Sunday, 26 April 2009

Another week, another conference

Technically, it was the alumni meeting of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) in Frankfurt, but there were also a number of interesting talks on financial regulation – although I realised that my interest in descriptive and doctrinal legal presentations (which was the main focus of the talks) is more and more decreasing. Worth highlighting is the talk by Klaus Volk (LMU Munich) on criminal liability for financial markets crime: Volk is a criminal law professor – however, he was very sceptical about the usefulness of criminal sanctions, indicating that they often have a symbolic value only and that fines paid to the financial authorities (e.g. three times the profit) would be a better way of addressing behaviour such as market abuse.

Saturday, 18 April 2009

ECGI Conference in Paris

I just return from a meeting/conference of the European Corporate Governance Institute in Paris. The main reason was that one of our papers (namely Armour et al on Shareholder Protection and Stock Market Development; available here) won the ECGI Law Prize 2009 for the best paper in the ECGI Law Working Paper Series. There was also an interesting mini-conference on the financial crisis. The keynote speaker was Franklin Allen (UPenn). In his presentation (available here) he suggested that the “Anglo-Saxon system works well in booms but has undesirable macroeconomic spillovers in times of crisis”… whereas a “stakeholder system works well in downturns and avoids spillovers”. That’s a nice new take on the old shareholder-stakeholder debate.

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Update on European Private Company (SPE) (and our new Babylon)

An updated to my previous posts (here, here and here): the European Parliament has just (actually, it was a month ago) recommended a number of changes to the forthcoming Statute on a European Private Company (SPE). The summary can be found here and the full text here.

Moreover, I found the parliamentary discussions on the European Parliament's website (here) – however, only in the original languages in which the speeches were delivered. This looks truly Babylonian. And since no one reads all languages of the EU (Estonian, Bulgarian, Irish, Greek etc), this is of course pretty useless. I am not a friend of the translation obsession of the EU but a better approach would be just to publish everything in English only.

Saturday, 4 April 2009

Do I have to blog?

I am just sitting in my ninth-floor room in Hotel Albert in Riga, Latvia, enjoying the fabulous view across the city. It has been a busy and interesting week, teaching at the RGSL about the regulation of investment firms, constantly considering the events happening at the G 20, and also reflecting about a few other things, such as the past, present and future of my academic life. Should I blog about any of these things? I could .... or I could just relax and enjoy the final evening in Riga....