This seminar will explore the legal framework within which international banks operate, with particular emphasis on U.S. laws and regulations and international accords to which the U.S. is a party. The semester will begin with a brief overview of the "black letter law" of banking in the U.S. before moving on to more advanced topics. Throughout the semester, however, the focus will be on the application of legal principles to "real world" banking transactions and business planning exercises faced by international banks. As a result of the recent financial crisis, the Seminar will also devote significant time to analyzing the problems and causes of the financial crisis and potential ways to address these issues, including the impact of the Dodd-Frank Act. Specific topics will include corporate finance and capital markets activities of banks (including securities offerings, conflicts of interest and the use of derivative instruments), international activities of U.S. banks, capital adequacy requirements, foreign bank expansion into the U.S. and banking in the European Union. Essential elements of the course are extensive case studies drawn from actual experiences in the business of banking. These case studies will be used both to illustrate how the general principles are applied in real life situations and to elicit the active participation of the students.
All students are required to take a final take home examination. Students wishing to earn writing credit, in addition to taking the examination, must write a paper of at least 25 pages on a topic to be approved by the instructors. These students receive one additional point of supervised research credit depending on the length of the paper submitted.