• Preventing the Next Economic Crisis

3/26/2010

As corporations embark on a serious economic recovery, Miriam Weismann, Associate Professor of Business and Law and Director of the Center for Global Business Ethics and Law, said that understanding what happened and how to prevent it from happening again will be essential to economic success.

On April 1, the Center, along with the Alumni Association, The Institute for Executive Education and TIAA-CREF will host a conference sponsored by Suffolk University’s Sawyer Business School, focusing not on the economic recovery, but on institutional reform. “We’re reaching out to the ‘gatekeepers,’” said Weismann, “the decision makers in both the public and private sector who will be the ones to prevent an economic disaster from happening again. Corporate compliance officers, accountants and lawyers should all be there to hear about how regulatory issues will be handled, straight from the horse’s mouth,” she said.

“Rebuilding Financial Integrity: The Emergence of Business Ethics in Institutional Reform,” will be held in Sargent Hall from 1:30-6:30 p.m. and will provide four CPE or four CLE credits. Weismann has brought in the most important players from the Federal Reserve Bank, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, investment firm TIAA-CREF, and Harry Markopolos, the “Madoff whistleblower.”

“The idea is to put together a think tank, but not one that’s speculative,” Weismann said. “We’re bringing in the people who are going to make change. In a way, Harry Markopolis defines the problem,” she said. “Harry banged on the door and the regulators couldn’t make sense of it. The challenge now is for regulators to prepare and prevent the next crisis.”

In between keynote addresses by Keith Darcy, Executive Director, Ethics and Compliance Officer Association and Markopolis, Weismann will moderate a panel that includes William Emmons, Assistant Vice President and Economist at the Fed, St. Louis, David Bergers, Director of the Regional SEC, Boston, Daniel M. Sibears, Executive Vice President, Member Regulation Programs FINRA and Matt Halperin, Senior Managing Director for Risk Management at TIAA-CREF.

 “There’s a real disconnect between what regulators are supposed to do and what they’re able to do,” Weismann said. “By bringing these people together, we can talk about the limits of regulatory and legal authority, the need for more staff, or more power or a different kind of power. But the bottom line is, how do we achieve institutional reform and what steps can we take to make it happen?”

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