Robert E. Litan


Robert Litan is a nationally renowned attorney and economist with nearly four decades of experience litigating cases, conducting economic research, crafting economic policy, and heading up both public and private organizations. He is a prolific writer and speaker on the subjects of economics, antitrust law, and financial regulation—having authored or co-authored over 27 books and 200 journal and newspaper articles, as well as having testified as an expert witness in a number of high-profile lawsuits.

After graduating from Yale Law school, Bob litigated antitrust, administrative, and international-trade cases in Washington D.C.—first with Arnold & Porter and then with Powell, Goldstein, Frazer & Murphy. In 1993, he was appointed Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Antitrust Division of the Justice Department, where he oversaw civil, non-merger antitrust litigation. In that role, Bob settled the Department’s lawsuit against the Ivy League and MIT for conspiring to fix financial aid awards; oversaw the Department’s first investigation into Microsoft’s anti-competitive practices; oversaw the early stages of the Department’s investigation of NASDAQ for fixing dealer spreads; and was the Department’s liaison to the Clinton administration’s working group on telecommunications policy, which was directed by the Vice President.

In 1995, Bob was appointed Associate Director of the Office of Management and Budget, where oversaw the budgets of five cabinet-level agencies. He was later a consultant to the Department of Treasury on financial modernization and the effectiveness of the Community Reinvestment Act, co-authoring several reports on those subjects. In the early 1990s, Bob served as a Member of the Presidential-Congressional Commission on the Causes of the Savings and Loan Crisis. He has chaired two panels of two studies for the National Academy of Sciences, and has served on one other NAS Committee.

Bob has testified as an expert witness in numerous complex cases, not only in antitrust matters, but also in matters involving the regulation of financial institutions. He has held major executive positions at three organizations overseeing economic and public-policy research: Vice President and Director of Research in the Economic Studies Program at the Brookings Institution; the same position at the Kauffman Foundation; and Director of Research at Bloomberg Government, the subsidiary of Bloomberg LLP that provides analysis and data on the impact of government policies on business. He is currently on the research advisory boards of the Smith Richardson Foundation and the Committee for Economic Development, as well as the advisory board of the American Antitrust Institute. He previously served on the international advisory board of the Principal Financial Group.

Bob is the author or co-author of 28 books and the editor of 14 others. He also has written over 200 articles in journals and national newspapers. His latest books include A Scalpel, Not an Axe: Updating Antitrust and Data Laws to Spur Competition and Innovation (Progressive Policy Institute, 2018); Trillion Dollar Economists (2014); Better Capitalism, co-authored with Carl Schramm (2012); and Good Capitalism, Bad Capitalism, co-authored with William Baumol and Carl Schramm (2007), which is used widely in college courses and has been translated into 10 languages.