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Past CLTA Conference 2009

University of Technology Sydney
1st- 3rd February 2009
Haymarket Campus

The 2009 Corporate Law Teachers Annual Conference explores
the ticking bomb beneath our global financial markets

In 2002, iconic investor Warren Buffet made a prophetic observation about derivatives and the instability of the burgeoning world markets. He describe derivatives, an ill-defined but much hyped financial instrument, as "financial weapons of mass destruction." Six years later, the unthinkable (though, perhaps according to Buffet, inevitable) had happened: Wall St investment bank Lehman Bros filed for bankruptcy, spurring a wave of hasty "once-in-a-century" corporate bail-outs and bank nationalisations by governments around the world. Iceland, a developed nation, requested the aid of an IMF emergency loan for $2.1bn, and closer to home, Australia's Kevin Rudd spent big to cushion the domestic economy against recession, driving him to utter the sobering D word - budget deficit, in early November 2008.

Held in the wake of this unfolding drama, the 2009 Corporate Law Teachers Annual Conference hosted by UTS:LAW will give academics and practitioners an opportunity to take stock of the damage. Its theme: Raising Confidence in the Capital Markets through Gatekeeper Accountability - Lessons from the Credit Crunch. During the 3 days of the conference (1-3 Feb 2009), over 70 academics from Australia and the UK, South Africa, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong and New Zealand as well as practitioners of law will gather to share research and ideas, make professional contacts and discuss a case study guided by panel of expert practitioners from major law firms, financial institutions and regulators.

"Given the theme, it is highly relevant for people in practice," said Jason Harris, corporate law lecturer at UTS:LAW who is spearheading the organisation of the conference. "It is a great opportunity for academics and practitioners to come together and consider these difficult issues," said Harris, observing that UTS:LAW has a strong academic reputation in corporate and commercial law - offering such lecturers as John Stumbles, a former partner of Mallesons Stephen Jaques, Sir Gerard Brennan Research Professor Paul Redmond, a leading authority on corporate governance and law, Lesley Hitchens, Geoff Moore, Colin Hawes, Sophie Riley, Francis Johns and Harris himself. This remarkable group of academics will lead the Corporate & Commercial Law specialisation of the UTS Faculty of Law’s highly anticipated LLM program to be launched in 2009.

Headlining the event will be International Guest Speaker Satyajit Das, one of the world's foremost and knowledgeable figures in derivatives and best known for his popular book, "Traders, Guns & Money: Knowns and Unknowns in the Dazzling World of Derivatives," a pitch black funny satire exposing the high flying and morally flexible world of Wall Street traders. Life Buffet, Das is credited with foretelling the monumental crash of global markets years before it occurred, and describes the current situation as not merely a credit bubble burst, but a crucible "in which theories of the 'new money' and the financial 'jiggery pokery' (more politely known as financial engineering) of the structured credit markets... will be tested." Each conference attendee will receive a complimentary copy of Das's book.

New to this year's conference is the sponsorship of a PhD student from the University of Canberra to attend and present their research on China's milk contamination scandal, and the role of government and reporting from a corporate governance perspective. Many of the papers to be presented at the conference focus on issues of adequate disclosure, which, according to Jason Harris, "seem to be a key problem, as people don't understand what they have bought, even large, sophisticated investors. The CLTA Conference will be a great chance to have a detailed look at these sorts of products and how they have contributed to the mess that we now find ourselves in."

Story by: Wenee Yap
Sourced from: UTS Law Website which you can visit here

2009 Conference Papers

Past Conference Information

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