Richard Vague


Richard Vague is Secretary of Banking and Securities for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. He is the author of The Case for a Debt Jubilee, a policy exploration of debt relief, An Illustrated Business History of the United States, the story of our nation’s business progress, A Brief History of Doom, a chronicle of major world financial crises, and The Next Economic Disaster, a book with a new approach for predicting and preventing financial crises.

Previously, he was managing partner of Gabriel Investments, an early stage venture capital company. Vague was also co-founder, Chairman and CEO of Energy Plus, an electricity and natural gas supply company operating in states throughout the U.S. that was sold to NRG Energy in 2011, and also co-founder and CEO of two banks – First USA, a consumer-oriented bank which grew to be the largest Visa issuer in the industry and which was sold to Bank One in 1997, and Juniper, a bank that was the fastest growing credit card issuer in its era, which was sold to Barclays PLC in 2004.

Richard currently serves on the University of Pennsylvania Board of Trustees and the Penn Medicine Board of Trustees, and on a number of business boards. He is chair of FringeArts Philadelphia, chair of the University of Pennsylvania Press, and chair of the Innovation Advisory Board of the Abramson Cancer Center. He also serves on the Governing Board of the Institute for New Economic Thinking and the board of the Fund for the School District of Philadelphia. Vague is the founder of the economic data service Tychos, which specializes in analyzing private debt trends and also the email newsletter service, which focuses on non-fiction literature.

By this expert

How President Biden Can Fix our Trade Problem

Article | Dec 16, 2020

Trump’s approach largely failed because the problem can’t be solved by tariffs. Here’s the answer.

It’s Time for a Debt “Jubilee”

Article | Sep 11, 2020

Why freeing American households and businesses from crippling private debt would be a boon to the economy. Article reposted from

Technology: From Copycats to Innovators

Article | Mar 19, 2019

Richard Vague looks at what it’ll take for the U.S. to win the R&D race

Rapid Money Supply Growth Does Not Cause Inflation

Article | Dec 2, 2016

Neither do rapid growth in government debt, declining interest rates, or rapid increases in a central bank’s balance sheet

Featuring this expert

Debt Talks Episode 6 | Who’s Afraid of European Banks?

with Martin Arnold, Elena Carletti and Richard Vague; moderated by Thomas Fricke and Moritz Schularick

Event Webinar | Hosted by Private Debt | Feb 23, 2021

Does the COVID recession still have the potential to turn into a broader financial meltdown?

Debt Talks Episode 4 | Do We Need a Debt Jubilee?

moderated by Moritz Schularick with Sebnem Kalemli-Ozcan, Astra Taylor and Richard Vague

Event Webinar | Hosted by Private Debt | Nov 17, 2020

What is the current situation in private indebtedness in the U.S.? Recent ideas suggest that excessive levels of debt are an obstacle to a quick recovery and sustained economic growth.

INET Board Member Richard Vague on Rescuing the Coronavirus Economy

News Apr 1, 2020

INET Board Member Richard Vague writes in The Hill on how to rescue the coronavirus economy

A Brief History of Doom

Video | Jun 26, 2019

Richard Vague and Rob Johnson discuss the role of excessive lending in causing financial crises throughout history