Blue Bag Lunch Talk

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CFLP Blue Bag Lunches

Modernizing Bank Merger Review

Sep 12, 2019, 12:00-1:00 pm EDT
Room 1025 Jeffries Hall
 Sixty years ago, Congress established a federal pre-approval regime for bank mergers to protect consumers from then-unprecedented consolidation in the banking sector. This process worked well for several decades, but it has since atrophied, producing numerous “too big to fail” banks.Professor Kress's research contends that regulators’ current approach to evaluating bank merger proposals is poorly suited for modern financial markets. Policymakers and scholars have traditionally focused on a single issue: whether a bank merger would reduce competition. Over the past two decades, however, changes in bank regulation and market structure—including the repeal of interstate banking restrictions and the emergence of nonbank financial service providers—have rendered bank antitrust analysis largely obsolete. As a result, regulators have rubber stamped recent bank mergers, despite evidence that such deals could harm consumers and destabilize financial markets. Professor Kress's research asserts that contemporary bank merger analysis should instead emphasize statutory factors that regulators have long neglected: whether a proposed merger would increase systemic risks, enhance the public welfare, and strengthen the relevant institutions. Professor Kress's research urges regulators to modernize their approach, and it proposes a novel framework to ensure that bank merger oversight safeguards the financial system. The proposals contained herein have far-reaching implications not only for bank regulation but also for the ongoing debate over merger policy in technology, agriculture, and other industries.
Ford School
CFLP Blue Bag Lunches

College Savings Accounts for HeadStart Families: Preliminary Results from Michigan

Nov 7, 2019, 12:00-1:00 pm EST
Room 1025 Jeffries Hall
The Saving for Education, Entrepreneurship and Downpayment (SEED) initiative began in 2003 to test asset-building accounts for children and youth with the goal of providing strategic and practical lessons in how to create an inclusive CSA system. At the SEED impact assessment site in Michigan (MI-SEED), 500 Head Start families were offered Michigan 529 Educational Savings plans. The accounts were opened with an initial contribution of $800 from program funding and a possible $200 match from the State of Michigan. Any subsequent savings by the family were matched 1:1 up to $1200. Another set of similar Head Start families made up a comparison group that was not offered accounts. Most of the participating pre-school children are now old enough to graduate from high school and actually use the accounts to fund post-secondary education. This presentation will offer preliminary longitudinal data on accounts, standardized test scores, and other educational outcomes over time.