New Special Study of the Securities Markets: Columbia/FINRA Technology Conference
The Columbia Law School/Columbia Business School Program in the Law and Economics of Capital Markets (https://capital-markets.law.columbia.edu/) and FINRA will be hosting a one-day conference on October 4, 2019 focused on the effects of recent, and reasonably anticipated future, technological change on securities markets. The event will take place from 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM on Friday, October 4th, 2019 at Columbia Law School (435 W. 116th St. New York, NY 10027) in Room 101.
Friday, October 4th
8:45 am - 9:30 am
Breakfast and registration
9:30 am - 10:45 am
11:00 am - 12:15 pm
12:15 pm -1:15 pm
Lunch and Keynote Speech by Robert Cohen
1:15 pm - 2:30 pm
Panel 1: Primary Markets
2:45 pm - 4:00 pm
Panel 2: Secondary Markets
End of conference
Two new papers will be presented at this event. One paper, which will be authored by Professor Katya Malinova (McMaster University School of Business), will provide an economic viewpoint, and the other paper will provide legal analysis, which will be authored by Professor Joshua Mitts (Columbia Law School). Professor Gur Huberman (Columbia Business School) will act as commentator for Professor Malinova’s paper, while Professor Donald Langevoort (Georgetown University Law Center) will act as commentator for Professor Mitts’ paper.
In addition to the sessions devoted to the two papers, the conference will have a keynote speech by Robert A. Cohen, who was the first Chief of the SEC Division of Enforcement’s Cyber Unit, which was created in 2017, and two panel discussions. The first panel discussion will be focused on the effects of technology on the primary markets for securities and on the institutions for intermediation in securities markets. The second panel will be focused on the effects of technology on secondary market trading. Each panel will consist of a moderator and panelists comprising a mix of academics, market professionals and technology experts.
This conference is a crucial component of Stage II of the Program’s New Special Study of the Securities Markets, a multi-year comprehensive, from the ground up, examination of the securities markets and their regulation. The New Special Study of the Securities Markets is patterned after the original Special Study completed in 1963, which had a huge influence over the development of the securities laws for several succeeding decades.
The New Special Study is proceeding in three Stages. Stage I, which was funded in significant part by a grant from the Smith Richardson Foundation, was completed on June 30, 2018. A key component was the commissioning of seven papers: a legal paper and an economics paper relating, respectively, to primary markets, trading markets and intermediaries, and a final paper relating to how the globalization of securities markets has affected concerns of the types raised in the other six papers. Each of these papers defined, with respect to its field, what needs to be known for good policy making in the coming years. The papers were presented at a conference at Columbia Law School on March 23-24, 2017, attended by over 100 leading academics, practitioners, and regulators. The keynote speakers were acting SEC Chairman Michael Piwowar and FINRA CEO Robert Cook. Final versions of the papers, along with an overview of future regulatory challenges, was published this year in a book entitled Securities Market Issues for the 21st Century, available in both electronic and paperback versions from Amazon. Information about the conference, the book and additional Stage I activities can be found at https://capital-markets.law.columbia.edu/content/new-special-study-securities-markets.
Stage II, which began on July 1, 2018, consists of (1) conducting a Stakeholder Survey, a survey of a wide range of stakeholders in the securities markets, including domestic and international regulators, and relevant persons from securities issuing corporations, the securities trading venues of different types, broker/dealer firms, institutional investors, retail investor protection organizations, securities law firms, blockchain entrepreneurs, technology and financial institutions utilizing new digital ledger technologies, and academics whose thinking is driving the field forward, with the intention of gaining a deeper understanding of the specific legal and economic issues considered by these stakeholders to be most critical to the market’s regulation, in particular, what regulatory changes each respondent regards as most needed and why; (2) commissioning papers and hosting the Technology Conference; and (3) completing a detailed prospectus (the “Prospectus”) that comprehensively outlines the final New Special Study report and specifies in detail the empirical and other research projects that will need to be commissioned to answer the questions that must be addressed in that report, but that are not answered in the empirical literature currently available.
The final stage, Stage III, is targeted to begin in 2020. This final stage will involve implementation of the Prospectus, including completion of the identified empirical and other research projects, and preparation of the final report. The final report will be published as a hard copy and e-book and delivered to Congress and the relevant regulators, as well being made available to the public.