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RESEARCH NEWS

Notre Dame conference brings in top economists

by Carol Elliott, Director of Newswriting

April 13, 2009

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The regulation of financial markets is undergoing the biggest changes since the 1930s as a result of the 2008 financial meltdown that crippled the credit market and led to massive losses in the investment and commercial banking industry. But even as the Obama administration revealed its plan for regulating and restructuring the U.S. financial system in late March, myriad questions arise as to how these changes will impact a broad range of financial issues and institutions.

On April 23-24, the University of Notre Dame will host a conference that brings together some of the nation’s top economists with academic experts to examine the regulatory outcomes likely to emerge and how they will shape financial markets.  The “Conference on the Future of Securities Regulation” is sponsored by the Mendoza College of Business and will take place on the Notre Dame campus.

The event will feature 21 speakers and discussion leaders who are some of the foremost experts in the area of finance and regulation, including several with the SEC. They  will be presenting their views on some of the most critical issues involved in the current debates, such as CEO pay, the practice of short selling, and market pricing of banks’ fair value assets.

“It is my hope that academics will come away knowing more about the complex current problems faced by regulators, and regulators will be able to hear the opinions of economists who are unburdened with the political pressures that the regulators face,” said Notre Dame Finance Professor Paul Schultz, who organized the conference.

Chester Spatt, chief economist of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission from 2004-2007, will present a session analyzing the credit ratings bias, and how interventions by policymakers to reduce bias may have the opposite effect. Maureen O’Hara, management professor at Cornell University and former president of the American Finance Association, will discuss her view that the SEC should regulate subprime mortgages, which are considered one of the primary culprits in the economic crisis.

Other speakers include James Overdahl, current chief economist for the SEC; Erik Sirri, director of the SEC Division of Trading and Markets; and Tim McCormick, an economist with the SEC Office of Economic Analysis.

Invited attendees include faculty members from Notre Dame, Indiana University and Purdue University. For more information about the conference, contact Paul Schultz at (574) 631-3338 or Paul.H.Schultz.19@nd.edu.

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