Main Street, Wall Street, and K Street: regulating financial markets in New York and beyond.

Author:Cooney, Jeremy A.

The financial services industry has long been one of New York's leading engines of economic growth. The "Great Recession" of 2008-2009, however, put the industry--and everything it affects--under tremendous stress, leading to financial losses, unemployment, business failures, foreclosures, government bailouts, and calls for new approaches to regulating financial products and industries. Recognizing the widespread effect of the Great Recession, and the different perspectives on its causes, we decided that the regulation of the financial industry would make a perfect topic for this year's symposium.

The symposium was held on October 8, 2009 and featured a panel of twelve experts on financial regulation--including professors, industry regulators, and practitioners from leading law firms and financial institutions--to discuss issues relating to regulatory structure and reform. The names of the esteemed panelists are listed below. Among other topics, panel members discussed the U.S. dual system of financial regulation, the role of state and federal government in fostering consumer protection, the relationship between sound business practices and financial innovation, ways to regulate irresponsible financial risk-taking, and the challenges of fashioning an appropriate regulatory scheme in light of so many moving parts. The symposium was comprised of two moderated roundtable discussions and a keynote address.

The first roundtable discussion, "Exploring our Dual System of Financial Regulation," focused on issues pertaining to our dual system of financial regulation, i.e., regulation on the state and local levels. The panelists discussed the role of the state and federal government with respect to consumer protection, the licensing and oversight of industry participants, regulatory structure, regulatory arbitrage and moral hazard, and financial innovation.

During a luncheon keynote address, Ms. Mary Ann Gadziala, '78, Associate Director of the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations of the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission, offered remarks concerning the challenges facing the SEC and other regulatory agencies.

The second roundtable discussion, "Our "Patchwork" Regulatory Scheme--Problems & Solutions," addressed the challenges associated with the "patchwork" nature of the current system of financial market regulation. The panelists considered the problems of systemic risk, the challenges associated with effective regulation financial...

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