Columbia Law School Professor Katharina Pistor recently established the Global Law in Finance Network, an international group of academics and doctoral students interested in analyzing the paradoxical relationship between law and finance. Participants in the network, which is also known as GLawFiN, work to critique and debate Pistor’s “Legal Theory of Finance”—which states that government action during a fiscal crisis can limit economic damage—in an attempt to help prevent future economic disasters.
“The financial system has been transformed in the last 30 years, yet no one has the political will to restructure it, unlike what was done in the 1930s,” said Pistor, the Michael I. Sovern Professor of Law and director of the Law School’s Center on Global Legal Transformation. “If we don’t do that, we at least have to change the regulation system. . . . and that hasn’t been done either.”
Pistor, who received a Max Planck Research Award in 2012 for her work analyzing the regulation of international financial markets, is using the award’s prize money to help support the network, which is also sponsored by the Institute for New Economic Thinking. She also brought together a team of academics and practitioners—including John Armour, a UniCredit Visiting Professor of European Legal Studies at Columbia Law School, and Jeffrey N. Gordon, the Law School’s Richard Paul Richman Professor of Law—to serve on the GLawFiN advisory board.
Prior to GLawFiN’s first official meeting in January, Pistor co-taught an intensive four-day class on law and finance at the Columbia Global Center in Paris.