As I mentioned previously, we’ll be hosting an on-line forum, Reforming Financial Reform?, here at the Lounge today and tomorrow. I am very excited about this discussion and hope that you will enjoy it too. This is a great group of scholars eager to share new ideas and research with Lounge readers. I’ve already benefitted from the email exchanges we’ve had as a group over the past week, and I invite you Lounge readers to join in at any point with comments, questions, and the like over the next few days.
To get us started, I’ll take a stab at outlining the main issues I expect these bloggers will address during the forum.
(1) Why worry about the financial reform process?
The recent financial crisis and extensive Dodd-Frank reforms have prompted renewed interest in and study of the process of financial reform. Disproportionate industry influence is a perennial worry of scholars of the regulatory process. What can students of financial reform learn from these theories and evidence? Does financial reform pose special questions and concerns?
(2) Is the danger that financial reform is insensitive to public concerns or too sensitive?
As noted, industry influence is a perennial worry, but some worry about the opposite extreme – elected officials overly sensitive to ill-informed public sentiment may respond to financial crises with unwise legislation that fails to adequately balance the benefits of regulation against the costs. Which is the bigger worry in the current environment? Does it depend on the issue, the timing, something else?
(3) How might we reform financial reform?
Assuming that either excessive industry influence or excessive public pandering, or both, is problematic, what should we do about it? Some of our guests will address the nitty-gritty of reform, including policies, organizational structures, and regulatory changes that might be utilized to correct any perceived imbalances.
As a reminder the forum participants are below, and should be chiming in later today with their thoughts:
Cristie Ford, Assistant Professor, University of British Columbia
Erik Gerding, Associate Professor of Law, University of Colorado
Kimberly D. Krawiec, Kathrine Robinson Everett Professor of Law, Duke University
Brett McDonnell, Professor of Law; Solly Robins Distinguished Research Fellow, University of Minnesota
Saule T. Omarova, Assistant Professor of Law, University of North Carolina
Daniel Schwarcz, Associate Professor of Law, University of Minnesota