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ND finance conference takes on regulatory reform issues

by Carol Elliott

May 17, 2010

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Former SEC Chief Economist Chester Spatt will be among the speakers during the 2010 Conference on Current Topics in Market Regulation.

The financial reform bill moving through the U.S. Congress stands to change fundamentally the way financial markets function. And yet, there is considerable debate among even economic experts about how regulation will impact the markets, or even whether rule-making is an appropriate response to recent financial crisis.

The 2010 Conference on Current Topics in Market Regulation will bring together SEC economists, research faculty and banking experts to discuss the issues at the forefront of public debate, including credit default swaps and short selling. The conference will take place May 20-21 at the Santa Fe Building in downtown Chicago. It is sponsored by the Center for the Study of Financial Regulation at the University of Notre Dame.

“Congress is currently debating the largest overhaul of U.S. financial regulation in the last 75 years. The success or failure of the regulatory changes will have a profound effect on U.S. capital markets over the next few years,” said Paul Schultz, center director and finance professor at Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business.  “This conference should shed light on likely consequences of proposed legislation and point out directions for future regulatory change.”

Speakers include former SEC chief economists Larry Harris and Chester Spatt, as well as  Raghuram Rajan, former director of research at the International Monetary Fund and co-author of the book, “Saving Capitalism from the Capitalists.” Scheduled talks will cover topics such as hidden threats to the world economy, regulation-induced innovation and “Find Bernie Madoff,” an analysis of detecting financial fraud. A complete schedule of presentations and speaker biographies can be found at:  business.nd.edu/Study_of_Financial_Regulation/Conferences/

Schultz noted that much of the current attention to financial regulation is a result of the economic crisis of 2007-2008, but there have been a number of trends in recent years that have impacted market operations. These include the rapid changes in trading technology, the globalization of finance, the growth of trading in new derivative securities and the increasing rate of financial innovation.

The Center for the Study of Financial Regulation at the Mendoza College was established to encourage rigorous study of the economics of financial regulation. Some of the issues studied are the costs and benefits of specific regulations, the impact of regulation on financial practice, and the political process by which regulation is enacted. The goal, Schultz said, is to bring clear economic thinking to bear on current regulatory rules, while informing and engaging financial economists, regulators, politicians and the public.  

For more information on the Center for the Study of Financial Regulation, contact Paul Schultz at (574) 631-3338 or Paul.H.Schultz.19@nd.edu, or visit business.nd.edu/Center_for_the_Study_of_Financial_Regulation/