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Lewis Spellman - The University of Texas at Austin, McCombs School of Business. Austin, TX, US

Lewis Spellman Lewis Spellman

Professor, Department of Finance | The University of Texas at Austin, McCombs School of Business


Expert financial economist and blogger with interest in sovereign debt and international economic policy


Areas of Expertise (7)

Financial Markets

Financial Analysis

Financial Modeling

Quantitative Analysis


Quantitative Finance

International Economic Policy


Lew Spellman is a finance professor specializing in financial markets and institutions at the McCombs School of Business. He has also taught at the LBJ School of Public Affairs, the UT School of Law, the University of California, Berkeley, and Stanford University.

Spellman teaches at both the graduate and undergraduate level with an emphasis on interpreting and analyzing current market and policy developments and market trends. His academic publications appear in the Journal of Finance, Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Journal of Money, Credit, and the Journal of Banking and Finance among others.

His experience outside of academics includes government service as Assistant to the Chairman of the US President's Council of Economic Advisors and Economist with the Federal Reserve Board. His published works primarily concern the market pricing of financial institution claims. Spellman's business interests include serving as Director and Chair for Investments, Magna Carta Insurance Company. Previously, he served as Chairman and CEO of Real Rate Financial and Electronic Exchange Technologies. He holds several U.S. patents related to inflation adjusting financial instruments including the inflation adjusting bond known as the Treasury TIPs.

He blogs monthly at TheSpellmanReport.com.



Lewis Spellman Publication



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Lewis Spellman at the Alumni Business Conference The Collapse of Carry Trade


Education (4)

Stanford University: Ph.D., Economics 1971

Stanford University: M.A., Economics 1969

University of Michigan: MBA., Business Administration 1964

University of Michigan: BBA, Business Administration 1964

Media Appearances (6)

Commentary: New Cabinet, Trump’s regulatory policy can revive economy

Statesman  online


To motivate that higher output when the Great Recession hit in 2008, borrowing rates were pushed down to a minimal level in the U.S. and a negative rate in the Euro zone. We (the lender) will pay you (the borrower) to borrow. So please do so, and please spend the funds on something to create output and jobs.

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Trump’s Cabinet knows what it takes to succeed

Daily Times  online


Borrowing costs are reduced to encourage more borrowing and more spending on investment products that yield positive returns. But if the private sector doesn’t snap up the bait, governments can step in to be both the borrower and spender.

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Op-Ed: Hooray! Some of Trump’s Cabinet Picks Lack Experience in Government Work

Star-Telegram  online


"The world is watching as President Donald Trump lurches into motion, and for many, the early signs suggest a blend of hubris and incompetence that is creating chaos in the nation’s most elevated executive office."

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The Keynesian Dead End: A Watershed Moment

The Spellman Report  online


In the midst of the Great Depression, John Maynard Keynes set out in his book, The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money, the idea — radical at the time — that a struggling economy benefits when governments borrow and spend.

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Students My Be Affected by Government Hitting Debt Ceiling

The Daily Texan  online


“If we blow past our credit limit and keeping on spending, in the short run, income is generated, but in the long run, the debt can’t be paid,” Spellman said. “It’s a sanity check to get us to understand the effect of short-term benefits of spending versus the long-term implications of having debt and to start thinking serious about these implications.”

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Are Non-Bank Lenders Reshaping the Financial Landscape?

Austin American-Statesman  online


Yet despite the optimistic signs, Spellman suggested traditional bank lending was on the front end of what would become a slow, inexorable decline. Non-bank lenders would secure an ever-increasing share of the market for business and consumer loans, the University of Texas finance professor said.

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Sample Talks (1)

The Economy and Financial Markets: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

A four-part lecture series on the economy: 1) The Sinking of the Financial Titanic: What did it hit, why did it go down so quickly and can it happen again? 2) Why Economists Missed the Biggest Economic and Financial Disintegration since the Depression, 3) The Bailouts: The Solution or the Next Problem?, and 4) The Economic and Financial Morass: What is needed for a recovery?



  • Keynote
  • Workshop Leader

Articles (3)

Loan Rates Vs. Public Debt Rates: Do Loan Rates Reflect Special Values to the Borrower or Information Intensive Lending? Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago


From "Real Estate Markets: Risks, Rewards, and the Role of Regulation," 42nd Annual Bank Structure Conference.

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Lender Certification Premiums Journal of Banking and Finance


The announcement of a bank loan by a borrowing firm has been shown to have a positive effect on the market value of the borrower’s claims. This is consistent with a lender’s implied endorsement of the borrower––an endorsement that has value to the borrower. In this paper, we investigate whether the lender is able to extract a premium loan rate or certification premium in return. We find empirical evidence that in the absence of collateral reputable lenders are able to exact a certification premium.

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Bank Forbearance: A Market-Based Explanation The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance


Why does forbearance for insolvent banks occur? We offer an explanation based on stockholders' ability to appeal to the courts for reversal and monetary damages after the regulator has initiated a receivership action.

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