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Techniques of Hope Conference

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"Techniques of Hope: How Professionals and Professionalism can Stabilize the Markets and Change the World"
A Global Forum

Friday, March 26, 2010
8:30am – 4:00pm

The Levin Institute
116 East 55th Street
New York, NY 10022

Conference Overview

This workshop-style conference seeks to define an expanded role for lawyers in financial markets reform.  Drawing on recent social science that demonstrates the importance of social and institutional relationships in market activity, the conference asks what financial lawyers, who occupy a strategic, but surprisingly under examined role in the day to day practice of financial markets—as advisors, translators, deal-makers, institution-builders, lobbyists and more—can do to bring greater stability and confidence to the financial system.  The workshop will bring a range of professional and academic expertise into conversation about the interventions lawyers might make in the course of ordinary practice that collectively might contribute to a more hopeful future for the global economy.  We will think about this question broadly, by bringing it into conversation with cutting edge research from Japan and the United States on how hope is generated in other social and political contexts. How do we sustain hope in the economy? Hope—usually indexed by terms like consumer confidence, or market optimism—is the engine of market stability and growth.  And yet most of the current techniques for producing confidence in the economy—from stimulus packages to new regulatory architectures—are at best limited solutions. How these policies translate into individual market participants’ hope in the market remains unclear, and most policy makers and market participants are at best uneasy about how effective existing approaches will be and what unintended consequences they might bring with them. 

Annelise Riles wrote on Hope in the Law for the Cornell Law Forum's fall 2009 issue.