Geoffrey MillerThe second annual Law & Banking/Finance Conference, titled “Tackling Systemic Risk,” took place at NYU School of Law on April 20 and 21. Co-sponsored by ETH Zurich, the top European science and technology research university, and NYU Law’s Center for Financial Institutions, the event gathered top American and European experts in the area of law and finance to discuss how to alleviate systemic risk to the global financial system. Among the topics covered were credit cycles with collateral constraints, banking and trading, regulatory design for monetary stability, and banking in transition economies.

“There are few problems in the world more important than this: how to manage the world’s financial system so as to encourage the appropriate management of risk while avoiding the danger of systemic breakdown,” said Geoffrey Miller, Stuyvesant P. Comfort Professor of Law and director of the Center for Financial Institutions. “We haven’t got that right, and until we get it right the world is going to be vulnerable to another shock like what happened four years ago.”

The group convened last year in Florence for its inaugural conference, which was the brainchild of Miller and Gerard Hertig, a professor at ETH Zurich and a former NYU global visiting professor. The attendees represent an array of economic philosophies and are still working toward general agreement on major policy points that could be channeled into formal recommendations. But one commonality did emerge, Miller said: “There was a consensus that the way policy-makers, banks, and financial regulators have been thinking about capital has been profoundly wrong, and we need to have a different and more robust system of capital regulation.”

Barry Adler, Bernard Petrie Professor of Law and Business, and Assistant Professor Ryan Bubb acted as discussants at the conference, along with Hertig and Miller. Other participants included Marcel Kahan, George T. Lowy Professor of Law, and Gerald Rosenfeld, distinguished scholar in residence and senior lecturer.

Posted on May 2, 2012