Conference on the Regulation of Consumer Financial Products

Wednesday, January 6, 2010
8:00 a.m. – 4:45 p.m.

 

Sponsors:
Federal Reserve Bank of New York
New York University School of Law

In coordination with:
New York City Bar Association, Banking Law Committee and Consumer Affairs Committee
New York State Bar Association, International Section, Committee on Securities and Banking

Credit has provided substantial value for millions of American households, permitting the purchase of homes that help families accumulate wealth and cars that can expand job opportunities. Credit can also provide a critical safety net, permitting families to borrow against a better tomorrow if they suffer job layoffs, medical problems, or family breakups today. Many financial products are offered on fair terms that benefit both seller and customer. However, for families that get tangled up with dangerous financial products, the results can be wiped-out savings, lost homes, higher costs for car insurance, denial of jobs, troubled marriages, bleak retirements and broken lives.

Distinguished panelists considered questions such as: Are markets for consumer credit products failing? What are the implications of credit market failure? If consumer credit markets are failing and the implications of this failure justifies regulatory intervention, who should regulate consumer credit products? Should the banking agencies retain primary authority over consumer credit products? Is there a conflict between protecting the safety and soundness of the banking system and consumer protection? Do we need a new federal consumer protection agency or can the current federal and state regulatory framework be adjusted to address the criticisms leveled against it? What are the basic requirements for a regulatory framework that would protect consumers without unduly limiting the availability of consumer credit?

 

Agenda

 

Welcome
William C. Dudley, President, Federal Reserve Bank of New York

Introduction: Overview of Reform Efforts
Oren Bar-Gill, Professor of Law, NYU School of Law
Michael V. Campbell, Counsel, Federal Reserve Bank of New York

Watch Introduction (23 min):

Panel I:  Market Failure and the Need for Regulation
This panel discussed evidence of market failure in consumer credit markets, as the impetus for regulatory intervention in these markets. Research documenting evidence of market failure, specifically evidence of systemic consumer mistakes, was presented and critiqued.

Moderator
Oren Bar-Gill, Professor of Law, NYU School of Law

Panelists
Vicki Been, Boxer Family Professor of Law and Director, Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy, NYU School of Law
o Thomas Brown, Partner, O’Melveny & Myers
o Clayton Gillette, Max E. Greenberg Professor of Contract Law, NYU School of Law
Stephan Meier, Assistant Professor, Columbia Business School
J. Thomas Rosch, Commissioner, Federal Trade Commission

Watch Panel I, Part 1 (40 min):

Watch Panel I, Part 2 ( 43 min):

Panel II: Who Should Regulate Consumer Credit Products?
This panel discussed the strengths and weaknesses of the current regulatory scheme and asked whether and how this scheme should be reformed. The Obama Administration’s Consumer Financial Protection Agency proposal was considered along with other alternatives.

Moderator
Michael V. Campbell, Counsel, Federal Reserve Bank of New York

Panelists
o Rachel E. Barkow, Professor of Law, NYU School of Law
o David Berenbaum, Executive Vice President, National Community Reinvestment Coalition
o Richard Scott Carnell, Associate Professor of Law, Fordham School of Law
o Oliver I. Ireland, Partner, Morrison & Foerster
o Ellen Lazar, Senior Advisor for Consumer Policy, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation                                          
o Richard H. Neiman, Superintendent of Banks, New York State Banking Department
o J. Thomas Rosch, Commissioner, Federal Trade Commission
o Eric Stein, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Consumer Protection, U.S. Department of the Treasury
o Arthur E. Wilmarth, Jr., Professor of Law, George Washington Law School

Watch Panel II, Part 1 (1 hr 3 min):

Watch Panel II, Part 2 (1 hr 6 min):

Watch Panel II, Part 3 (25 min):

Panel III:  How Should We Regulate Consumer Credit Products?
This panel discussed the substance of current and proposed regulations and debate the optimal scope of the powers granted to the new Consumer Financial Protection Agency or other agency entrusted with the regulation of consumer credit products.
                                         
Moderator
Oren Bar-Gill, Professor of Law, NYU School of Law

Panelists
o Frank R. Borchert, III, General Counsel, Chase Credit Card Services
Raj Date, Chairman and Executive Director, Cambridge Winter
o David S. Evans, University College London (Visiting Professor), University of Chicago (Lecturer), LECG
o Samuel Issacharoff, Bonnie and Richard Reiss Professor of Constitutional Law, NYU School of Law
Janis K. Pappalardo, Assistant Director, Consumer Protection Division, FTC Bureau of Economics
o Andrew L. Sandler, Partner, Buckley Sandler LLP

Watch Panel III, Part 1:

Watch Panel III, Part 2 and Closing Remarks: