Columbia Law School
European Banking and Finance
2014 will be a decisive year for the implementation of several of the key aspects of the new European financial regulatory framework. The seminar will at the same time explore the current regulatory status, the questions raised by the new rules and the evolution of this essential move towards a more integrated banking market. .
The European Council adopted the guiding principles of a European Banking Union as an essential element of what is called the fiscal consolidation of the European Union, and in particular, the Eurozone. It is a unique experience to be able to look at a regulatory framework in the making.
Taking this unique initiative as a background for our seminar will allow us to understand better the institutional limitations, the influence of the European sovereign crisis and its impact on banks, the political dynamics and the impact on financial markets. We will of course take a look on other countries' initiatives, especially the United States.
While we will clearly start from the various regulatory initiatives, and the legal texts that emerged since the 2007 financial crisis, there will be a multidisciplinary dimension that we could not ignore de lege ferenda.
One of the most difficult issues to tackle is the creation of a global banking crisis resolution system. Lehman brother proved to be an example of the complexities of such resolution with the UK taking three years to arrive to some conclusion.
We will focus on this matter throughout the class because of its impact on a number of other aspects of the European regulatory system. It includes such complex issues as he separation between trading and banking, investment and commercial banking, protection of deposits, etc...
The role of the European Central Bank will unfold as we study this matter. We will scrutinize the various initiatives of the ECB and its challenges as the supervisor of last resort as well as lender of last resort. Issues such as the subsidiarity, legality and size will also be part of the analysis. 2014 will be the year where the assessment of the European Banking health will appear, looking at the financial sustainability of Europe's 130 banks.
Objectives of the seminar
The seminar is essentially interactive, and will include a combination of teaching, guest speakers, presentations by the participants and active discussion of the topics. It is not realistic to expect each of you to absorb the detailed European regulation: furthermore, a great deal of it is still in the making.
I was very happy to see that students were truly passionate about the seminar, and produced papers that were published or will be published. Each year some LLM students also choose to write their paper in the context of this class. For LLM students, I am willing to take responsibility for their LLM paper if you decide to take a topic of this seminar. It is also helpful that several JD students will attend this class since it will provide us with the enrichment of the US legal framework.
My objective is that, as lawyers, whether JD or LLM, you feel at the end of the seminar, that you have the tools and the understanding necessary to be able to follow and maybe deepen your knowledge of one of the most complicated regulatory initiatives.
The seminar will include the legal analysis and the issues they try to address and what the political, economic and social impacts could be as well as the unintended consequences of the current directives could be.