Post date: November 14, 2003

“Despite years of discussions between the US and the EU, significant regulatory differences continue to exist,” said Harvard Law School Professor Hal S. Scott, director of the Program on International Financial Systems. “This second annual symposium offers a forum for financial leaders on both sides of the Atlantic to identify these differences and propose solutions.”

The opening day of the conference will feature a keynote speech by Randal Quarles, U.S. Treasury assistant secretary for international affairs. On the second day, the keynote speakers will be Alexander Schaub, director-general, Internal Market, European Commission, and U.S Securities and Exchange Commissioner Roel Campos.

The second day of the symposium will include sessions on three major topics significantly affecting the financial relationship between the U.S. and Europe. First, the “(dis)harmonization of regulation” refers to an assessment of differences over substantive financial regulatory issues, such as Basel II, corporate governance, and accounting standards. The second topic is the need to improve the capacity of the U.S. and Europe to resolve outstanding issues relating to financial regulation; and the last topic is the cause of the divergence on financial issues (e.g., the Iraqi war, the bursting of the bubble, etc.)

“For the past 12 months, differences between Europe and the United States over corporate governance and other issues of financial regulation have grown to a serious scale as the regions reacted to Enron and other scandals,” said Philip Wellons, associate director of the Program on International Financial Systems. “Participants at the symposium have a chance to reshape the debate.”

Citigroup and Swiss Reinsurance Corporation are the lead sponsors of the symposium. Other sponsors are American International Group, The Bond Market Association, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs International, Swiss National Bank, and Telecom Italia.

The Harvard Law School Program on International Financial Systems was founded in 1986. It was established to conduct research linking law, economics, and finance. In the past 17 years it has published books, held symposia, educated students and provided technical assistance to a variety of countries.