Mark Spindel — 2018 Gladys M. Kammerer Award Recipient

The American Political Science Association (APSA) will present the Gladys M. Kammerer Award to Mr. Mark Spindel at the 2018 APSA Annual Meeting & Exhibition, the world’s largest gathering of political scientists and source for emerging scholarship in the discipline. The $1,000 award recognizes the best book published in the previous calendar year on U.S. national policy.


In 2007, Mr. Spindel launched Potomac River Capital LLC, a Washington-based, registered investment adviser. His firm specialized in managing global macro hedge funds with a specific focus on the intersection of macro-economics, central bank policy and capital markets. The firm’s assets peaked near $800m and after a decade has been wound down to focus on personal investments, economic policy and political analysis.

Prior to launching Potomac River, Mr. Spindel spent nearly ten years at the World Bank where he was Deputy Treasurer and CIO of the International Finance Corporation managing $15bn in reserves. Mr. Spindel was simultaneously a member of the Board of Trustees of the World Bank’s $14bn pension fund where he helped oversee strategic asset allocation across all investment classes. Before the World Bank, Mr. Spindel helped establish ABN AMRO’s UK Asset Management company and prior to that, began his career at Salomon Brothers where he was ultimately a senior portfolio manager in their asset management subsidiary.

Mr. Spindel continues to advise pension funds, financial institutions, hedge funds and central banks on a variety of investment, asset-liability and quantitative risk management issues. He is among the most experienced investors in inflation-linked bonds and speaks regularly on portfolio management issues. His research on the Federal Reserve has culminated in his award-winning book with Professor Sarah Binder (George Washington University / Brookings) about the relationship between Congress and the Fed (The Myth of Independence, Princeton University Press, 2017).

He received his BS degree from Cornell University in Operations Research and Industrial Engineering (1987).

In The Myth of Independence, Sarah Binder and Mark Spindel have crafted a foundational work for understanding the history and politics of the Federal Reserve, one that unveils the compelling tensions between economics and politics and between independence and public accountability. They skillfully illuminate how and why members of Congress have paid attention to the Federal Reserve, and to what extent they have shaped its architecture and behavior. The heartbeat of American prosperity depends on the Fed, but does it reflect the will of the American people in any way? Binder and Spindel demonstrate that Congress has much more influence over the often inscrutable Fed than conventional wisdom allows. Employing a rich set of methodological tools ranging from archival research to data analysis of congressional voting, the authors demonstrate the connections between legislative efforts to regulate the Fed’s discretion and transparency and the performance of the nation’s economy. Beautifully written, this book ultimately captures the extent to which the Fed and Congress are interdependent institutions. Few authors could make such a complex subject so compelling, accessible, and engaging.