From Hamilton to Today: MoAF President David Cowen on the Past, Present and Future of Money in America

Joe Kornik, Director of Brand Publishing Editor-in-Chief of VISION by Protiviti

Currently, and for the next few months, VISION by Protiviti is exploring the Future of Money. But what is the future without a past? As part of our comprehensive and multi-sided coverage of this topic, we were eager to take a look at the history of money in America specifically: the origins – and prospects – of the U.S. dollar, the U.S. monetary system, and U.S. debt and deficit, among other things.

In our exploration of the topic of money so far we put a lot of emphasis on digital currencies, on rising challenges to the dollar from China and elsewhere, on crypto and emerging nontraditional forms of payments and related technology developments. So, we wanted to level-set with a historian: Is the U.S. dollar actually under threat? Should we be concerned about the U.S. debt and credit rating? And what can history teach business leaders today as they navigate a transforming money landscape?

Who best to ask these questions than David Cowen, President and CEO of the Museum of American Finance? I invited David on VISION by Protiviti to give us a quick tour from the museum’s historical collections, answer these questions, and give us his predictions for the future.

The Museum of American Finance is an independent museum and an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution. Its mission is educational, and it is the only museum dedicated to teaching about the influence of financial institutions and capital markets on the U.S. and global economies. Protiviti has a long-standing relationship with the museum, sits on its board of directors, and partners on museum events.

Speaking of education, guess where Lin-Manuel Miranda spent a considerable amount of time researching “Hamilton”? You guessed it, at the MoAF, with my guest David Cowen. If the museum’s collections can inform the writing of a historical musical sensation about one of the most influential founding fathers of the United States, an original thinker who devised a financial system that continues to influence the global economy today, then they can inform our coverage, as well.

Lin-Manuel Miranda and David Cowen. Photo credit: Museum of American Finance.

I invite you to head over to our site and watch this brief and fascinating history lesson. To receive our award-winning content in your inbox, subscribe.

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