This seminar will focus on contemporary issues in the conceptualization and regulation of misconduct in financial markets. We will explore wrongdoing in U.S. secondary markets for the trading of stocks, bonds, and other financial instruments, markets whose proper functioning facilitates the original offerings of such instruments by businesses seeking new financing. The seminar will begin with an exploration of the social and economic functions served by trading markets, including providing liquidity for investors and incorporating information into prices, which in turn serve as vital guides for the economy. We will also consider how rules and policy shape the ability of these markets to perform such functions. We will then explore issues that arise specifically in the regulation of wrongdoing in these markets, including manipulation, spoofing, high frequency trading, and broker execution quality. We will also consider the impact of technological innovation on the prevalence of and regulation around such activities.
This seminar will be divided into two parts. The first will consist of assigned readings, occasional short response papers, and in-class discussion. The second part will entail student-led presentations and discussions, based on topics collectively identified and assigned earlier in the course.