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AALS Call for Papers: Securities Regulation, Financial Institutions & Consumer Financial Services

posted by Nathalie Martin

Hello Scholars! The AALS Section on Securities Regulation and the Section of Financial Institutions & Consumer Financial Services are sponsoring a Call for Papers for their joint program on Friday, January 4th at the AALS 2013 Annual Meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana. 

The topic of the program and call for papers is “The Regulation of Financial Market Intermediaries: The Making and Un-Making of Markets.” As you all know, the financial crisis witnessed numerous market failures involving an array of financial market intermediaries, including banks, broker dealers, and various kinds of investment funds (from money market mutual funds to hedge funds).

The crisis came at the end of a decades-long transformation of the U.S. financial services sector that blurred the boundaries between banking and securities businesses.  During this period a range of new intermediaries emerged and connected individuals and firms seeking financing to investors in capital markets. At the same time, capital markets became increasingly dominated by financial institutions and other institutional investors. Intermediaries devised and “made markets” for new and often highly illiquid and opaque financial instruments. Many of these new markets froze or crashed in the financial crisis.  In response, Dodd-Frank and other financial reforms have imposed a grab bag of new rules on financial intermediaries. 

Yet the effects of these financial reforms remain unclear. Moreover, policymakers and scholars often disagree about the precise problems that these reforms are meant to address. For example, the SEC’s headline-grabbing suit against Goldman Sachs over the ABACUS transactions focused on conflicts of interest for large financial conglomerates with different stakes in a transaction. Meanwhile, other financial reforms have focused on the opacity of pricing in financial markets or on the solvency or liquidity risk faced by intermediaries.

The tangle of potential market failures has led to a range of policy responses. Often banking and securities scholars seem to look at the same set of market practices through radically different lenses. Banking scholars focus on solvency crises and banking runs and debate the application of prudential rules on the risk-taking, leverage, and liquidity of intermediaries. At the same time, securities scholars emphasize the problems of conflicts of interest and asymmetric information. They then look to the traditional policy tools in their field such as disclosure, fiduciary duties, and corporate governance. 

The dearth of dialogue between these two fields creates the risk of confusion in identifying both problems and solutions for financial intermediaries and the markets in which they operate. To move the discussion forward, scholars in both fields may have to move outside their comfort zones. The study of financial institutions cannot be limited to deposit-taking banks.  Similarly, securities regulation involves more than securities offerings and litigation, but the regulation of broker-dealers, investment advisers and funds, and the regulation of trading and markets.    

The submissions committee looks forward to reviewing any papers that address the foregoing topics. Abstracts should be comprehensive enough to allow the review committee to meaningfully evaluate the aims and likely content of papers they propose.  Eligible law faculty  are invited to submit manuscripts or abstracts dealing with any aspect of the foregoing topics. Untenured faculty members are particularly encouraged to submit manuscripts or abstracts. 

The initial review of the papers will be blind. Accordingly the author should submit a cover letter with the paper.  However, the paper itself, including the title page and footnotes must not contain any references identifying the author or the author’s school.  The submitting author is responsible for taking any steps necessary to redact self-identifying text or footnotes. 
Papers may be accepted for publication but must not be published prior to the Annual Meeting.

To be considered, papers must be submitted electronically to Erik Gerding at [email protected]. The deadline for submission is August 10, 2012. 
Papers will be selected after review by members of a Committee appointed by the Chairs of the two sections. The authors of the selected papers will be notified by September 30, 2012. 
The Call for Paper participants will be responsible for paying their annual meeting registration fee and travel expenses.

Full-time faculty members of AALS member law schools are eligible to submit papers.  The following are ineligible to submit: foreign, visiting (without a full-time position at an AALS member law school) and adjunct faculty members, graduate students, fellows, non-law school faculty, and faculty at fee-paid non-member schools.  Please forward this Call for Papers to any eligible faculty who might be interested.


Wish I were a scholar. Or a gentleman.

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