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Who we are


Steve Soukup

Steve Soukup is the Vice President and Publisher of The Political Forum, an “independent research provider” that delivers research and consulting services to the institutional investment community, with an emphasis on economic, social, political, and geopolitical events that are likely to have an impact on the financial markets in the United States and abroad.

Mr. Soukup has followed politics and federal regulatory policy for the financial community since coming to Washington in 1996, when he joined Mark Melcher at the award-winning Washington-research office of Prudential Securities. While at Prudential, he was part of the Washington team that placed first in Institutional Investor magazine’s annual analyst survey for eight years in a row.

Mr. Soukup left Prudential with Mr. Melcher to join Lehman Brothers in the fall of 2000 and stayed there for two years, before leaving early in 2003 to become a partner at The Political Forum.

While at Lehman, Mr. Soukup authored macro-political commentary and followed policy developments in the Natural Resources sector group, focusing on agriculture and energy policy. He also headed Lehman’s industry-leading analysis of asbestos litigation reform efforts. At The Political Forum, Mr. Soukup was initially the editor and junior partner, but is now the senior commentator and publisher. He holds a M.A. in American Government and Public Administration/Public Policy and a professional certification in policy analysis and program evaluation.

Steve is also the Fellow in Culture and Economy at the Culture of Life Foundation

Mark Melcher

Mark Melcher is the President and Editor of The Political Forum. He has followed global and domestic social and political trends from Washington for the financial community since 1973, when he joined The Washington Forum, a subsidiary of Drexel Burnham Lambert. He left Drexel in July 1983 to open a Washington research office for Prudential Securities.  Mr. Melcher ran Prudential Securities’ Washington Research Office for 17 years, leaving in October 2000. During that time, his office won first place in the Washington Research category of Institutional Investor magazine’s annual All-American Research Team in each of the eight years that the category was in existence. Shortly alter leaving Prudential, Mark joined the Washington Research office of Lehman Brothers on a part-time basis. He left there in April 2002 to found The Political Forum.

What we do

The Political Forum provides research and consulting services to the institutional investment community. We specialize in analyzing economic, social, political, and geopolitical events with the purpose of identifying domestic and global trends that are likely to have an impact on the financial markets in the United States and abroad. We also monitor and comment on significant sector-specific legislative and regulatory initiatives.

Why we're different

We started the Political Forum 16 years ago because we wanted to continue to provide a unique and important perspective on the economy, politics, culture, and social phenomena.  We take a long-term approach to our analysis.  We believe that there is nothing new under the sun, and that contemporary approach to politics and the economy ignores the history and philosophy that underpin our culture and drive current events.  The 24-hour news cycle has killed thoughtful analysis, and we offer an alternative, a wiser, more substantive approach to analysis.

The Political Adviser

We have spent the entirety of our careers writing principally for institutional investors exclusively.  In the current political and business environments, we think that a broader audience could benefit from our insights.  And so we've created "The Political Adviser," a publication of The Political Forum, to complement our flagship publication, "Politics, Et Cetera."     

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