Have we nationalized our banking system?

March 9, 2009Duke Law News

On March 25, 2009, experts from the top levels of banking and academia will gather at Duke Law School to examine the implications of nationalizing financial institutions on the banking industry, consumers, the role of regulators, and free enterprise.

The discussion will begin at 4:30 p.m. in the Law School’s Star Commons, located at the corner of Science Drive and Towerview Road on Duke University’s West Campus. The event is free and open to the public. A reception will follow. Parking is available at the Bryan Center and in the Chemistry lot. The event is sponsored by Duke's Program in Public Law.

The U.S. Treasury is injecting billions of dollars into the nation's banks and new restrictions are being imposed on banks receiving help. A solution that many thought would be temporary now seems to have no end in sight — and many experts and politicians now argue that nothing short of formal nationalization will resolve the financial crisis.

“Indeed, one might ask whether nationalization of some kind has in fact already occurred in many cases, given the scale of government capital engagement,” says Lawrence Baxter, who will moderate the discussion. “This will be one of the many questions discussed by the panel.” A professor of the practice of law at Duke Law School, Baxter previously held senior positions at Wachovia Corp.

Panelists will include Robert K. Steel, the former president and CEO of Wachovia Corp and member of the board of Wells Fargo; Edward Greene, a partner at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton in New York and former investments general counsel of Citigroup; Duke University economist Craig Burnside; and Duke Law faculty members James Cox, a specialist in corporate and securities law, Steven A. Schwarcz, an expert in capital markets and systemic risk, and Bill Brown, who formerly held senior positions at AIG, Goldman Sachs, and Morgan Stanley.

“Have We Nationalized Our Banking System?” will be the first of several public discussions focused on charting the emerging framework of public policy and regulation in the “post crisis” economy? This event will be webcast live at www.law.duke.edu/webcast/.

For more information contact Frances Presma at (919) 613-7248.