Friday, September 20, 2013

Request for Proposals: Blurring Boundaries in Financial and Corporate Law

I received the following announcement in my inbox today, and felt the content would be of interest to readers of this blog even if they have no intention of attending the meeting or submiting a proposal.  For more information, go here.

We are pleased to announce the 2014 Midyear Meeting Workshop on Blurring Boundaries in Financial and Corporate Law, June 7-9, 2014 in Washington, D.C….

We invite you to submit a proposal to participate in this two-day program, which is designed to explore the various ways in which the lines separating distinct, identifiable areas of theory, policy, and doctrine in business law have begun to break down….. Proposals are due October 25, 2013, by e-mail, to

Why Attend this Workshop? 

Understanding how capital is formed and transformed in today's economy and how financial risk is spread requires that scholars and students understand financial and corporate law and the theory and policy underlying the doctrine.  If scholars work solely within the traditional boundaries of any single field in the financial and corporate law spectrum, they risk having a parochial view of vital legal questions.  Indeed, each area of financial and corporate law faces a broader set of questions than it has historically engaged.   Securities regulation covers much more than initial public offerings.  The regulation of financial institutions can no longer concern itself primarily with deposit-taking banks (indeed, the label "banking law" seems now outdated).  Insurance regulation is no longer entrusted exclusively to state regulators, and those regulators can no longer ignore systemic risks or the modernization of consumer products and consumer protection strategies.  Business associations involve more than publicly traded corporations.  These are but a few examples....

Many critical legal questions and challenges engage more than one field of financial and corporate law.  Certain topics arise in more than one area of substantive law.  There has been explosive growth in hybrid entities and financial instruments.  This dynamic and others have exposed tensions between the benefits of financial innovation, on the one hand, and increased complexity and the potential for regulatory arbitrage, on the other.  As the complexity of legal entities and financial products and markets increases, financial and corporate law have refocused on the need for and means of better protecting consumers, shareholders, and other stakeholders.  New financial intermediaries are entering markets at the same time that technology enables radical "disintermediation."  Numerous other factors also play a role in the legal puzzle across the regulatory continuum, among them, globalization, the Internet, and the rise of institutional investors in financial markets.  Financial and corporate regulation can and do take both conceptually similar and radically different approaches to these and other related matters.

The very nature of regulation is at issue, and that topic has received and deserves significant attention in law scholarship and law teaching.  The task of designing effective regulation that curtails moral hazard and mitigates systemic risk is a major challenge.  The efficacy of disclosure, corporate governance rules, and other traditional regulatory tools is an important area for discussion.  But larger regulatory issues loom.  Individual systems of substantive regulation may take converging or diverging paths to protect consumers/investors, regulate market conduct, and design prudential regulation. The allocation of regulatory responsibilities among various agencies and courts and across multiple jurisdictions-domestic and international-raise issues in and well beyond the scope of traditional legal scholarship and law teaching.  We are in an era, for example, in which many are actively re-thinking the institutional design of regulators and regulation to address not only economic risks but also the threat of "capture" and other political dynamics….

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