Published January 22, 2018

From the CEO

The Milken Institute Review that you hold in your hand — or that is rendered in pixels before your eyes — marks a milestone: it’s the first issue of the 20th year of the Review’s publication.

The idea for the Review when it was founded in 1998 was straightforward. Just as the fledging Milken Institute aimed to widen access to capital, the Review was intended to increase access to the best in current economic thinking. Since much of the work of prominent economists was cloaked in arcane academic jargon, the Review from the outset took as its goal making the most relevant topics in current economics accessible — and even enjoyable — to all.

For two decades, the Review has done just that, and then some. Its track record of editorial clairvoyance is impressive. A few examples: in 2000, Nick Eberstadt of the American Enterprise Institute predicted that the population explosion was about to morph into a population implosion, bringing with it a host of economic and social challenges. … In 2007, Barry Bosworth of the Brookings Institution outlined the growing threat of deflation in a world still obsessed with inflation. … In 2015, the Milken Institute’s own Staci Warden got way ahead of the curve, predicting that the blockchain technology behind bitcoin — not the cryptocurrency itself — would profoundly change financial markets. Based on this high “seer” index, don’t be surprised if one or two of the articles you read in this issue resonate in future events.

Twenty years of journalistic excellence and considerable clairvoyance is the product of a team that has been together since day one. At the helm is editor-in-chief Peter Passell, divining the most relevant topics, discovering the writers who can delve into them with authority and verve, and providing deft editing. The accomplishments Peter brought to the Review are impressive: a PhD economist from Yale, he served for many years as a member of the New York Times editorial board and an economics columnist for the news department.

From the first issue, the Review has had a striking visual presentation, with attention-grabbing cover designs and provocative illustration and photography inside — all thanks to art director Joannah Ralston of Insight Design. Managing editor Larry Yu of Kite Global Advisors has overseen printing and distribution, as well as backstopping Peter’s editing. This impressive team was recruited by the Review’s founding publisher, the late Joel Kurtzman, now succeeded by Conrad Kiechel.

Like any 20-year old, the Review is still developing, most recently with the creation of its website (, and the introduction in the past year of online-only content that permits Peter and his writers to truly mix it up on issues of the day.

Please join me in congratulating the Milken Institute Review team for 20 years of great insight — and in wishing them (and us) many more to come.

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Michael Klowden