Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Law Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Series

Business Organizations Law

Cornell University Law School

CFMA

Publication Year

Articles 1 - 2 of 2

Full-Text Articles in Law

Derivatives And The Legal Origin Of The 2008 Credit Crisis, Lynn A. Stout Apr 2011

Derivatives And The Legal Origin Of The 2008 Credit Crisis, Lynn A. Stout

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

Experts still debate what caused the credit crisis of 2008. This Article argues that dubious honor belongs, first and foremost, to a little-known statute called the Commodities Futures Modernization Act of 2000 (CFMA). Put simply, the credit crisis was not primarily due to changes in the markets; it was due to changes in the law. In particular, the crisis was the direct and foreseeable (and in fact foreseen by the author and others) consequence of the CFMA’s sudden and wholesale removal of centuries-old legal constraints on speculative trading in over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives.

Derivative contracts are probabilistic bets on future ...


How Deregulating Derivatives Led To Disaster, And Why Re-Regulating Them Can Prevent Another, Lynn A. Stout Jan 2009

How Deregulating Derivatives Led To Disaster, And Why Re-Regulating Them Can Prevent Another, Lynn A. Stout

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

When credit markets froze up in the fall of 2008, many economists pronounced the crisis both inexplicable and unforeseeable. That’s because they were economists, not lawyers.

Lawyers who specialize in financial regulation, and especially the small cadre who specialize in derivatives regulation, understood what went wrong. (Some even predicted it.) That’s because the roots of the catastrophe lay not in changes in the markets, but changes in the law. Perhaps the most important of those changes was the U.S. Congress’s decision to deregulate financial derivatives with the Commodity Futures Modernization Act (CFMA) of 2000.

Prior to ...