others. This was not properly understood either by the institutions themselves or by the regulating authorities. Moreover a widespread belief in the efficiency of financial markets had led policy-makers to downplay the risks inherent in rapidly rising private sector debt.

The Financial Market Policies Foundation's mission was to advance public learning and knowledge about relationships between policy-makers (governments, treasuries, regulators and central banks) and financial markets and other financial entities.

Through grants it supported study and research - by specific university fellows and graduates - to further the understanding of such relationships.

Our aim was to provide tools for a better understanding of these relationships, with the intent that practitioners, governments and regulators might be appraised of the research findings and their implications; and that such knowledge is widely disseminated so that public support for rational policies may be more likely to be forthcoming.

The Foundation expected public benefit to arise:

  • through advancing learning and education within this field of study;
  • through holding lectures, seminars and workshops at a leading university and at other educational establishments, inviting students, especially postgraduates, for their further education;
  • by providing the opportunity to study the subject through scholarships, bursaries and grants as enumerated in the Foundation's objects.
  • by identifying issues of contemporary interest and importance and making the work of researchers and scholars more accessible to practitioners.

Flagship Programme

The Foundation's first programme of research commenced in the Autumn of 2012 and continued until 30 June 2019.
This programme, 'The Political Economy of Financial Markets', was based at the University of Oxford, in the European Studies Centre of St Antony's College, and is now affiliated with the Centre for International Studies in the Department of Politics and International Relations.

The programme aimed to foster research into the political-economic drivers of changes in financial markets, in light of the global and euro area financial crises. It focussed in particular on issues at the intersection of macroeconomics and financial studies, and was concerned with the institutional setting in which policy towards financial markets is formed at the national and European levels. It drew on expertise in the fields of politics, international relations, macroeconomics, law, business and global economic governance, with the support of UK and international experts in these fields.

A network of academic, official and private market experts was established and began work on initial projects in three areas:

  • Financial Integration in Europe;
  • the Role of Regulatory Capture in the Run-up to the Crisis; and
  • the Design of Macroeconomic Frameworks in a World of Imperfect Financial markets.
A summary of subsequent and substantial progress is contained in the Programme's Report of August 2016 to this Foundation.

The programme aimed to benefit the public by holding workshops, seminars and lectures; by publishing discussion papers, and journal articles and press material; and by drawing its findings to the attention of policy-makers, though without engaging in political activity.

The Political Economy of Financial Markets programme finally closed on June 30, 2019, having achieved the original purposes identified by Max Watson, and finally exhausting its original funding.

It is now the intention of St Antony's College to incorporate its various stand-alone programmes within its six regional centres, each under the broad oversight of a member of St Antony's Governing Council. The PEFM program is being integrated within the European Studies Centre, with broad oversight by Dr. Tim Vlandas.

The outgoing Director of PEFM, Dr. Charles Enoch, has a two year position in St Antony's as ESC Visiting Fellow, beginning 1 October 2019; the two other in-residence associates of PEFM, Adrienne Cheasty and Daniel Hardy, retain the Academic Visitorships which they had been granted by the college.

The future events programme is expected to consist two conferences a year as flagship events, but with the research programme continuing in the areas mapped out by the PEFM programme and those originally defined by the Financial Market Policies Foundation. This is now the European Political Economy Project.

The intention is that annual Max Watson Memorial lectures will continue.

The Trustees of the FMPF would like to record their thanks to all the participants in the PEFM programme, and in particular to Julie Adams, the programme's administrator.

See the latest news from the Programme website.


Blogs, Podcasts and Presentations

The outputs of our Programme are to be found in the Seminar programme and other presentations (see Past Events and forthcoming Events). These are generally available in the form of Podcasts which can be viewed directly from the Programme website or from the Programme’s YouTube channel - by subscribing you can receive e-mail alerts of new seminar podcasts as they are posted.

A commentary on the events and the programme more generally can be found in the Programme's Blogspot. The Programme also maintains a Facebook page , and following it is a simple way of staying up to date with developments.

The Programme also publishes an annual review of past and future activity in magazine format downloadable as a .pdf, PEFM in Focus.

About us

The Foundation - now closed - supported its programme of academic research through the making of grants. It sought where possible to place the results of such work in the public domain through journals, seminars, presentations and the internet. The Foundation and its Programmes was supported by advisors who are academically or professionally eminent in their own fields internationally.

The Foundation was incorporated in January 2012, and closed in March 2019, and was registered as a charity in England and Wales.

The Trustees were:

  • Mr Lester Corp B.Sc.(Econ), FCA, FCIM (Chairman)
  • Mr Denys Bennett CEng, M.Sc.(now curator of this website)
  • Mr Nick Dove PhD
  • Mr Kjell O. Hauge M.Sc., MBA
  • Mr John Howell M.A.

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If you are interested in supporting or making a donation to the Political Economy of Financial Markets programme, please contact St Antony's College directly.

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    Financial Market Policies Foundation
    Originally but no longer a Registered Charity in England and Wales (No 1147246)
    Originally but no longer a Company limited by guarantee. Registered in England and Wales (No 7926570)